Indian women’s hockey team forward Jyoti says chief coach Janneke Schopman’s hands-on approach has helped her to make drastic improvements as she won a bronze medal on debut at the Commonwealth Games.
The 22-year-old was part of the Indian women’s hockey team that returned to India after clinching a memorable bronze medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, ending a 16-year medal drought at the quadrennial event.
“The players and coaching staff have really helped me improve my game. Now I feel a lot more confident while carrying the ball and my off the ball movement has improved drastically,” she said in a Hockey India (HI) release.
“The coaching staff have also given me a lot of confidence to try something different and creative on the field.”
On the influence of Schopman, Jyoti said: “Janneke has helped me improve my game. She has taught me how to make the game simple and easy for myself, I do not ponder on the ball anymore and look to move it as swiftly as possible.
“Her hands-on approach during practice sessions has bought out the best of my abilities.” Talking about her maiden appearance at the mega sporting event, Jyoti said: “Commonwealth Games was especially important for me because this was my first appearance for the team at a multi-discipline event.
“Winning the bronze medal filled us up with an immense sense of pride and joy and is a true reward for everyone’s efforts connected to the team. The bronze medal has surely made this outing doubly special for me.” The women’s team claimed the bronze medal after pulling off a thrilling 2-1 shootout win over New Zealand after a 1-1 scoreline in regulation time.
“My whole experience of the Games was amazing. We won our matches against Ghana, Wales and Canada but lost to England in the group stages. I also understood that losing and winning will always be an important part of any tournament,” she said.
“We were not favourites for a medal at the CWG 2022, but we were able to clinch the bronze medal despite all the external doubt that is why this achievement is so special as we exceeded everyone’s expectations.”
“It is an honour for me to be part of this Indian Women’s Hockey squad, and I hope we keep improving so that we can do even better at the next tournament.”