Team to focus on mental strength at World League
As there is no pressure of Olympic qualification on the players, the Indian hockey team will focus on the mental aspect of the game at the World League Semi-Final Round to prepare for the bigger challenges in the future.
The team looked in a relaxed mood on the eve of the departure for Belgium and despite the absence of key players -- V Raghunath, S V Sunil, <g data-gr-id="23">Kothajit</g> Singh -- head coach Paul van Ass and captain Sardar Singh are not overtly worried.
While Sunil, Gurbaz and <g data-gr-id="24">Kothajit</g> were ruled out recently, the coach on Friday informed that Raghunath has also been ruled out after injuring his hamstring during <g data-gr-id="25">parctice</g>.
Rupinderpal Singh will take <g data-gr-id="22">place</g> of Raghunath while Devender Walmiki and <g data-gr-id="26">Satbeer</g> are the other replacements in the team. Rupinder though will not play in his usual position from the centre but will be tried from the lines on both the sides. The good news is that Gurbaz has started practising and will not miss the tournament.
Van Ass is applying the Leary Rose’s model, which focuses on <g data-gr-id="31">interpersonal</g> relationship between people, to help the players understand each other better. “Finishing is like defence. We have to make sure that we have a fair chance and that’s a team effort. You can train for <g data-gr-id="29">that</g> but <g data-gr-id="28">biggest</g> part is execution. That’s a mental aspect. Of <g data-gr-id="27">course</g> we are working on that. you have to grab tiny <g data-gr-id="33">chances</g> that can make a big difference,” Van Ass said ahead of a practice session at Major Dhyan Chand National stadium.