The India men’s hockey team, having never won a Commonwealth Games gold medal, is committed to break the jinx at Birmingham 2022 and has employed the “zoom out and zoom in” philosophy, which in simple terms means visualising what they want to achieve.
Throwing light on the philosophy ahead of their Group B opener against Ghana on Sunday, skipper Manpreet Singh said, “Our philosophy this time around at the Commonwealth Games is to ‘zoom out and zoom in’. Our coaches have told us to zoom out and visualise what we have to achieve. We want to win a medal, but how can we achieve the same? The first thing that we have to do is not underestimate any team.”
Manpreet, who will be completing the milestone of earning his 300th international cap on Sunday, added the focus would be to stick to the “game plan” and “give our best performance”.
“Secondly, we have to ensure that we perform our best match by match and focus on our game plan. We will be following the same mind-set against Ghana on Sunday,” he added.
This will be the first time India will play Ghana since the 1975 Men’s World Cup. The last time the teams faced off, India had won 7-0. India had missed out on a podium finish at the previous edition of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, finishing in fourth position.
India are placed in Pool B of the tournament along with Canada, England, Ghana, and Wales.
In preparation for the Commonwealth Games, the team held a national camp at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru from June 27 to July 23, 2022. The team reached Birmingham on July 24 after the completion of the camp.
Chief coach Graham Reid said he was initially a bit surprised with the cold weather in Birmingham at this time of the year, but added the players are now “settled in”.
“It’s actually been surprisingly cold here. Each day, we get surprised and keep questioning whether the summer is coming anytime soon. Everyone is now settled in. The first few days we were getting everyone accustomed to where everything is in the (Games) Village so that when the matches start, people are very familiar and comfortable. We focused on getting accustomed to the pitch, the playing conditions, and getting ourselves adapted to the surroundings,” Reid said.