The Indian men's hockey team claimed a historic bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, their first podium finish in 41 years. In spite of the triumph at the mega event, head coach Graham Reid feels that there is a lot of potential yet to be unlocked and displayed by Manpreet Singh and Co.
The Indian Men's Hockey Team Chief Coach Graham Reid credits this team's success to certain innate qualities that has helped them achieve this historic feat of winning a Bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Reflecting on the team's performance, Reid said, "This group is very focused and mentally very tough. They have imbibed a team-first mentality and have great bonding among them. At an event like the Olympics, there are so many distractions, and it is such a huge place that often when you hit the ground at the Olympic village and everyone spread out like ants, but we were able to keep the group together and that was very positive."
Reid who has been nominated for the FIH Men's Coach of The Year award further expressed that this is not the time to get complacent with the result but it's time to analyze and understand the way in which the team can elevate their performance to the next level. "Third is where we are at the moment, Australia and Belgium have been consistently playing at the higher level. We need to be able to get to that level. That's the simple goal I have for this team."
"We will be analyzing all the games, not just ours but all games of different teams over the next six months. We will draw up a plan of what is required to get to that next level. This is a smart group, and we will work out on the things we need to do. We will need to keep improvising and keep getting better. Deep down the team understands, Bronze medal at the Olympics after 41 years is great, but there is a lot of potential we need to unlock and display," added Reid without mincing his words.
Speaking about his nomination for the prestigious FIH Men's Coach of the Year award alongside Australia's Colin Batch and Belgium's Shane Mcleod, Graham said, "Individual awards in team sports are usually reflective of the quality of the team and it's support staff."
With the team on a well-deserved break at the moment, Reid highlighted that once the team returns to National Coaching camp in Bengaluru, they will hit the ground running. "We have some quality tournaments coming up, and there will be a lot of good competition and we will be playing the FIH Hockey Pro League. There will be enough time for us to prepare, we will get back to the swing of things after their well-deserved break," Reid concluded.