Hockey World Cup 2018: Patience proves to be a game-changer

Through absorbing contests, the ongoing Hockey World Cup 2018 in Bhubaneswar has presented some classic examples of the virtue of patience on the turf.

Germany fought back to beat Netherlands in a Pool D match of the hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar.   -  Getty Images

Apart from working on their fitness and skills, top teams also bank on their reserves of patience to emerge triumphant in difficult matches.

Through absorbing contests like top-ranked Australia's hard-fought victory over England and Germany's come-from-behind win over Netherlands, the ongoing Hockey World Cup has presented some classic examples of the virtue of patience on the turf.

"With a lot of experienced players (in our side) and the discussion about the previous match, we know that (patience is) one of the most important factors to keep your kind of play as long as possible," German coach Stefan Kremas said.

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"The word patient is always important. We saw a perfect match which is a game-changing situation (in the tournament)...In the second half some small things changed the match. Our energy level went higher and the Dutch energy level went down. That's something you have to work on and train. Patience is something you need to win matches in professional sport."

Australian captain Aran Zalewski underlined his team's plan to wait for the right time in a battle of nerves against England. “It was pretty tight...It was just building pressure in time. They played really well, it was tough to break them down,” said Zalewski.

Following Pakistan's 1-1 draw against Malaysia in a closely-fought encounter, Rehan Butt, one of the coaches in the Pakistan team, stressed the necessity of “maintaining a defensive structure” in all circumstances to keep the match under control.

Mohammed Riaz, a fine midfielder who represented India in 1996 and 2000 Olympics, said one must know the value of patience in high-pressure matches. “One mistake can finish everything. So, the key is to stay calm and play with confidence. When you maintain your composure, you commit less mistakes.

“It is quite natural you get tired and aggressive under pressure. But it is essential to use the breaks to relax and calm your nerves,” said Riaz.