Syed not on the sidelines as he sticks to busy schedule

National hockey player Syed Syafiq Syed Mohd Cholan is keeping himself busy at home with his family during the movement control order (MCO).

He is juggling hockey, studies and cooking – but doing a fine job handling all three.

With his hockey stick, the fullback dribbles around his house compound in Ulu Kinta, Ipoh, with his siblings. Then, he helps his mother in the kitchen before burying himself in books as he tries to finish his dissertation.

“I’m trying to revise and complete my thesis. I’m in my final year, ” said the Human Development degree student at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

“I communicate with my lecturers regularly. It’s good that I can spend more time on my studies now.”

But his top priority is still hockey.

“Hockey is my first love. I play with my siblings at home, but I also follow the programmes set by the national team coaches too, ” said Syed Syafiq.

The Tenaga Nasional player reports his progress to the coaches via a WhatsApp chat group.

“We concentrate on our physique and fitness exercises. Fitness requires you to do lots of running, but I can’t do it at my home due to the limited space.

“I focus on exercises that increase my heart rate.

“Every day, we share our reports in the WhatsApp group. We also have tactical discussions.

“Right now, we need to keep ourselves focused as the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup could be in September, so the energy levels must be there.”

Syed Syafiq said some of the young talents in the team are supremely talented but not mature enough in decision making during matches and are unfit.

However, he feels that they would get better when they play in more competitive matches.

“It’s a good move to have many youngsters in the centralised squad, we have to train these boys for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.”

Syed Syafiq reminded Malaysians to keep themselves calm at home during this testing time.

“I urge everyone to remain patient and strong. This is the best time to be with our loved ones. Staying at home is better than staying at the hospital. Stay safe, healthy and fit.”

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