“Learning a lot from Deep Grace Ekka,” says Indian Women’s Hockey Team defender Udita 

Udita was part of the team that toured Argentina in January and Germany in February this year

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Playing against the world’s top teams like Argentina and Germany earlier this year has brought a massive change in how young Udita perceives these teams. “I had never seen these teams play in person and this was the first time I was playing against them. There was a sense of nervousness and excitement at the same time before the start of the tour. But after a few good matches, surely, I felt that we too can win against them if we work harder,” expressed the 23-year-old Udita.

Playing against these big teams was a big learning for Udita. She said, “It is when you play top teams like Argentina and Germany, that you realise how much harder we need to work on our game. We were playing these tours after a break of one year and we felt that we were improving day-by-day during the tour,” she said.

The Haryana-born Udita has been a regular feature in the Indian Camp since 2017 and in these past four years, she feels she has transformed as a player. “Earlier, I was playing as a forward, but I felt like I didn’t play to my potential. I also had a knee injury in 2019 which kept me out of the game for a long spell. I really had to work on my confidence during this phase. The team particularly Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne and our Scientific Advisor Wayne Lombard were extremely supportive. I now play in the backline and really enjoy my roll and get to learn a lot of Deep Grace,” she said.

Back in the national coaching camp in SAI, Bengaluru after a brief break, Udita says her focus will be on aiming to make the final team for the Tokyo Olympic Games. “Each one in the group is as talented as the other and surely there will be a healthy competition to make the final team for the Tokyo Olympic Games. My focus will be on working on the areas I have been asked to improve individually and ensure I execute my role properly. Having done well against these top teams recently, the mood in the camp is upbeat ahead of the Olympics,” Udita said.

 

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