"The pressure was on us" - Mohith HS recounts India's title-winning victory over Pakistan at Men's Junior Asia Cup 

Mohith HS receives an award. (Image Credits: Hockey India)
Mohith HS receives an award. (Image Credits: Hockey India)

Mohith HS was an integral part of the Indian men's junior hockey team which recently won the Men's Junior Asia Cup. Being the Indian goalkeeper, Mohith HS was an important cog in the wheel and had a fantastic run in the tournament. A 2-1 victory over arch-rivals Pakistan saw India lift the coveted cup.

An overjoyed Mohith expressed his happiness at winning the tournament and all that went behind winning the title, in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda. He opened up on a variety of topics including the players' emotions and preparations ahead of the marquee tournament.

Read excerpts from the interview below:

Q: How were the emotions in the camp prior to the game and after winning the tournament?

A: It was so good. We should not be involved in emotions, the players who are playing. If we get involved in the emotions, we don't play according to the strategy or upto our emotion. So we should not be mixed up in our emotions while playing. The emotions should flow after the match.

Basically we should focus on our training, what we do and how to win it. No emotions should be included in it. After winning, the emotions are different. After the match, we can enjoy ourselves.

Q: How was the crowd support at the stadium? Did the high expectations from the crowd put pressure on the players?

A: I have never played in such a crowded stadium in my life. This was my first experience. It was so crowded because there were Indian and Pakistani fans. It was good. The pressure was on us. However, we didn't take pressure and we played our game so that's the reason why we won it.

Q: How was the morale in the camp? How difficult is the competition?

A: Everyone is dedicated and there is good competition going on in our camp. So much of potential in the players! If there are competitions, the players will push themselves above their limit. Everyone was hungry to win. They are even hungrier to perform well in the future tournaments as well.

Q: How did the team prepare for the tournament? Did the junior side play against the seniors?

A: We had a schedule for that. We practiced in the same pattern that we were going to play in at the Asia Cup. We used to keep two days of matches, one day rest and gym.

We played against the seniors and amongst ourselves. So playing against seniors helped us gain a lot of experience. Playing amongst us was also an experience. There are two different aspects to that. Playing against seniors was like playing against a difficult team.

Playing amongst ourselves was also a difficult aspect as the playing styles will be different. We can see where we were going wrong and we could analyze and work on that.

That helped with the planning a lot and we were training mentally as well as physically. We were doing a lot of gym workouts to increase our fitness. Our fitness was good in the tournament. There was a lot of humidity, so fitness helped us a lot.

Q: How did the team ensure that they were mentally fit for this marquee tournament?

A: We need to be mentally prepared for the country. We have a yoga class twice a week in the camp. It helps us to be calm and patient in the ground. It started a long time back before the senior coaches came.

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