Women’s hockey team living in the moment, not taking stress

Indian women’s hockey team is looking to stay in present and avoid stress ahead of Olympics, said defender Reena Khokhar on Saturday.

The team is currently training at the Sports Authority of India centre in Bengaluru and the 28-year-old Reena said the squad is overcoming stress with ‘mindfulness classes’ conducted by analytical coach Janneke Schopman.

“The pressure builds up when you think about the future. Hence, we are trying to stay in the present moment. We are benefitting a lot from the mindfulness classes taken by our analytical coach Janneke Schopman. We attend these sessions twice a week.

“I feel this has helped us a lot to stay calm and be in the present during our training sessions. It creates positive energy around the team, and it’s a

very good exercise introduced by both Janneke and our chief coach Sjoerd Marijne,” added Reena.

Reena, who has made 21 appearances in national colours, says that with less than 60 days to go for Olympics, the focus is on avoiding injuries.

“We are just working hard because we have less than 60 days left. Everyone is focusing on doing things in a perfect way, and not taking any practice sessions casually. We are being cautious of injuries because at present these little things matter the most.”

Reena said that the presence of experienced players, such as Rani Rampal, was helping youngsters prepare better.

“They (seniors) have been playing a very important role. A few of our seniors have the experience of playing in Olympics. They know the environment, and they know what it takes to compete in an event like the Olympics. They are not letting us take any kind of extra pressure, they just want us to focus on our training and give our 100% on the field.”