India can again become one of the best teams in the world of hockey, believes the head coach of the Indian hockey team, Roelant Oltmans. For this to happen though, the Indians will have to change the culture to change from within and pull together as a team, the Dutchman states.
Many top coaches in the world have praised the progress which the Indian hockey team is currently making and Oltmans sees this as a big compliment. Oltmans told Hindustan Times, “I see it as a compliment that top sides in the world are seeing what India is doing. Maybe three-four years ago they weren’t even looking at India as a serious competitor. India is getting close to the top sides and now it’s up to us to show we can do it.”
Oltmans further added that a change in culture was required to continue further improvements in Indian hockey. “From what I’ve seen, there is a top down approach that exists in the Indian way of functioning – be it in business, family or work. To do well in a team sport, every player needs to take responsibility and work towards executing his personal best into the team but not by playing as an individual but as a team player. I see this changing in our team and I believe this change in attitude will bring us success.”
Oltmans also added that he will bring about a scientific approach in the way in which the team functions. “We will rely a lot on a scientific approach of training keeping in mind the new demands of international hockey. It is becoming such a fast sport where the players need to sprint and sprint almost throughout the game maintaining optimal energy levels. So, we need to make sure our training and testing programme is based on that, and how they cope with that pressure.”
Hopefully, Oltmans comments turn out to be true and the golden days of Indian hockey won’t be just tales of folklore.