Goalkeeper Savita Punia breaks down the Indian team’s rigorous training sessions

Ahead of the 2021-22 FIH Hockey Pro League double-header between India and Spain on February 26-27, interim captain Savitra Punia and vice-captain Deep Grace Ekka spoke at a a virtual press conference in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, where they detailed their preparation. , workout routine and workouts.

The Indian team got off to a good start in the Pro League, winning their two games against China in Muscat, Oman. The duo said they will be looking to build on their momentum against Spain.

The team enjoyed great success under Dutch coach Sjoerd Marijne and impressed at the Tokyo Olympics, narrowly missing out on the bronze medal. However, the team are looking to start the calendar year and embark on new challenges on their Pro League debut under coach Janneke Schopman.

The captain also said their intensity in delivering the fitness and training sessions remained a high point under the guidance of Marijne and Schopman. Currently, the team is undergoing intensive training sessions in Bhubaneswar.

“In a green session, the training is relatively light. We practice penalty corner attack and shootout. It can however be a bit hard on the goalkeeper. It takes about an hour and a half,” she said.

“The red session is a high intensity session and it lasts an hour and a half or two hours and we try different drills like 3v3 or 5v3 or 8v8 and sometimes 11v11.”

“It also brings me back to one of the questions posed earlier, ‘why is the training hard but the game easy?’ In the game, you have to play three to six minutes, and it’s different in each position… the defense plays six minutes, the midfielders play four minutes, the forwards play three minutes, they have the possibility to change between -time.

“But in training you don’t have that kind of time. There are three stations. You finish a station and you don’t have time to rest in between. You must move on to the next. You complete the second and move on to the third. The orange session is a little low in intensity, by comparison.

The keeper added that his program for the week includes three to four red sessions, two orange sessions and two to three green sessions. In the meantime, there is a gym session and other fitness training and there is another schedule for that.

“Sometimes when we lift heavy weights and then move on to normal weights, they start to feel lighter. That’s why because of the harder session the legs get heavy but when we play the match they feel lighter.

Explaining that the routine was followed even during the time the team was coached by Marijne, Savita said such diets are now standard practice and are followed by top hockey teams.

“I think it’s used by almost every team in modern hockey now. It’s not like we’re on the floor for three hours and then relax for 15 minutes and practice in the hard session. It’s a necessity in today’s hockey.

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Richard V. Johnson