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Indian hockey team focused on maintaining fitness despite lockdown: Nilakanta Sharma

ANI | Updated: May 08, 2020 14:11 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 8 (ANI): Indian men's hockey team midfielder Nilakanta Sharma said the team is focused on maintaining fitness despite the coronavirus lockdown.
Currently, the team is at the Sports Authority of India campus in Bengaluru.
"There's no doubt that it's been a difficult couple of months for all of us. We made it a point to keep training in whichever way we can once the lockdown began. With minimal equipment such as bands, we are doing several exercises in our rooms throughout the day," Hockey India's official website quoted Sharma as saying.
"Fitness will play a key role in how we react to certain situations once we are in the midst of a match in the future. We are carrying out push-ups, crunches, sit-ups and going for individual runs on a regular basis. Our Scientific Advisor Robin Arkell has devised some amazing fitness schedules which have helped us maintain our fitness standards," he added.
Nilakanta, who has been part of the Indian squad for major tournaments such as the Hockey Men's World Cup 2018 and FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2019, feels his experience will be a 'big bonus' for the team in the next year's Tokyo Olympics.

"I have been in the international circuit for around three years and have been very fortunate to be a part of big competitions such as the Hockey Men's World Cup 2018 and FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2019," he said.
"It's great to have so much experience under my belt, which will be a big bonus for a tournament like the Olympics next year. I have learned to stay calm and composed in pressure situations and have a great understanding of my role in the side." Sharma added.
The 25-year-old said he and captain Manpreet Singh communicate well on the field and the latter motivates everybody.
"The way Manpreet and I communicate on the field is terrific. Manpreet motivates all of us through the way he plays his game and ensures that every player is contributing to the team's cause in some way or the other. I share a great bond with Hardik as well," Sharma said.
We understand each other's games which makes it easy for us to support each other. We have been communicating well for quite some time now and hopefully, we will be able to hit the right note as soon as we get back to practice and eventually on the field," he added. (ANI)