Hockey is in my DNA: Midfielder Jaskaran Singh
New Delhi, May 23, 2021
"Hockey is in my DNA and it was but natural that I got attracted to this game from the very start," said midfielder Jaskaran Singh.
Talking to Hockey India in Bengaluru, the 27-year-old midfielder, son of Olympian and former coach Rajinder Singh Jr, said, "I started playing hockey because of my father, who is an Olympian. He was a part of the 1984 Olympics team. He also coached the National Team in the 2000s. So, my childhood memories are all about hockey.
"Not only that I grew up watching him, but I also honed my skills under him. He is my first coach and my inspiration. He is the reason why I started playing hockey and he is the reason why I am here today," said Jaskaran.
"I couldn't do much at the junior level. But, after all the hard work and with the help of my father's motivation and guidance, I got my maiden call-up for the National Camp in 2019, while playing for the Punjab and Sind Bank Hockey Academy.
"I also made my debut in the same year, and after that, I have never looked back. Just like my father, I want to represent our nation at the Olympics," added the midfielder, who made his debut for the national team in 2019.
Speaking about the Olympics preparations, Jaskaran said, "We are really in a good shape, and preparing well for the Olympics."
"We are currently putting in the hard work, working on our structure and focusing on covering all the bases. I feel we are giving each other good competition in our training, which I feel is bringing out the best of us," he concluded.
About his equation with compatriots from the same city, Mandeep Singh and Manpreet Singh, the Jalandhar-born player said, "We live nearby, our homes are around 2-3 kilometres apart. They both have been helping me a lot, Mandeep is my roommate here (at the Camp), so it helps a lot.
"Moreover, you know, on the field it's important to have a good understanding between a midfielder and a striker, and I feel that understanding comes naturally to us because we have been playing together since a long time. Even Manpreet along with other senior players in the team also guide me throughout. Whenever I feel I am in doubt, I speak to them to get better clarity."
Reflecting on his Argentina tour and career's third international tour, Jaskaran said, "It was my first tour, I was playing internationally after a very long time, so I was focused on giving my 100%. Coaches gave me an opportunity to express myself on the field and I had their support throughout the tour.
"Senior players also motivated me and gave me the confidence to compete against the Olympic Champions. They helped me improve on my mistakes throughout the tour. So, it was a great learning experience for me personally."