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Indian hockey teams turn tech-savvy during lockdown

The core probable group housed in the Sports Authority of India Centre here suspended high-intensity hockey training in the third week of March following a nationwide lockdown. 

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 emphasised on every player using these applications to submit their work load. 

“Earlier, these apps were mostly used by coaching staff to plan the week’s activities and share it with us,” said women’s team vice-captain Savita. She further added that during 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 which would further be discussed through video call with chief coach or our scientific advisor.

Applications like Zoom or Google Meet have now become the ‘in-thing’ replacing ‘team huddles’ or ‘team meetings’. 

Putting things into perspective, men’s team vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh said, “Though our support staff is based in the same campus, we use Zoom calls for individual meetings where we discuss our nutrition intake and also discuss match analysis.” 

Harmanpreet added that the teams have ensured they learnt something new during the lockdown. 

While the Indian 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 tasked with analysing key matches played over the last two years.

While the teams await further guidelines and SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) from the Sports Ministry and SAI in order to resume hockey training, the players are prepared to return to the pitch.

Men’s hockey team vice captain Harmanpreet Singh said “I think regularly analysing 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.”  

The player further said “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.”

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