Bengaluru (Karnataka)[India], September 17 (ANI): In 2020, when the previous Netherlands worldwide Janneke Schopman joined the Indian Women’s Hockey Team help workers underneath then Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne, the crew was getting ready for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 as one of many darkish horses within the race to a podium end.
Just over three years later, Janneke Schopman will likely be main the Indian Women’s Hockey Team as Chief Coach within the upcoming version of the Hangzhou Asian Games, with the Indian Team tipped because the favourites for the celebrated match.
Schopman opened up in regards to the crew’s preparations and the way the gamers and training workers cope with the stress of expectations in a candid dialog on the most recent episode of Hockey Te Charcha, a podcast sequence launched by Hockey India.
The Dutch additionally mentioned whether or not the tag of favourites places extra stress on the Indian Women’s Hockey Team forward of the brand new task, which begins on September 27, 2023 towards Singapore.
“I believe the mindset the players have as an individual and as a team will make the difference. Can we perform under pressure and deal with the circumstances handed over to us? We have talked about this over the past couple of months and what it means to not be the underdogs like we were in Tokyo but being the favourites,” Schopman mentioned, earlier than including, “We have spoken about how folks view us and the expectations they’ve from this crew.
“She further said,”We have additionally addressed what risks are on the market which may trigger distraction, and journey us up, and the way we will cope with the identical. Sometimes, with all of the stuff taking place round, you neglect as a coach and a participant that you’re simply there to play hockey. It is essential to benefit from the journey as nicely. I hope we win; I feel we will win however it’s life and we’d not. As lengthy as we all know we have been capable of management what we will and we have been capable of play in addition to we will as people and as a crew, then we’ve to simply accept the end result. This is what we are attempting to instil within the ladies that we simply haveto play hockey and discover a option to work across the stress.”India are positioned in Pool A for the Asian Games together with Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong China and Singapore, whereas Japan, China, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Indonesia type Pool B. After their opening sport towards Singapore, India will subsequent face off towards Malaysia on twenty ninth September 2023, adopted by Korea on 1st October 2023 and Hong Kong China on third October 2023. With an opportunity to safe a direct qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics, India are aiming to complete the match with a Gold medal.
Coach Schopman opened up on the fact that the crew may face sudden variables through the match however pressured the significance of sustaining communication within the crew set-up to repair the tiniest of points.
“We have obviously spoken about our targets from the tournament but eventually it comes down to nerves and pressure. We have no idea what the Games village would be like, what challenges we may face that we cannot influence, how the food and weather would be like. We have to deal with everything that comes our way and our team is good with that,” she mentioned.
“This is why it is important to talk about the smallest of things before each tournament. A player might feel something small but they can be like ‘I am not saying because it is tiny’, but I have to be like ‘just say it, because it might be small now and we can solve it now. But if we don’t address it now, it might become big and then we may have a problem’,” Schopman added.
Schopman, a former Olympic and World Cup Gold medal-winning Dutch participant, has already led the Indian Women’s Hockey Team to a Bronze medal on the 2022 Commonwealth Games because the Chief Coach. She additionally led the Indian crew to a Gold medal within the inaugural FIH Nations Cup final 12 months. But Schopman has by no means skilled the stress of competing as a participant or a Coach on the Asian Games and is keen to face the problem.
“This is going to be my first time competing in an Asian Games as well. I try to emphasize that you can either go into every tournament believing it is the most important one or believing it’s just another tournament. It does not matter whether it is your first time in a tournament or the last time – what matters is that you are here now and you have to make the most of the opportunity and make it count. As a team, that is what we will try to do as well,” Schopman mentioned.
India will likely be getting into the Asian Games with a squad that features veteran gamers like Deep Grace Ekka, Captain Savita, and Vandana Katariya, amongst others. However, a number of newcomers, together with Deepika, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, and Bichu Devi, have been given the chance to compete within the prestigious multi-sport occasion for the primary time.
Speaking on her strategy of crew choice, Schopman mentioned, “I think it’s a testament to the entire group of 34 players who were part of the National Camp that it is always difficult to select the final squad of 18 players. The Senior players are still consistently performing and the Junior players are constantly knocking on the door. Hence, every time we have to select a team, it gets tougher,” Schopman mentioned.
“We want to go to the Asian Games to win and qualify for Paris. If we are able to do it, that’s a testament to all the 34 players and the work we did at the camp. For the selection of the 18 players, we cannot just take the ones with the most caps. I try to look at the team and try to see what each individual can bring in and how they can complement each other. Some of the junior players have developed tremendously in the last couple of months and hence, have become a part of the team,” she signed off.
On September 27, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team will start their marketing campaign towards Singapore at 1015 hrs IST. The matches will likely be aired dwell on Sony Sports Network. (ANI)