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Training With Loudspeakers, Creating a Code: Harendra Singh Leaving No Stone Unturned for WC

Known to be a strict disciplinarian, Indian hockey team coach Harendra Singh has come up with innovative methods of keeping his squad engaged in the past, be it to ensure that they follow what he says or to prepare them for whatever they might encounter in a match situation.

News18 Sports

Updated:November 27, 2018, 5:28 PM IST
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Training With Loudspeakers, Creating a Code: Harendra Singh Leaving No Stone Unturned for WC
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Known to be a strict disciplinarian, Indian hockey team coach Harendra Singh has come up with innovative methods of keeping his squad engaged in the past, be it to ensure that they follow what he says or to prepare them for whatever they might encounter in a match situation.

After forcing the players who turned up late to practice sessions during the Asian Games earlier this year to wear a rooster hat, Singh has now started the practice of making his squad train while a huge loudspeaker blares in their ears.

The reason? Singh wants his players to be conditioned to the wall of noise that will constantly hit them during their matches in the upcoming hockey world cup in Odisha, and not let that be an impediment in how they perform.

Not only this, Singh also wants to work on a “code” which will enable the team to communicate effectively with each other without using words and only using visual cues, which will be helpful as the decibel levels during their matches rise.

“The idea is not to have just a training session this way, but also a team session where we will put on songs on the music system and then will make the players communicate. Communicating while being surrounded by so much noise is the most important thing,” Singh told FirstPost.

“The point of this is basically so that the players can learn to work on their visual signals. This will help the players to figure out how to communicate when there is a lot of noise coming from the crowd.

“Maybe sometimes they can lift the hockey stick to communicate where they want a pass to be made. Or other times they can just lift their hand slightly to indicate this. The idea is to communicate without saying a word. It's a code that we are creating.”

India have won the hockey world cup just once before in their history, in 1975. Place in a group with Canada, South Africa and Belgium in the showpiece event that begins this week, Singh’s boys will be hoping to go all the way on home soil.

“The size of the crowd, whether it is 10,000 or 25,000, only matters for a player when the match has not begun. Once the match starts, the focus of every player or every team is always on the ball,” Singh added.

“But I feel the home crowd will be a good factor for India. Even if the players are focusing on the crowd it should rather be an advantage for us because they will be our 12th man.”

India will take on South Africa in their first group match of the tournament on Wednesday.
| Edited by: Suyash Upadhyaya
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