Sports Monks

Coach Graham Reid says uncertainty will be biggest challenge for India men’s hockey team during next 12 months

An unshakeable attitude is what is needed to win an Olympic medal and that is what head coach Graham Reid will try to inculcate into the Indian men’s hockey ahead of the Summer Olympics next year.

The 2020 Games have been postponed by an year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exactly a year from now, the Indian men and women teams would have begun their campaign in Tokyo.

Reid, part of the silver-winning Australian team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, put things into perspective.

“The Olympic Games is the toughest competition in the sporting world and therefore a player’s mentality has to match it.

“The biggest challenge as a player is to remain focussed on the job at hand. The first game brings with it a number of emotions. The player who can control those emotions and stick to the game plan will be ahead,” he said in a Hockey India statement.

While there is room to improve in all aspects of the game, Reid emphasised on building a mentally tough team to face the “uncertain times”.

“The biggest challenge for us during these next 12 months will be uncertainty. There are a lot of things that are going to happen that we can’t control. We must only worry about the things we CAN control,” he said.

“We can control how hard we work, how well we train and our fitness levels. Mental toughness will definitely be a factor during this next period and the Indian players have an innate ability to deal with difficult circumstances.

“It is my intention to develop the players understanding of their mental strength and build their ability to access and trust it when required,” Reid added.

Reflecting on Reid’s views, women’s team chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said: “We live in challenging times where we need to have a ‘step by step’ approach. For now, we await to return to the National Camp and begin training.

“Once we know when we can resume our preparations for the Olympic Games, we will be able to make further plans on how to get competition-ready.”

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