Image Credits: @HockeyIndia
The 21-year-old from Haryana wants to perfect her drag-flicking abilities by learning from the likes of Gurjit Kaur, Rupinder Pal Singh and Harmanpreet Singh.
A powerhouse when it comes to women's hockey, Haryana is home to some of the finest Senior and Junior Team players in India currently. One such name which has risen through the ranks in the past couple of years is Defender Gagandeep Kaur. The 21-year-old has been part of the Indian Junior Women's Hockey team since 2016, but is aiming to progress in her career and also learn more tricks of the trade from players in the Senior teams.
"As a drag-flicker myself, this is probably the best time for me because I know in the future, I can have the chance to work and play with some of the best drag-flickers in the country. I have always really admired Gurjit Kaur, Rupinder Pal Singh and Harmanpreet Singh for their drag-flicking abilities, and I always look up to them," said Gagandeep, who helped the Indian Junior Women's Hockey team to a Gold Medal at the 4-Nations Invitational Tournament in Ireland last year with a Penalty Corner goal in the Final.
"When you are in the Junior team, all you can do is grab every opportunity you get to interact with the Seniors, and also watch them closely - as to what they do on the pitch, how they prepare, how they approach each session, and how they also end up spending their time in recovery. I think it's a fantastic scenario for me to be in, and I am really happy that I can also speak to these champion players for any advice and guidance that I might need," added the youngster, who is yet to be called up for the Senior Team Core Probables.
Speaking about what she has been focusing on since the lockdown, Gagandeep said, "I think it is important that as athletes we don't lose track of what we need to be doing. If you are a top-level athlete, you need to ensure that you are always disciplined and are giving your best on and off the field. So what I've tried to do is make sure I am doing everything that I would have been doing if we were playing competitive hockey regularly. It is important to train your body to keep participating in intense drills so that we don't feel rusty when you are on the field again."
"I have also been able to speak to my coaches and understand what I can do better. Like I mentioned, I have also had the chance to speak to the Seniors, and talk about how and what I could do better to make sure I am on the correct path, and can represent the Senior Team as well. At the moment, my focus is strictly on the Junior team and we are trying to revisit some of our past performances and make sure we can work on key areas which need attention," added the 21-year-old Defender.