Indian men’s hockey team coach Graham Reid has warned his players against getting caught up in the moment and advised them to raise their game to the next level if they concede a goal in next month’s FIH World Cup.
Reid believes a positive mindset is necessary while playing in 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) sort of get caught up in the moment when you play an event of this magnitude (World Cup). Don’t let yourself get caught up in the moment. It could get quite daunting when you lose the ball, or concede a goal," said Reid, who was part of the Australian side during the 1990 World Cup in Lahore.
“It is important to develop ‘the next thing’ mentality. You can’t change what happened so you just move on to the next task at hand, stay focused on what’s to be done," he added.
Describing how the Australian team prepared for the World Cup in 1990, Reid said shutting the mind to the “raucous spectators" and “playing silently" had done the Kookaburras a world of good during his playing days.
“In the lead up (to the 1990 World Cup), we played smaller games, and played silently — we were not allowed to talk. A recording of the crowd on loudspeakers would play in the background and we learnt not to rely on calling out but had to get used to turning around and looking," he said in a release issued by Hockey India.
“We had to learn to blanket out 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 favourites for the mega-event, which will be staged jointly by Bhbaneswar and Rourkela.
“It is so difficult to pick a team. If I think about it today, I could pick Australia, Belgium and India; and tomorrow I could come back with Netherlands, Germany and India," he said.
“Of course, I would put India in the top three because if we play well, we have a good opportunity to get there. Any of these top eight can win this World Cup. It is both daunting and exciting at the same time."
Recollecting the match against India during the 1990 World Cup, Reid said the goal he scored was special to him.
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