Ace Belgian drag-flicker Alexander Hendrickx, who is devoting substantial time to sharpen his flicks, may spring a few surprises in the later stages of the Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium here.
Hendrickx, the joint leading goal-scorer on the current FIH Pro League chart, began well by contributing to title holder Belgium’s opening goal in its first Pool-B match against South Korea and wants to build on his good work with the progress of the World Cup.
Asked whether he is working on any surprise weapon, Hendrickx, during an interaction with Sportstar, said, “No, I am just doing the same training. If there are any surprises, maybe you will see them later.
I do the same, train even harder (to fox the opponents). I don’t stay at the same level. Have to trust (my skills) given the support from the team.”
Like Belgian hockey, Hendrickx, who plays for the Dutch club Pinoke at present, too, was influenced by practitioners of the sport from different countries.
“I started drag-flicking (when I was) really young. I had different trainers in my club from different nationalities and I took something from each one of them, just training and watching videos and trying to improve every day.
I was playing in Antwerp and international players were coming in. There was a Japanese guy, a Russian guy, a Dutch guy, an Australian guy and an Argentine guy. I watched and trained with them. I looked at them and tried to improve myself,” said Hendrickx, who emerged as the top goal-scorer and contributed significantly to Belgium’s World, European and Olympic title wins in 2018, 2019 and 2021 respectively.
The well-built 29-year-old penalty corner expert, who is known for his powerful flicks, said drag-flicking was not only about power.
“Drag-flicking is really tactical. Teams have analysed each other and their first runners and goalies are trying different things.
Strength, technique and mental (side of the game) – it includes everything. It’s not just benching in the gym…I am not looking at other drag-flickers, I am just trying to improve my own drag-flicks,” said Hendrickx.