With an aim to enhance mental toughness of the players ahead of upcoming international tournaments, the Indian hockey team management is all set to rope in a Bangalore-based lady sports psychologist on temporary basis.
Dr Chaitanya Sridhar, a former Sports Authority of India (SAI) employee and a renowned sports psychologist, is likely to work with the players in the national camps on a trial basis beginning Thursday.
Sridhar had already met India's chief coach Micheal Nobbs and the players at the SAI South Centre in Bangalore last week and going by indications, her appointment is just a formality now.
"We are thinking of bringing in a sports psychologist. Bangalore-based Dr Chaitanya Sridhar, who studied at the University of Western Australia, has approached us last week and made a presentation," Nobbs said.
"We have decided to give her an opportunity on trial basis and she will be working in the national camps."
Sridhar also confirmed the development and said she expects to start work in a day or two.
"I have not yet started. The things are in the final stages but probably, I will start my session with the players from Thursday or Friday," Sridhar said.
"I met the coach last week and also had an interaction with the players on Saturday during the trials," she said.
Sridhar worked with SAI from 2002 till 2003 before opening up her own consultation clinic in Bangalore.
"I used to work with SAI but now I work on a consultation basis. I also work with national teams whenever they require my services," she added.
Incidentally, the need for a sports psychologist for the team was raised by Nobbs' predecessor Jose Brasa last year after India's 0-8 drubbing at the hands of Australia in the Commonwealth Games final.
But it only gathered pace after Nobbs's arrival last month as India are all set to play crucial tournaments -- the Champions Trophy in December and the London Olympic qualifiers next year.