Indian hockey midfielder Jaskaran Singh says he is learning the tricks of the craft from senior players like captain Manprit Singh as he hopes to reach the Tokyo Olympics.
Yaskaran, the son of the hockey Olympian and former coach of India Rydinder Singh Jr., is currently training with the senior core men’s group for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics at the Indian Sports Inspection Center (SAI) here.
Manpreet, striker Mandeep Singh and Jaskaran are all from Jalandhar in Punjab.
“Our homes are about 2-3 km apart. They both help me a lot. It’s important to have a good understanding between midfielder and striker, and
I feel that our understanding comes naturally because we have been playing together for a long time, “said Yaskaran.
“Even Manpreet, along with other adult players on the team, also guided me all the time. Whenever I feel doubtful, I talk to them for clarity,” said the midfielder, who made his international debut in 2019.
Reflecting on his third international tour in Argentina recently, Yaskaran said: “I played internationally after a very long time, so I was focused on giving my 100%. I had the support of coaches throughout the tour.
“The senior players also motivated me and gave me the confidence to compete against the Olympic champions. They helped me improve my mistakes throughout the tour. So it was a great learning experience for me personally.”
Regarding the preparations for the Olympic Games, Jaskaran said: “We are really in good shape and we are preparing well for the Olympic Games.
“We are currently working hard, working on our structure and focusing on covering all the basics. I feel we are having a good competition in our training, which I think brings out the best in us,” he said.
Yaskaran said his father, who was part of the 1984 Olympic team, was his biggest inspiration and reason to start playing hockey.
“My childhood memories are entirely related to hockey. Not only did I grow up watching it, but I also honed my skills under it. He is my first coach and my inspiration.”