The Indian Men’s Hockey Team Midfielder Nilakanta Sharma, who has played over 50 matches for the national side, believes that fine-tuning a few aspects of the team’s game will make a big difference to their performance at the Olympics.
The Indian team has competed brilliantly against top teams in the FIH Hockey Pro League, however, Nilakanta feels that there is still more room for improvement.
“Playing well against the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia at the FIH Hockey Pro League has certainly given us a lot of confidence in our abilities, however, we have identified a few areas that we need to fine-tune in the upcoming months.
Sometimes small changes make a big difference to the way a team performs and we are looking to make those small changes to our game. If we fine-tune our game properly, we will certainly be a much better unit at the Olympics,” said the Midfielder.
When asked about how he has felt about his game after returning to the pitch in August, Nilakanta said that he is taking small steps towards returning to full form.
“This is a tricky period for us. We have to be very careful. We shouldn’t push too hard and neither should we take it too easy as well. Personally, I am happy with the way I am moving forward with my game everyday. We are taking small steps at the moment.
There’s still a lot of time to go for the Olympics and therefore I would like to thank Hockey India for organizing a National Coaching Camp with all the precautions in the most efficient manner so that we have enough time to get back to our full form and then practice hard for the Olympics,” said the 25-year-old.
The Midfielder added that since the team has spent so much time together at the SAI campus in Bengaluru in the last few months, the coordination between the players on the pitch could improve.
“In sport, it’s not only about having a great understanding on the pitch but off the pitch relations between players also have a huge impact on performances.
We have become a much closer unit in the last few months since we have spent a lot of time together at the SAI campus. This could have a major impact on our coordination on the pitch. We might develop a much better rhythm while passing the ball when we play a match,” said Nilakanta.