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'With experience, things have changed for me': Sreejesh

Updated on: 02 March,2024 06:51 PM IST  |  Bengaluru
mid-day online correspondent |

Sreejesh, who is one of the top goalkeepers in the world, has represented India at the Olympics three times, and won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

'With experience, things have changed for me': Sreejesh

PR Sreejesh (Pic: AFP)

Veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh says he has learned to steer clear of negative thoughts with experience, something that has helped him immensely while guarding the post for the Indian team in big matches.

As he prepares for the upcoming Paris Olympics, Sreejesh spoke about the criticism that comes with the "thankless job" of manning the goalpost for the national side.

"It is a thankless job at times because if I made 10 saves and concede one goal, everyone will remember that one mistake. But I have accepted that and I have moved on with that," he said on Saturday months ahead of Paris Olympics.

"This profession has helped me in my personal life on how to deal with pressure and criticism as well," Sreejesh added during a conversation with David Lee, who is the head coach of Prime Volleyball League franchise Bengaluru Torpedoes.

One of the best players in modern-day volleyball, Lee represented USA thrice at the Olympics, and led his side to a gold medal and a bronze medal.

Sreejesh, who is one of the top goalkeepers in the world, has represented India at the Olympics three times, and won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

During a discussion on how athletes can develop mental strength at an early age, Sreejesh opened up on his struggles as a young goalkeeper.

"Goalkeeping is a mental game. Being a player, we understand how we want to get involved in a match. But, being a goalkeeper, I just stand behind and my game is in my head," Sreejesh said.

Also Read: Only Hockey World Cup medal is missing from my cabinet: India Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh

"As a young player, my negative feelings used to dominate my positive feelings, and that would lead me to concede goals. Now, with my experience, things have changed for me, and I allow positive thoughts to dominate."

Sreejesh praised Prime Volleyball League for providing a platform for youngsters to showcase their skills and recalled his experience of playing in the erstwhile Hockey India League.

"I was always very curious to see how the top overseas players are playing and how they train and behave.

"Earlier, I never used to care about my diet, preparations, or proteins. I was a good listener, but never took an initiative in meetings. But the league helped me in learning from the overseas player and helped me improve in all these aspects of my game." 

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