Mumbai: The Indian men’s hockey team’s perennial problem of conceding late goals has raised concerns about nerves but coach Harendra Singh rejected Friday the idea of getting a psychologist on board. He said the word has a ‘negative vibe’ to it. The team, favourites to win the gold at the Indonesia Asiad, finished with a disappointing bronze medal.
Asked if the side needed help to deal with pressure situations with professional help, Harendra was dismissive.
“Why do you need psychologists?” he asked. “If gaining confidence is the aim, then you can even consult a commoner and take motivation from him. The word psychologist itself carries a negative vibe and the players feel that they are doing something wrong for which they need to consult a psychologist,” he said on the sidelines of the team’s new jersey launch.
“I don’t know that (psychologist) word. In any team the biggest psychologist is the coach and you yourself. If I’ll not motivate myself then no one in the world can motivate (me),” added Harendra.
The coach said it is his job to ensure that the players’ emotional needs are understood and addressed.
“…rather than going and getting the help from a psychologist, who has no clue about the team and sports, no clue about how the players behave, it is the responsibility of the coach to help players,” he explained.
As for the team’s overall Asiad performance, Harendra described it as a bad memory and a learning curve. “Whatever happened at the Asian Games, that’s a big learning curve for the players, coach and the staff,” Harendra pointed out. “The aim is not to repeat those same mistakes.”
The coach and the entire team, along with legends such as Ajit Pal Singh, Ashok Kumar, Dilip Turkey, Dhanraj Pilley and Sandeep Singh, were present at the Friday event.