Indian hockey defender Jarmanpreet puts emphasis on mental fitness ahead of Olympics

Indian men's hockey team defender Jarmanpreet Singh has stressed the importance of mental fitness ahead of the Tokyo Olympics amid a raging COVID-19 pandemic.

Jarmanpreet Singh has been training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru as part of the senior core group.   -  HOCKEY INDIA

Indian men's hockey team defender Jarmanpreet Singh has stressed the importance of mental fitness ahead of the Tokyo Olympics amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

The 24-year-old has been training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru as part of the senior core group.

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"I feel mental fitness is as important as physical fitness to deal with the current situations. A player needs to be mentally strong, and for that, we have been helping each other," said Jarmanpreet on Friday.

India was scheduled to play its FIH Pro League away matches against Great Britain, Spain and Germany this month but the ties were postponed due to travel restrictions imposed in the wake of a COVID-19 surge.

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"We communicate with each other, we try to create a positive environment so that everyone stays in a happy zone. I feel because of this, there's a very good team bonding. This has helped our Olympic preparations," he said.

Asked how he is preparing for the Tokyo Games, Jarmanpreet said, "My focus remains on giving my best, with full energy. I am trying to improve each and every day at the training.

"I put on a challenge to myself that I should keep reducing my margin of error."

Jarmanpreet, who made his debut in 2018, feels fortunate to have the support of the senior players.

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"I am very fortunate and thankful to all senior players as well as coaches because they knew my past (the two-year doping ban in 2015), they knew I was returning after a long time.

"They have always supported me since the beginning. They have guided me at each step, and have been motivating me a lot.

"Moreover, it also helps when you have a senior player as a roommate. Kothajit (Singh) paaji is my roommate here, and we share a good bond on and off the field. We both talk about hockey off the field, and it has been helping me improve as a player."

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