Players’ fitness on the line if they don’t follow Arul’s training online

Stick to the new norm: The lockdown won’t keep national hockey coach Arulselvaraj down as he says the work will carry on.

PETALING JAYA: There is no time to waste as national hockey coach A. Arulselvaraj revives the online training programmes to keep the national players fit.

He wants his players to hit the ground running when the Asian Champions Trophy begins in Bangladesh in March.

The players had hoped to get some “warm-up” ahead of the Asian meet by playing in the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) but the league has been postponed due to the government’s lockdown in several states.

Arul, who has just returned from Ireland after celebrating his 47th birthday with his family, said the work will carry on.

“We’ve started our online training programme yesterday evening (on Thursday), ” said Arul, who completed his seven-day quarantine after returning home on Jan 7.

“We’ll keep the online training and communication going.

“Before the second camp ended, we tested their physical level and they have improved. This must be maintained. I want players to take their own initiatives to keep fit too.

“I’m sure they are down without any matches to play but they are mature enough to work on their own game. As coaches, we will continue to keep the lads motivated.”

Arul said he also feels refreshed after spending a short time with his family in Ireland.

“I had no plans to return to Ireland, but my youngest daughter wrote a letter saying that she only wants her dad for Christmas, so I could not say no to that, ” said Arul.

“It was also lockdown in Ireland. I was at home most of the time and it was really good. We cooked and played board games. The trip was worth it.”

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