Sardar Singh, the senior national hockey team captain believes the teams can improve their mental fitness and handle pressure better with the help of a psychologist. Indian hockey teams, both senior and junior, were often guilty of buckling under pressure in big events and Sardar Singh recently called for roping in a qualified psychologist to work on the mental preparation of the players.
The just-concluded Junior World Cup in New Delhi was the most recent example of Indian players’ weak mental conditions as, despite being tipped as a semi-final contender, the hosts crashed out in the pool stages to eventually finish a disappointing 10th. Asked if he felt the urgent need of a psychologist in the team, Sardar said he hoped the senior national side gets one before Hockey World League final round to be held here from January 10-18.
“I feel we definitely need a psychologist with the team as early as possible. We even discussed this thing with (Hockey India’s high performance director) Roelant Oltmans. When we were watching India’s Junior World Cup matches from the stands, the players looked to be under pressure,” said Sardar, the star midfielder, who is also the skipper of Waveriders.
Sardar said with a number of big events lined up, including the Senior World Cup and Champions Trophy, 2014 is a big year for Indian hockey. “Our present focus is on Hockey World League Final and we hope to do well there. 2014 is very important year for us and we will try to give our best,” he said.
India will be under the guidance of newly-appointed coach Terry Walsh in the Hockey World League Final and Sardar said the team was trying to adjust to his style of coaching.
“We have been training hard under Terry since the last one month. He has joined us just a month back and we are trying to adapt to his style,” he said.
“Every coach has different style but in Terry we have got one of the best coaches in the world.”
Bollywood actor John Abraham, who was today announced as a co-owner of the Waveriders team, was also present on the occasion, where the Delhi outfit named a completely new support staff for the second edition of HIL.
Bhubaneswar To Host 2014 Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy
Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar will host the 35th edition of the Champions Trophy men’s hockey tournament to be held from December 13-21 next year. The eight-team elite International Hockey Federation (FIH) event will be held at the Kalinga Stadium, which is presently under renovation and will be in full shape by June next year, Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra told PTI. Batra also informed that Hockey India will host the event in collaboration with the Odisha State government. “It has been more than a month that we have allocated the Champions Trophy to Odisha and it will be held in Bhubaneswar,” Batra said.
“We have full support from the Odisha Government. The stadium will have two astroturfs, one is ready and the work on the other is going on. The Odisha government has assured us that the entire construction work will be completed by June next year,” he said.
Batra said being a medium sized stadium and considering the growing popularity of the game in Odisha, the Champions Trophy is expected to draw huge crowds to the ground unlike previous events at the capital’s Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. Batra also said that the Delhi Government was partially to be blamed for low spectator turnouts during the just-concluded junior World Cup.”I sometimes just wonder is the Delhi Government anti-sports?”