Indian hockey team needs psychologist: Brasa

Last Updated: Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 22:13

Pune: Stressing on the need for a sports
psychologist, Indian hockey team`s chief coach Jose Brasa
today said the apathy of the officials had prevented one from
being appointed in the post so far.

"I am of the view that the team needs a psychologist who
will talk to each of the players one by one and not address
them sitting them in a team meeting. A Sport psychologist
should be with the team full time," he told reporters here.

A Spanish national - Eneko Larumbe - was to be here (in
India) by September 16, but he is still losing weight over a
phone call, he added.

"He (Larumbe) had a talk with the officials of Hockey
India about his appointment, but the second talk about his
visa and tickets is yet to happen. He is losing his weight
waiting for the call," Brasa said.

Asked whether the team will seek his services when they
move on to Spain, where they are acheduled to play three
practice matches, he said, "That won`t be possible. The rules
here say that he must first come to Delhi to sign the
contract."

Taking a dig at the way the sport is being run in the
country by its administrators, Brasa said he was happy with
the team`s performance though it could have performed better
if not for the apathy of the officials.

"Everybody including the Minister, secretary, joint
secretary had promised us that we will get all the material
ready once we comeback from Canada. I think no one knows that
we have returned from Canada," he told reporters here.

"I think we have improved a little bit (since his taking
over the team). But we should have improved more but for the
equipment provided to us. For the tools we have, we have
performed very well," he said.

All that we had used for were tools like the GPRS, and
laptops to work on the matches, he added.

Brasa criticised the selectors` decision to try out
during the tours of Europe and Canada as it did not help in
having a settled outfit.

"To test players you need to play at home. You cannot
change them abroad. Six players out of the 22 selected for
the Canada tour were new. It means almost 20-30 per cent of
the team had been changed."

Asked about the targets he had set for himself as the
coach of the Indian team, he said, "my target is to get the
Indian team into the the top four by 2010."

About things that he would like to change in the way
hockey is played in India, he said, "the most difficult things
is the way things are organised here. The players play in a
natural way. They do the same every match. Also they tend to
play alone. Team work is more important for co-ordination."

"We are also trying to mix the Indian attack with the
European defence," he added.

Asserting that he was excited at the prospect of the
team playing in the forthcoming Men`s Champions Challenge
tournament in Argentina, Brasa said, the team will not only
play for a win there but also to improve its rankings.

"This is the first official competition as the coach of
the Indian team. I`m very happy that my debut for India is
coming."

"Out of this tournament our aim is not only to win it but
to jump higher in the world rankings from our current position
that will ensure that we are placed in Group B in the next
year`s World Cup. We have an opportunity to leapfrog over
Canada but it is difficult to go past Argentina even if we win
all our matches as they would have to finish last for us to do
so. "

The 22-member Indian team will participate in the
eight-nation event in Salta, Argentina from December 6-13, the
winner of which will qualify for next year`s Champions Trophy.

India will play their first group match against New
Zealand on December 6 before taking on China (December 8) and
Belgium (December 10). The final will be played on December
13.

The Indian team will leave for Madrid on November 23 for
a one-week training-cum-competition tour en-route Salta.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 22:13

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