When it comes to recovery and regeneration and keeping these girls fresh, do you have any go-to modalities or strategies that you use to keep them feeling good?
Yeah, so recovery is a huge part of my planning, as it’s the major theme of my PHD work too. The girls all have a sheet that guides them on the best modalities to do and when.
I assign points to different modalities they use. They then add this up at the end of the week, to see if they have achieved the minimum required amount of recovery points.The idea is to make them achieve atleast 100 points in a week.
Some of the modalities they use range from ice baths, to pneumatic recovery boots to good sleep to power naps, to massages, as well as post training nutrition etc.
Over and above this, the players also submit data to me each morning and post every training session so that i can monitor their neuromuscular fatigue to see where they are at. This is all pretty much industry standard nowadays.
Which player has the highest yo-yo score in the team?
I don’t want to give you a name, but the highest Yoyo thus far has be 21.7. I’m sure when watching matches you would be able to work out who that might be.
One challenge the girls face with their fitness?
Well, there’s no specific fitness challenge they face. The most important thing for me is to try as much as possible to keep them from any niggle and also keep them injury free.
From a fitness coach’s point of view, who is the best player that you have worked with or who is that one player who has had a major transformation.
I don’t think it’s fair to mention one single person, as each athlete (not only in hockey) I have worked with has tried their best and made good progress, but in general the transformation of the Indian Women’s hockey team over the last 2/2.5 years has been remarkable and it’s all due to the effort that the players have put in day in and day out.
Last but not the least, could you give one piece of fitness advice to a young hockey player ?
Well, Hockey has become such a fast and dynamic sport, one has to put in a lot of hours. If players are not putting in the effort off the pitch to address their overall athleticism, they will struggle to play at the top level.
As a young hockey player, they need to ensure they spend as much as time they invest in playing hockey in also developing their holistic athletic skills and physicality.
By investing time in holistic athletic skills I mean, a player needs to invest time in developing their running mechanics, figure out how to change direction properly, develop a good base of aerobic fitness and strength. I believe if you get these fundamentals right, everything else will fall in place.
Last but not the least, my advice would be to keep doing the simple things savagely well.
Fitness, Strength and Conditioning is a process, and if you do not enjoy the process and invest the necessary hours smartly, you will struggle to progress.