Break from camp to help Indian women’s hockey team mentally recharge: Sjoerd Marijne
Despite spending most of the year at the national camp without any competitive exposure, head coach of the Indian hockey women’s team, Sjoerd Marijne, believes the team is on track to begin the Olympic year well.
Speaking to Hockey India a day before he left for the Netherlands for a Christmas break, Sjoerd Marijne said that the Indian women had achieved the goals that they set for themselves during a testing period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One of our goals was improving fitness and that worked out very well,” the Dutchman said. “In the past few weeks, we also worked with the junior men’s team in a few sessions to test our speed and handling skills, and I am happy with the progress we have made as a group.
“We have done well so far in utilising this time and our primary focus is the Olympics. We are hopeful of playing good matches early next year that will show where we stand and we can plan the months leading up to the Games keeping in mind the areas that require improvement basis our performance in these tours,” Marijne explained.
The Indian hockey women’s team has been training inside a bio-bubble at the Sports Authority of India campus in Bengaluru. Photo: Hockey India
With the camp being held in a biosecure bubble at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus in Bengaluru, the Indian hockey team was cut off from the outside world for the majority of the year. Though there were fears of how this would affect the team’s preparations, Sjoerd Marijne was happy with what he saw.
“The players have worked very hard these past four and half months and they have done it without complaining about anything — be it living in a bio bubble with zero outside interaction or to be living away from their families for so long,” said the 46-year-old Marijne, who is also a motivational speaker.
I am extremely happy with the attitude they have shown these past four months and I understand that the training camp was physically and mentally quite challenging. This break will be especially good to recover from mental fatigue.”
While the head coach wants his team to enjoy the break, there’s some work that the girls will carry home as well.
“I would want the players to enjoy time with their family and follow the precautions when they meet people and socialise because the pandemic is still not over,” Marijne said.
“They have all been given some homework to do as well because this break is part of our training schedule except, they won’t be using the stick and the ball.”