Hockey

They have unbelievable skills and only need to execute plans, says Oltmans

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A final appearance in the recent Champions Trophy has really captured everyone’s imagination!

The last of the eight gold medals in Moscow in 1980 may be a distant glory, but the captain of the current Indian hockey team P. Sreejesh has no hesitation saying, “We are really working hard for that dream”.

A final appearance in the recent Champions Trophy has really captured everyone’s imagination!

“That is my life. It is a dream. I think it is more important nowadays because our hockey fans are missing it,” Sreejesh said.

The Dutch coach of the Indian team, Roelant Oltmans was more forceful as he captured the essence of Indian hockey, and his commitment to rebuild the team and take it back to greater heights.

“I believe in the players. They have unbelievable skills. Skills that I have never seen in the world some times. But in their minds, they are not always prepared to execute them at the right moment. That is the big challenge. How to make them be aware of what to do, and when,” said Oltmans.

He was quick to point out that the players executed the idea as if in a dream sometimes, and at other times, they did things which made him hide behind the curtains.

“Guys, what is this. We never do anything like this,” he recalled his address to the team, suggesting that such moments strike any moment.

Team has improved

He was categorical that long discussions, video sessions and corrective methods have made the team get better. “I am sure the team has improved. No doubt about that,” he said, stressing that the improvement has to be at a high level to help the team compete on par with the best in the world, on any given day.

“For me, the Olympic Games is all about winning. Someone else had said something different. But, modern Olympic Games is about winning,” Oltmans said.

“These players have unbelievable skills. The only thing is, they are not always showing it,” Oltmans said.

With the introduction of a quarterfinal stage in hockey at the Olympics, India — which failed to make the cut for the Beijing Olympics for the only time in history, and which finished 12th among as many teams in London — would attempt to climb the ladder.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 7:38:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/They-have-unbelievable-skills-and-only-need-to-execute-plans-says-Oltmans/article14551082.ece

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