India men’s hockey team coach Graham Reid has warned his players not to get caught up in the moment and advised them to take their game to the next level if they conced a goal in next month’s FIH World Cup.
Reid believes that a positive attitude is necessary when playing a major tournament like the World Cup.
India will open their World Cup campaign against Spain in Rourkela on January 13, the first day of the tournament.
“You (Indian players) get a little caught up when you play an event of this magnitude (World Cup). Don’t get caught up in the moment. It can be quite disheartening when you lose the ball or get a goal,” said Reid, who was part of Australia’s squad at the 1990 World Cup in Lahore.
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“It’s important to develop a ‘the next thing’ mindset. You can’t change what happened, so you just move on to the next task and stay focused on what needs to be done,” he added.
Describing how the Australian team prepared for the 1990 World Cup, Reid said closing the mind to the “raw spectators” and “playing quietly” had done the Kookaburras a world of good during his playing days.
“In the run up to the 1990 World Cup we played smaller games and played in silence – we weren’t allowed to talk. A recording of the crowd on loudspeakers would play in the background and we learned not to rely on shouting, but had to get used to it turn around and watch,” he said in a release issued by Hockey India.
“We had to learn to cover the sound. And this time in Odisha, it will be just as important for us to be prepared for the crowd.” Reid admitted that due to the highly competitive nature of modern hockey, it was very difficult to pick the favorites for the mega event, which will be co-hosted by Bhbaneswar and Rourkela.
“It’s so hard to pick a team. If I think about it today, I could pick Australia, Belgium and India; and tomorrow I could come back with Holland, Germany and India,” he said.
“Of course I would put India in the top three because if we play well, we have a good chance of getting there. Any of these top eight can win this World Cup. It’s both daunting and exciting at the same time.” Recalling the game against India in the 1990 World Cup, Reid said the goal he scored was special to him.
“I remember playing against India and Jagbir. When we got together in the beginning I remember wishing him. We shared a good rapport.
“I happened to score a goal in that game and it was a highlight for me because scoring goals when you played as an inside forward wasn’t as productive in those days as it is now,” he said.