Young forward Gursahibjit Singh is keen on using the current time amid the Covid-19 pandemic to improve multiple facets of the game in order to find a regular spot in the Indian men's hockey team.
Having made his debut for the senior team at the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2019, Gursahibjit -- who is currently part of the national camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility -- has so far played 21 games for India in which he scored a total of six goals.
"I have always been a quick learner, and I want to make sure I am learning something or the other every single day. We have a lot of things to look forward to, including the biggest tournament - the Olympic Games," said the 21-year-old.
"So I am giving my 100 per cent in each session, whether it is on the hockey pitch or in the gym, I am eager to keep improving in all areas. I know there is no substitute for hard work and I will be making sure I am taking all the opportunities I get," he added.
Having had time to address a variety of key areas, Gursahibjit believes that physical strength plays an important role for an international striker.
"In the past, we used to have silky players who would make their way between defenders and showcase their skill to score the goals, but I believe hockey has changed a lot over the years. In modern hockey, you have to be strong if you are a striker or an attacking player," he said.
"You have very tight and limited spaces on the pitch, and once you have the ball, or even if you're making some runs, you have to have a physical presence which troubles the opposition, and having that strength and muscle is something I've been trying to work on these past few months," added the forward.
In his short career so far, the forward has been part of some memorable Indian wins in the past two years, most notably the Olympic Test Event held in Tokyo in August 2019, where the youngster scored three goals, including one in the final against New Zealand.
Gursahibjit sees this start to his young career as a positive one. "When I was playing back at home in Gurdaspur, Punjab, at a young age, I didn't think I would one day be a part of the national team. I started playing because I used to like the sport, but playing it professionally? I wasn't really sure. However, as fate would have it, I happened to play well and slowly understood a lot of technical things about our sport that led me to winning some excellent accolades in my formative years," said the young striker as he looked back on his journey.
"Since then I have come a long way, and now I would say I'm definitely planning to become one of the best strikers in the world. I have some amazing people here in the team who have certainly helped me grow - my coaches and teammates have always understood how I like to play my hockey, but I think there's still so much for me to learn and then put into execution to be able to achieve my huge ambitions with the country," he added.