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IndiaAsian Games: Men’s hockey team undergoes shift in philosophy

Asian Games: Men’s hockey team undergoes shift in philosophy


NL Corresspondent

The Indian men's hockey team is undergoing a philosophy shift, moving away from the traditional attacking style of play with new head coach Craig Fulton emphasising on having a sound defense.

has always been the Indian team's weakness. Playing with an attacking mindset the strikers and midfielders move forward, leaving the defence vulnerable.

However since the time he took over the top job in April, Fulton has made it clear that chinks in defense are non-negotiable for him.

“It's a little bit of philosophy change, we really want to improve our defence and counter-attack to win and that's the philosophy,” Fulton told PTI in an exclusive interview.

“And also the mental side of the things, when the team and individuals are struggling, we are working on finding out ways to get the job done,” Fulton said.

The South African added that working on the mental side of things is also top priority for them as a gold-medal finish would fetch them a direct berth at next year's Paris Olympics.

For this, Cup-winning Indian team's former mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton will be engaging with the men's hockey team during the business end of the Asian Games.

Upton, who was one of the key members of the Indian cricket team's support staff en-route to the 2011 World Cup triumph, has already conducted three mental conditioning sessions at the Camp in Bengaluru.

“Yes, it's (the sessions with Upton) been very very helpful but it's still early days. It's about understanding how the team works and what makes the players tick from the mental perspective, to find out where we are as a team and where we want to go and what we need to work on. So that's where Paddy has come on.”

“It's just a process to get the outcome. It's about when you start and where you want to be as a team. That was really engaging, there were lots of lessons learnt from the cricket team's 2011 World Cup journey along the way.

“And Paddy will be there with us at the Asian Games for the last week of the tournament,” he added.

Fulton, under whose guidance India won the Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai last month, is pretty clear about his present target — to become number one in Asia by winning the Asian Games gold and qualify for Paris Olympics.

“I have only been here for 4 months with the team where we had three really good competitions and things are going really well. At the end of the day we will now get tested in the Asian Games. And we just want to qualify (for Paris Olympics).

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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