Members of the Indian women’s hockey team are using the forced break to introspect on their own game and identify areas that require improvement, said midfielder Sushila Chanu.
The 24-member core probables for the Olympic Games are currently stationed at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Bengaluru where they continue to focus on individual fitness routines and working out in isolation.
“Though hockey training is suspended, we watch a lot of our previous match videos as well as opponent teams videos to analyse their game,” said Chanu, who led the Indian side at the Rio Olympics four years ago. “We use a software to do this and I feel this is the best time to introspect on our own game to understand which areas need improvement.”
Leaving behind the disappointment of the Tokyo Games being postponed to 2021, the players hope they can carry forward the momentum they have built in the past one year.
“We collectively felt that this was best case scenario for us as we have been improving steadily over the past two years and we believe we can build on this rhythm in the coming months,” Chanu said.
Speaking of their daily schedule, the 28-year-old said the focus is on maintaining physical fitness.
“Our scientific advisor, Wayne Lombard, has given us specific workout charts which we need to follow.
“The focus right now is to maintain our fitness levels, and workouts vary from individual distance running to bodyweight training, workouts using stretch cords and some weights we have available in our rooms.”
Last week, the Indian women’s hockey team launched a fun fitness challenge to raise funds for migrant labourers whose families have been affected by the nationwide lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
In four days, the team has raised more than ₹7 lakh and crowdfunding will continue till May 3 when the lockdown is scheduled to end.
“It is very encouraging to see so many people support the Indian women’s hockey team’s goal of feeding 1,000 people who have been affected by the lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic,” Chanu said. “We have received so much love and support from the people of this country towards our quest for success in hockey and the team felt this was the time to step up and do something for the people.”
Chanu had challenged people, including former teammates Poonam Rani and Lily Chanu Mayengbam, to do 20 push-ups and 20 dips.
In a subsequent team challenge to do the V-sit for two minutes, Chanu challenged state mates from the Indian men’s hockey team Kothajit Singh and Chinglensana Singh.
She also challenged boxer Sarita Devi to take up the challenge and donate ₹100 towards crowdfunding.
“We are delighted that people are not just donating for the cause but they are also participating in the fitness challenge.
“It is very important to remain physically active and the workouts we have designed throughout this challenge are not very difficult and can be done indoors,” she said.
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