Hockey’s Rising Star Jyoti Credits Seniors For Guiding Her In Crunch Moments

New Delhi: The Indian women’s hockey team returned to India on August 9 after winning a memorable bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, ending a 16-year medal drought at the biannual event for the Indian women -hockey team.

The medal was a thrilling achievement for Jyoti, a rising ace on the Indian women’s hockey team, as it marked her first appearance at the famous mega sporting event.

When asked about the historic campaign of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the 22-year-old said: “The Commonwealth Games were particularly important to me because it was my first appearance for the team at a multi-disciplinary event. Winning the bronze medal fills us with great pride and joy and is a true reward for the efforts of everyone on the team. The bronze medal certainly made this outing doubly special for me.”

The Sonipat native added: “My overall experience of the games has been amazing. We won our games against Ghana, Wales and Canada but lost to England in the group stage. I also understood that losing and winning will always be an important part of any tournament. We were not favorites to win a medal at CWG 2022, but we were able to claim the bronze medal despite all the outside doubts, that’s why this achievement is so special as we exceeded all expectations.”

The rising star of the Indian women’s hockey team also spoke about the progress she has made since becoming part of the roster: “The players and the coaching staff have really helped me to improve my game. Now I feel much more confident carrying the ball and my movement off the ball has improved drastically. The coaching staff have also given me a lot of confidence to try something new and creative on the pitch.”

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Jyoti also spoke about the influence of head coach Janneke Schopman: “Janneke helped me improve my game. She taught me how to make the game simple and easy for me, I stop thinking about the ball and try to move it as quickly as possible. Their hands-on approach during training sessions bought out my best skills.”

The young star also spoke briefly about how she has dealt with the pressure of being part of the Indian women’s hockey team at a mega sporting event: “The CWG 2022 has been the biggest tournament of my life so far and there’s always extra pressure at this level, but the older members of the team really helped and guided me. Now, before I head out onto the field, I’m taking deep breaths to collect myself and focus on getting the job done.”

Jyoti continued how this has also helped her improve as a person: “I have become a very positive person over the last few years and that can be attributed to social media, books and music helping me to be an optimistic one to maintain attitude. It really helped me to develop my perspective, to focus on the “here and now”. This, in turn, has helped me improve as a player as I can now focus much more on tasks, whether on or off the field.”

“It’s an honor for me to be a part of this Indian women’s hockey squad and I hope we continue to improve so we can do even better in the next tournament,” she concluded.

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