The Asian Games debacle still fresh on their minds, the Indian men’s hockey team chief coach Harendra Singh on Wednesday tasked his players to furnish him five instances of poor performance during the continental multi-sporting event in Indonesia.
India had lost to Malaysia in the semifinals via penalty shoot-off and eventually settled for a bronze after beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the third place play-off.
“It is important for every player to be accountable and also be able to criticise their own mistake. As a team activity, I have asked all players to mention five instances where they thought their own individual performance was poor during the Asian Games,” Harendra said after the team’s training session here.
India conceded a late goal after leading 2-1 and the match then went to the shoot-off.
“We were blanked out those last two-and-a-half minutes, no doubt. But, there is no need to change our whole approach to the game as the team did well throughout. We paid the prize for under performing but there were also a lot of positives in the entire tournament and it’s important to revisit India’s performance at the Champions Trophy where they did well against higher ranked teams,” he said.
The team is undergoing a camp at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium here ahead of the Asian Champions Trophy to be held in Muscat, Oman from October 18 to 28.
The team, after reporting for the month-long national camp, was put through the routine Yo-Yo Test that helps analyse the fitness levels of the players.
“The weather conditions here are quite challenging. It’s humid and can be exhausting and a player can get tired much faster than usual which is why we are paying more attention to recovery sessions post training. But working hard in this condition will help us in Muscat during Asian Champions Trophy where the weather will be similar to this,” Harendra said.
“With all top teams in Asia who were part of the Asian Games coming to Muscat next month, we need to focus on defending our title because only a win can help us forget about the semifinal loss in the Asian Games,” he said.
The Core Group will continue the training camp till October 14 when they will leave for Muscat.