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Flexibility and patience key to success in India: New hockey coach


Updated: November 22, 2013, 10:03 PM IST
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Flexibility and patience key to success in India: New hockey coach
Terry Walsh, a silver medallist in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, was appointed as Indian men's hockey team's chief coach last month.

New Delhi: Indian men's hockey's newly-appointed foreign coach Terry Walsh feels patience and flexibility are the two key ingredients which a person needs to be successful in a tough country like India.

Some of Walsh's high-profile countrymates - hockey legend Ric Charlesworth and former cricketer Greg Chappell - did not have the best of stints as coaches of the Indian teams and Walsh said he was well aware about what they lacked.

"According to my view, it's about one's personality and flexibility. If you come to the Indian environment without flexibility, you will stagnate and die. It's not possible to deliver unless you are flexible," Walsh told reporters on the sidelines of Hockey India League Closed Bid 2013 at a city hotel here on Friday.

"You also have to have a degree of patience because it takes time to mould and change things here. It's not an instant thing.

"Some of the people who worked here previously expected instant changes which is very difficult to achieve here," he said referring to Charlesworth and Chappell.

The reputed Australian, a silver medallist in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, was appointed as Indian men's hockey team's chief coach last month after Michael Nobbs' sudden ouster.

Walsh, who comes with a vast experience of coaching and has also represented Australia in three Olympics, will reportedly get a salary of Rs 7.2 lakh per month from the Indian government.

Walsh, who has already started his work, said he had done his homework before landing in India. Asked whether he had discussed with Charlesworth about what to expect in India, he said: "I played with him (Charlesworth for about 14 years). I had reasonable interaction with him before coming here. Our interaction was all about flexibility and how to be patient. Everyone can raise issues but the difficult part is to find solutions.

"When you talk about high performance in international hockey, it's about finding solutions. You can't perform if you don't have trust," he said.

Walsh said it is a known fact that Indian players are skillful but what they need is direction.

"The first impression I had of Indian players are that they are very skillful but they are careless," he said.

"I did not set any specific goals before coming here because you have to be realistic. We shouldn't forget that we are 10th in the world. My main aim will be to see the team progress sensibly.

"The players are looking for direction. So we need a viable programme which includes development of coaches and players at grass-root level, but I don't know how much time it will take to achieve this," the 59-year-old said.

"We have to take some elements from Australia and some elements from Europe and blend them together. It will be an interesting experience," Walsh added.

Walsh said he has no problem in working with Hockey India's High Performance Director, Roelant Oltmans, as they share a "common aim".

"The common aim for both of us is to put correct process in place. Over a period of time results will come. We just have to ensure that what we are doing is similar to world's best practices that are followed in modern day hockey," he said.

Walsh also emphasised that performance would be the sole criteria for representing India during his tenure.

First Published: November 22, 2013, 10:03 PM IST
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