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How Indian women hockey players are training for Olympics

Indian midfielder Monika says that the squad is more tech-savvy now and understand their training sessions better

The team aims to peak at the right time, says Monika.
The team aims to peak at the right time, says Monika. (Twitter)

The Indian women hockey players have become tech-savvy and now understand the purpose of their training sessions, which they were earlier following blindly, experienced midfielder Monika said on Monday.

Monika, who was part of the Indian team that competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, said Saturday mornings sessions are the toughest.

"It is always a red session. Red sessions are mostly higher-intensity training sessions where we focus on match intensity with the idea of superseding match intensity with small-sided variations," she said in a release issued by Hockey India.

Also Read: The Olympics dreams of Jharkhand's hockey queens

"Each session is either focused on speed or endurance or direction focused. We have about two-three such sessions a week. Those are the days when our fitness levels are really tested.

"Our awareness about each session, how it helps, what it's for etc is much better now than before. Earlier, we would just blindly focus what Coaches said."

The player from Chandigarh explained that the coaching staff is planning week-on-week training in such a way that the team peaks at the right time.

"The focus now is to keep improving on our strengths and work on the weak points. Our aim is to peak at the right time. Every player's workload is taken into consideration and improvement is mapped accordingly."

Also Read: How Palak Kohli beat the odds to qualify for Tokyo Paralympics

She further explains how each player keeps a chart that's uploaded on to Google docs where the Scientific Advisor Wayne Lombard monitors crucial aspects such as sleep, recovery etc.

"Surely, we have become more tech-savvy," says Monika.

"We maintain a chart that has details of what we do the entire day. We need to mention details of activity we pursue for recovery such as number of minutes spent for massage or ice bath or pool session etc. We also record the number of hours we sleep.

"I feel by doing these activities on our own, the coaching staff also inculcated a lot more awareness about how we must take care of our bodies and remain injury free."

Also Read: How Olympics bound Indian sailor Vishnu Saravanan trains

With less than 75 days to go for the Tokyo Games, Monika feels the team is in the right mind-set to achieve their goal.

"We have had a few setbacks with some of our players testing positive, but they are all well and back to training now. We don't want to think of the issues that are out of our control.

"Our focus is to improve each day and be ready for the Games and the entire group is mentally prepared," she said.

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