Indians don’t know how tough they are: hockey coach Graham Reid

Bengaluru, Jun 25 (PTI): India’s men’s hockey coach Graham Reid is in awe of the “mental resilience” shown by his wards amid the COVID-19 pandemic and feels it could well make all the difference when the side chases its first Olympic medal in over four decades in the upcoming Tokyo Games.
Reid is of the view that Indians, in general, are unaware of their own mental fortitude. India reached the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar and performed well in the FIH Hockey Pro League earlier this year, beating reigning Olympic champions Argentina before a second wave of the pandemic disrupted the world number four side’s schedule. “I think Indians don’t really understand how mentally resilient they are, how good they can be. So I think that part of it is really important,” Reid said in virtual media interaction, two days after the announcement of a 16-member Tokyo-bound squad.
“And don’t underestimate the effect that will have when the chips are down in Tokyo. I think I take a lot of solace from that.
“As a coach, you always want to do more but then I’ve also have had the confidence in what we have been doing over this period. So that’s the mentality we have to go into Tokyo with.”
The restrictions imposed on travellers from the country following the second wave meant that the Indian team was stuck at the Sports Authority of India’s Centre of Excellence here.
While here, the 57-year-old tactician has prepared 10-minute videos of each of his players’ life stories so as to “understand more about their stories.”
“We did a 10-minute video with each of them with just just myself and the players, where they told their stories and that’s very powerful,” Reid, who coached Australia during the Rio Olympics, said.
“I intend to bring them out in the next three weeks to get all our guys to understand the sort of things that each player has been through during their life,” he said.

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