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Former players line up for coaching stint (11/14/2017)
--K. Arumugam
Former players of India by and large presume they are born coaches and start resuming coaching assignments at national levels without formal training, and thus bringing in its wake enormous disasters to the nation which escape public scrutiny as the perpetrators are persons of repute.


But anybody who is somebody in hockey of the day knows well the fact that playing and coaching are two distinct aspects, practicing of each need specif training and acquisition of modern tools and the ability to read and use them.

Thankfully, it seems some sort of wisdom has started dawning on Indian scenario on this vital aspect of team building.

Many former players of repute, most of them Olympic grade, evinced keen interest to immerse themselves in coaching and took a baby step recently.

They got a godsend when Sports Authority of India, with technical collaboration with Hockey India, recently organized a three-day workshop in Delhi, in which best of coaches in the contemporary scene acted as resource persons.


Such great players as Deepak Thakur, Samir Dad, Devesh Chauhan, Baljit Singh Dadwal, Adrian D'Souza, Vikram Pillay, Danish Mujtaba, women hockey star Soundarya Yendala were present to listen to the likes of Lucknow & Kakmigahara hero Harendra Singh, present national Men's team chief coach Sjored Mrinje, Hockey India's High Performance Director David John, Dronacharya Dr AK Bansal.

Many specialists in the area of psychology, nutrition and physiotherapy too gave topical lectures. Coaches and these specialists also had interactive sessions.

It is interesting note most of the players attended the course are still force to reckon with in the domestic circuit. And players like Soundarya Yendla still have stuff to return to national side.

HPD David John, an Australian import, spoke about various topics including conditioning for the modern hockey player, Hockey India’s Selection Criteria, Demonstration of Warm-up, Resume and complete the Skill assessment, Assessing the Test Results, Game Awareness, Indian playing style definition etc.


Expectedly, successful Indian coach Harendra Singh articulated about Basic Skills, defensive structure, out-letting, forward press, Planning a training Season (Pre-season & in-season) and importantly and fittingly Characteristics of a Successful Coach.

National Men's coach Sojerd Marinje too dwelt on the above subjects in his inimitable style.

A lot of scientific aspects were covered in the coaching workshop.

Dr. G.L.Khanna spoke about Physiology of Exercise while the subject of Match Review and Analysis was taken up by Aardhi Chatapathy. Abilasha Saharan spoke about Psychological aspects connected to hockey players.


Dr MP Ganesh, who is CEO of National Hockey Academy spoke about 'Coaching – A philosophy'. Ms. G Vani Bhushan dwelt on Nutrition and why it is a vital aspect for modern hockey. Dr. Hema Valecha's lecture on physiotherapy and first aid was well received.

Dr AK Bansal doubled up as resource person as well as event coordinator. The Dronacharya awardee is presently Administrator of the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, venue of the 1st Coaching Course for basic Hockey Coaching.

It is learnt that the workshop is first in the step to organize coaching and grading coaches on a national level and in a uniform fashion. An area that was in demand for long.

It seems such beginner courses will be held in different zones in the days to come.

Young coaches from Institutions such as Indian Railways, ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation, Air India, IIT Roorker, Punjab National Bank, and States as far as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, participated.

Other participants include from Sports Authority of India, MP Hockey Academy, Sports Authority of Gujarat, Punjab Sports Department, Army Sports Control Board etc..

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