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Hockey: Men and Women’s teams turn tech-savvy during lockdown

By Harpal Singh Bedi

Bengaluru, 21 May: For the national men and women’s hockey probably housed in  Sports Authority of India Centre, Bengaluru while pitch training is out of bounds, they have taken to indoor workout regime to maintain their fitness.

Though the Coaching Staff are also based out of the same facility, to ensure social distancing norms the teams turned to applications that would help disseminate everyday workout schedules to all team members and emphasized on every player using these applications to submit their workload.

“Earlier, these apps were mostly used by Coaching Staff to plan the week’s activities and share it with us. But during the lockdown, with social distancing norms in place at SAI, using Google docs for wellness data submission and Google forms for training load submissions became mandatory to update what we had done during the day and this would further be discussed through a video call with Chief Coach or our Scientific Advisor,” explained Savita, Vice-Captain of the Women’s Team.

Applications like Zoom call or Google Meet has now become the ‘in-thing’ replacing ‘team huddles’ or ‘team meetings. Putting things into perspective, Harmanpreet Singh, Vice Skipper of the Men’s Team said,

“Through our support staff is based on the same campus, we use Zoom calls for individual meetings where we discuss our nutrition intake and also discuss match analysis. We are now used to apps like Google Meet platform which we use for team meetings as all of us can’t get into a huddle in the meeting room any more.”

“I feel we made use of this time by learning something new. Most of us in the team are gadget freaks no doubt and enjoy using social media platforms to stay in touch with our family, friends, and also fans. But using these applications on an everyday basis was something we never did,” said the drag-flick expert.

While the teams began using the TPA (Team Performance Analysis) software in 2017, players ensured they made maximum use of this during the lockdown when they were all tasked with the activity to analyze key matches played over the last two years. “Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne introduced us to TPA in 2017 and he made it mandatory that we all have it on our I pads so we can analyze our match. I think we made maximum use of this software during the lockdown and each one of us was asked to study the opponents we personally thought are the toughest. This was one of the most important activities we undertook during the lockdown,” added Savita.

“I think regularly analyzing our performance, both individually and as a team, has given us more clarity on the areas we need to improve and we have discussed at length about the same with Coaching Staff. With regular bodyweight training and indoor workouts, I believe we have been able to maintain good fitness level and we are ready to return to full training,” opined Harmanpreet.

HSB

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