Tobias Hauke is a long-serving member of the German men’s national team. His 310 international appearances include two Olympic gold medals [Beijing and London], as well as a bronze medal from the Rio 2016 Olympics Games. Despite his long career, Hauke still brings the same high levels of motivation and top class performance to each game and his influence on the team is immense. With the first FIH Hockey Pro League encounter with Belguim just days away, Hauke is ready to pit his talents against the world’s best.
Do you feel as if you are physically and mentally prepared for the Pro League season to begin again?
Tobias Hauke: As a team, we are prepared and in a good way physically for the first game after Corona. We do have two weeks of Bundesliga [club hockey] before we play Belgium in Düsseldorf and this is good preparation to be ready for two games against the best nation, at the moment, in the world. We are using the time between now and then to be physically prepared. Mentally, I can only speak for myself. I am 32 years old and I am looking forward to playing the best teams. You could wake me up at midnight and I would be ready to play against a national team, so mentally that will not be a problem for us.
Has the past few months and the Covid-19 situation changed your perspective on being a national team player in any way?
Tobias Hauke: Of course Corona was a challenge for all of us and it has changed, a little bit, my perspective on being a national team player. We learnt how it is to live without one of the most important things in our lives and now we are back and we hope we can play the next month at a really high level and enjoy it. I think it is good to know what life is like without hockey. We will be really prepared for the next month.
How do you and your teammates feel about playing hockey under strict health/hygiene guidelines and the challenges that will pose?
Tobias Hauke: I can’t say much about this as we haven’t yet played at professional level under Corona restrictions. We will see how it works. I know everyone has worked really hard to make it possible to play at this high level again. To be honest, as a player, it is a bit weird now to see what we have to do to play at a high level, but we hope it works and we come through this part and that we can play two games in Düsseldorf. It is the only way to play hockey, under these restrictions.
What are you hoping of the next few months of Pro League hockey?
Tobias Hauke: I hope that we can play in the Pro League as it is planned at the moment, firstly against Belgium and later in the year against Great Britain. I hope until then, it will be a step-by-step improvement all over the world and next year, in March, we have a situation where we can play it again as we have done in the past. Hopefully everything will work out as the FIH have planned it and we can all stay healthy.