Hockey

The future is now, says Rupinder

Rupinder says his aim is to guide youngsters to get the best out of them.   | Photo Credit: BiswaranjanRout

Having been out of action for almost six months due to a groin injury, Rupinder Pal Singh is keen to get back. The time off from the field has given the lanky 27-year-old a new perspective to the game’s and his own future.

“Personally, the target now is to improve our performance and every game is important to improve ourselves. I think ab bahut ho gaya ki ‘hum dekhte hain, dekhenge’ (the ‘we will look into it’ attitude has been going on for too long). The future is now. We have to prepare ourself mentally and look at winning every game from here on,” Rupinder told The Hindu after the team’s penultimate practice session before the Hockey World League Finals kicks-off on Friday.

“This is the start of the big tournaments. Individual performance here will count a lot for the next year. My aim is to guide the youngsters, keep them calm on field and get the best out of them. As a team, we will get to know where exactly we stand in the world. We look to make each other better. I am playing with this group and under the new coach for the first time. There is not much change in strategy. We are trying new combinations and everything depends on player understanding, we need to work a lot on it,” he added.

His own fitness has been a concern, but the lanky 27-year-old admits the doubting phase is over. “Overall it is fine, but there is still the need for a lot of improvement,” he admitted. “The training I did before this and now after coming here with the team has been good. Earlier, there was a bit of hesitance in terms of the load I put on my body and doubts of the pain recurring if I did too much. But now there is no pressure psychologically,” he said.

The fact that he would team up with Birendra Lakra in the defence, here at the Hockey World League Finals, after almost two years, has also excited the experienced drag-flicker. “Biru and I started around the same time so it feels good to be back together on the ground. There are a lot of youngsters also and we have to talk to them a lot more to get the entire structure bang on. But, things are falling into place,” Rupinder signed off.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 9:13:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/the-future-is-now-says-rupinder/article21120760.ece

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