Hockey

Junior Hockey World Cup | Preparing for the shootout lottery

Fortuitous: Spain coach Alejandro Siri feels a bit of luck is involved in the shootouts.   | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

As a tie-breaker tool, shootouts probably pose the sternest of tests for teams. A few teams at the Junior World Cup have had to face this challenge.

Not easy

“It’s not easy to train for it, because in training it looks easy. Under pressure, it’s a different thing altogether. So when we train for shootouts, if you don’t score you are out. It’s basically the same as in a match,” said Germany head coach Valentin Altenburg.

According to South Africa head coach Sihle Ntuli, it’s a lot about the training.

“We have trained the players a lot, so we have to be ready. The guys who took it (in the classification match against Pakistan) trained for a month. We just let them do what they have been practising.

“We normally make two teams and make a competition. I think that helped us. I just share the stories (from the senior team) and moments with the players as much as possible. It’s a lot of pressure,” said Ntuli.

Spain coach Alejandro Siri feels a bit of luck is also involved in the shootouts. “It’s a lottery. It’s a fight between the goalkeeper and the players. It’s different from the (penalty) strokes,” said Siri.

Goalkeepers find time to practise saving shootout shots. “After penalty corner practice, we take five-six shootouts. The one who goes first takes three, the next one takes two,” said India custodian Prashant Chauhan.

Crucial factors

Training to save shootout attempts and maintaining one’s composure are crucial factors for a goalkeeper.

“I kept calm and trusted my teammates. We practised for the shootouts in the last two months,” said Argentina goalkeeper Nehuen Hernando after his team’s shootout success against France in the semifinals on Friday.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 1:26:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/junior-hockey-world-cup-preparing-for-the-shootout-lottery/article37830113.ece

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