Penalty corner execution requires improvement: Schopman
Womens hockey team coach Janneke Schopman on Tuesday said Indias penalty corner execution requires massive improvements if they are to not repeat their World Cup debacle in the Commonwealth Games.The Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8, and India will look to stage a turnaround there after finishing a lowly ninth in the World Cup, a year after their historic fourth place finish in the Tokyo Olympics.Our performance in the World Cup was not good enough in terms of outcome.
- United Kingdom
Women's hockey team coach Janneke Schopman on Tuesday said India's penalty corner execution requires massive improvements if they are to not repeat their World Cup debacle in the Commonwealth Games.
The Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8, and India will look to stage a turnaround there after finishing a lowly ninth in the World Cup, a year after their historic fourth-place finish in the Tokyo Olympics.
''Our performance in the World Cup was not good enough in terms of outcome. We created a lot of penalty corners which is good, but executing was not right,'' the Dutchwoman said a day after the team's arrival here.
''There are many reasons for that. We struggled with our injections. It's a different field than we typically train on. I don't think we adapted that well. It has to do with perfecting your execution which we will look to focus on in the next couple of weeks.'' India struggled badly in converting their penalty corners in the World Cup. Statistics show that India could convert only four out of the 43 opportunities they got over six games.
The Janneke-coached side had Gurjit Kaur as its designated penalty corner expert, but they also experimented with players like Monika and Deep Grace Ekka which, clearly did not work out.
The worst was against group toppers New Zealand when they converted only once from 13 chances to go down 3-4, dealing a big blow to their qualifying hopes.
''As with every skill, it's about a multitude of things. We did focus on these areas already, it's about fine-tuning it individually.'' ''We're on the right track'' ================ However, the 45-year-old also remarked that their team is no more looked down upon in world hockey with the opponents often preferring to take a defensive approach against them.
''You see a small transition happening when we play teams now that these teams prefer to play more defensively than in the past where we played more defensively, while other teams would attack.
''If you see China, England and Canada... These teams were happily just defending. As a team, we have to get used to it mentally so that we have less space to attack.
''We have to learn how we can do more with the ball. Overall, the tournament has shown us that we are on the right path but now fine-tune our skills in relation to how other teams approach us,'' she said.
Asked about the omission of former skipper Rani Rampal, she said: ''I don't think it's a relevant question. I cannot comment on players who are not here.
''I was very pleased with the team at the World Cup and they performed to the best of their ability.'' Promising Indian forward Sharmila Devi, who has been on a steady rise since her debut at the age of 17, also had a lackluster campaign in the World Cup but the coach backed the youngster.
''When you start your career you can do anything. She's at a stage where she played 30-40 caps, and now everything doesn't come naturally anymore and she starts thinking about things.
''She is now in that struggle where every player has been and she needs to learn how to get out of her struggle. Teammates are encouraging her. I also had a couple of productive talks with her and it's about time how quickly she turns it around. ''It's also very hard for the team. I think she's getting there.'' The Indian team will open its campaign against Ghana on July 29, the first competition day.
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