One of the senior-most players in the Indian men’s hockey team, PR Sreejesh has been there and done it all for the national team. While on the field of play the ace keeper has been instrumental to India’s fine performances in recent years, Sreejesh takes on an older brother’s role at other times.
“Everyone expects to perform well and bring back a medal to the country and we are working for this. But what is the most important is your performance, especially under pressure. As a senior player or by taking the older brother’s role it is my responsibility to tell them what is the reality so that they are prepared. If they can understand and accept the reality, it will help them perform better,” Sreejesh explained about his role.
While on-field pressure is one aspect for the Tokyo-bound hockey team, staying mentally focused is as crucial as well. Speaking on the matter, Sreejesh noted that the Indian hockey team has their internal support system and believes help should be available for anyone who may need it.
“We talk to each other a lot and that helps us deal with some sort of trauma and there is always someone to support each other. Personally, I support it if there is someone to help with mental health because if someone needs even one percent help, there should be support,” Sreejesh told The Quint.
For the Indian men’s hockey team, who have been based in Bangalore in the SAI campus for the majority of the lockdown, the focus has not moved from the Tokyo Games despite the uncertainty around it, Sreejesh explained.
“When we got to know that the Olympics was postponed, we didn’t know what will happen. However, we still got our target and through the lockdown it has only been talking about that. And that has helped stay focused despite uncertainty.”
Sreejesh and the Indian men’s hockey team finished 2020 with their best ever ranking, fourth, and will be keen to carry on the momentum through to the summer Olympics in Tokyo.
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