Narinderpal Singh: Coaching amid COVID-19 guidelines a challenge

Seasoned hockey coach Narinderpal Singh is hopeful the coaches will find a way to ensure each player attains the desired fitness levels.

Former hockey coach Narinderpal Singh who guided Hyderabad Sultans to title-triumph in the inaugural edition of Premier Hockey League in 2005.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


Coach Narinderpal Singh had guided Dilip Tirkey’s Hyderabad Sultans to triumph in the inaugural edition of the Premier League Hockey in 2005.

And for someone, who knows the nuances of coaching, there will be too many challenges to handle any sport amid the COVID-19 guidelines. “Better if the coach starts by focusing on motor abilities, individual training, mental toughness and in ensuring camaraderie,” he says in a chat with Sportstar on Friday.

“You can fight the enemy when you know it. But, when you are not sure from where it (virus) is going to hit you, that is where the real challenge lies. The vulnerability factor can well be a major handicap,” explains the coach, who coached India to victory in the inaugural 2000 Asian under-14 (boys) championship in Singapore.

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“Even if you start training for the next two months, the players have to be made much tougher mentally and physically. So I feel the coach and psychologist should work in tandem,” says Singh.

“The coach now has more time to work on grey areas, keeping in mind the performance of the individual in the last major events,” he says.

“Who knows, after the first few sessions, the coaches might come up with some innovative training methods to ensure that each player attains the desired fitness levels and be ready for collective onslaught,” the former Sultans coach adds.

“The biggest motivating factor is when you know the tournament schedule. Now, everything looks uncertain,” says the former assistant coach of India to Azlan Shah and Rabobank international tournaments.

“It is a pity that having qualified for the originally 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the players have to go through this long break because of lockdown. It clearly breaks the momentum,” Narinderpal signs off.

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