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Coach Sjoerd Marijne lavishes praise on Indian hockey players

Under Sjoerd Marijne, Indian hockey team recently won the Asia Cup in Dhaka. They are preparing for World Hockey League at Bhubaneshwar

other sports Updated: Nov 14, 2017 23:57 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Indian hockey team,Sjoerd Marijne,World Hockey League
Sjoerd Marijne-coached Indian hockey team is preparing for World Hockey League.(Hockey India)

Sjoerd Marijne, the coach of Indian men’s hockey team, is different from others. At the age of 43, the Dutchman brings a lot of energy in training sessions, plays alongside players with full intensity and challenges them like a perfect rival as he wants them to put their best foot forward in every match.

This makes the boys manage skills on their own and creates a situation where players experience the intensity of a real match situation.

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Words of encouragement as well as suggestions in the dressing room and playing field also make a difference.

“I am happy that I am in the company of good players. They (players) help me understand things and that is really good for our preparation for the upcoming World Hockey League at Bhubaneshwar,” Marijne told Hindustan Times over phone from Bangalore on Tuesday.

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After shifting to the men’s team from women’s team this September, Marijne’s first assignment was the Asia Cup in Dhaka last month where India won the prestigious event for the third time after a gap of 10 years.

“I find the success quite encouraging for the side ahead of the World League finals,” the coach said.

In fact, he didn’t enforce major changes and only fine-tuned the team’s planning as per the requirement of players as he wanted them to give their best.

“I keep on talking to seniors and get a feedback on every session here in training as it helps me introduce new things or schemes,” said Marijne, who believes mental training of a player is a must in sport.

READ | Indian women’s hockey team thump China 4-1 in Asia Cup

Marijne was training to be a tennis player in his early years but the lack of a mental conditioning coach thwarted his chances. “The best part about the Indian side is that players themselves take responsibility to do well and are open to suggestions and their proper implementation. That is what one requires for mental training,” he said.

Hoping for a good show at the Bhubaneshwar event, Marijne said home conditions would help hosts India improve their position in world hockey. “It’s a battle between the top eight teams in the world, and it is a good opportunity for us to improve our ranking. My simple suggestion to my boys is that they should rely on their strength,” he said.

The World League Finals is the best opportunity for youngsters to stake claim for a permanent berth in the Indian side for a series of big events next year including Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Olympic qualifiers and Hockey World Cup.

First Published: Nov 14, 2017 20:39 IST