For coach Pritam, it’s all about bonding with her wards | india | Hindustan Times
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For coach Pritam, it’s all about bonding with her wards

As one of the coaches of the women's hockey team, the Commonwealth Games will be a crucial phase in Pritam Rani Siwach's career, and the 36-year-old is leaving no stone unturned to make the outing a success.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2012 12:57 IST
Sharad Deep

As one of the coaches of the women's hockey team, the Commonwealth Games will be a crucial phase in Pritam Rani Siwach's career, and the 36-year-old is leaving no stone unturned to make the outing a success.

"It thrills me as I was part of the gold-winning side in the 2002 Manchester Games. Now, I am the coach and the team's success will also decide my fate," Pritam told Hindustan Times after India's 5-3 win over Wales in a practice match at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Saturday.

"Even though I'm on the bench, I feel excited whenever the girls score a goal. Till a few months ago, I was playing along with them."

The Arjuna awardee said she didn't need to make major changes in her coaching style after taking over the reins.

"But, I need to have a longer stint with the girls to work on each player individually. It will help me understand their strengths and weaknesses on the field," she said.

"I had just a week's time with the girls before the World Cup and now the CWG is upon us. So, I didn't go for a big change in our style. What I am trying is to keep their morale high for a better show."

The Indian women would be looking for a hat-trick of podium finishes after the gold and silver in 2002 and 2006 respectively.

"People's expectations are high so we are feeling some pressure. This is the time when we should live up to expectations by repeating the 2002 performance," said Pritam.

She admitted it took her time to adjust after becoming coach. "Initially, it wasn't easy as it was the same girls with whom

I played earlier. Now, we listen to songs, watch cartoons together and enjoy chatting after

finishing our day's schedule," she said, adding, "these things have helped me strike a cordial relationship with them. I realise how important a lady coach is to the team."