'Countdown to Olympics, the most important 200 days of our lives,' says hockey captain Manpreet Singh
New Delhi, January 4, 2021
With 200 days left for the Tokyo Olympics, hockey team captain Manpreet Singh feels that this will be the most crucial time of their lives and has urged his teammates to remain steadfast, focused on their goal of achieving success.
"The biggest learning from last year was to not let external factors affect our goal. There could be many uncertainties but we need to only worry about what's within our control and that is to work towards being our best," Manpreet told Hockey India.
"There could be several challenges leading up to the Olympic Games this year and we need to be mentally prepared for it," he said.
He was of the view that for the next 200 days, every player in the core group should focus on giving his 100 per cent. "The next 200 days are going to be the most important period of our lives. Each one of us has to give our 100 per cent in training and in competition if we want to see ourselves make the Indian Team for Tokyo," he said.
Agreeing with Manpreet's views, women's hockey team captain Rani Rampaul said that, in the next few months, the players will need to up their game in all aspects.
"In the previous national camp which lasted over four months, we have really worked hard to reach the level we were previously at. In the next few months, our focus will be on improving further in all aspects of the game. Our competitions this year will show us where we stand and what needs to be improved. From here on, each one of us has to work on being the best," shesaid.
She cautioned that players should not take their place in the team for granted. "Everyone, including myself, cannot take her place in the team for guaranteed and we need to prove in every session and every game why we are worthy of our place in the team. We have a very good set of youngsters coming up and I am sure they will be pushing us to earn a spot. I look forward to good competition within the team as it brings out the best in us," she said.
"Another thing we need to focus on is our mental fitness and also take care of our bodies in the lead-up to the Games to avoid any injuries," Rani said.