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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Asian Games: Janneke Schopman, head coach of the Indian women’s hockey team, says, “Must make most of opportunity and make it count”


<p>The Indian Women’s Hockey Team was preparing for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 as one of the underdogs in the fight for a podium finish when former Netherlands international Janneke Schopman joined the support staff under then Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-189787″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/theindiaprint.com-asian-games-janneke-schopman-head-coach-of-the-indian-womens-hockey-team-says-must.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com asian games janneke schopman head coach of the indian womens hockey team says must” width=”1034″ height=”1034″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/theindiaprint.com-asian-games-janneke-schopman-head-coach-of-the-indian-womens-hockey-team-says-must.jpg 225w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/theindiaprint.com-asian-games-janneke-schopman-head-coach-of-the-indian-womens-hockey-team-says-must-96×96.jpg 96w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/theindiaprint.com-asian-games-janneke-schopman-head-coach-of-the-indian-womens-hockey-team-says-must-150×150.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1034px) 100vw, 1034px” title=”Asian Games: Janneke Schopman, head coach of the Indian women's hockey team, says, "Must make most of opportunity and make it count" 3″></p>
<p>Just over three years later, Janneke Schopman will serve as Chief Coach of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team in the 2018 Hangzhou Asian Games. The Indian Team is considered one of the favorites to win the prestigious competition.</p>
<p>On the most recent edition of Hockey Te Charcha, a podcast series started by Hockey India, Schopman was honest about the team’s preparations and how the players and coaching staff handle the burden of expectations.</p>
<p>The Dutch also spoke on whether the Indian Women’s Hockey Team is under added strain going into the next assignment, which starts against Singapore on September 27.</p>
<p>“I think the players’ individual and collective mindsets will make a difference. Can we perform well under pressure and manage the given conditions? We have discussed this over the last several months, including what it means to be the favorites rather than the underdogs, as we were in Tokyo, Schopman said, before adding, “We have also discussed how people perceive us and the expectations they have of this team.”</p>
<p>We have also discussed potential hazards that may divert our attention or otherwise cause us to stumble and how we can cope with them, the speaker said. Sometimes, as a coach or player, you lose sight of the fact that you are just there to play hockey because of everything going on around you. It’s crucial to have pleasure in the trip as well. Though I believe we can prevail, life is unpredictable, therefore we could not. We must accept the result as long as we are aware that we did all within our power to play both individually and collectively as effectively as we possibly could. We want the girls to understand that all they need to do is play hockey and find a method to handle the pressure.</p>
<p>For the Asian Games, India is in Pool A alongside Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, and Singapore. In Pool B are Japan, China, Thailand, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia. India’s first match is against Singapore, and after that they play Malaysia on September 29, Korea on October 1, and Hong Kong China on October 3. India wants to conclude the competition with a gold medal in order to have a chance to qualify directly for the 2024 Paris Olympics.</p>
<p>Coach Schopman acknowledged that the squad would encounter unforeseen challenges throughout the competition but emphasized the need of having open lines of communication within the team structure in order to address even the smallest of problems.</p>
<p>“We have clearly discussed our goals for the competition, but ultimately it boils down to pressure and nervousness. We have no clue how the Games village will look, what difficulties we could encounter that we cannot control, or how the food and climate will be. Our staff is able to handle everything that comes our way because we have to,” she stated.</p>
<p>“For this reason, it’s crucial to discuss even the slightest details before each competition. A player could have a minor problem that they don’t want to mention because it’s so small, but I have to tell them, “Just say it; it might be small now, and we can solve it now.” However, if we don’t deal with it right away, it may grow and then we might have a problem,” Schopman said.</p>
<p>Schopman, a former Dutch hockey player who won Olympic and World Cup gold medals, served as the chief coach who helped the Indian women’s hockey team achieve a bronze medal in the 2022 Commonwealth Games. At the first FIH Nations Cup last year, she also guided the Indian team to a gold medal. But Schopman is excited to take on the task since he has never been under the strain of competing as a player or a coach at the Asian Games.</p>
<p>“This will also be my first time participating in an Asian Games. I try to underline that you may enter every event with one of two mindsets: either it’s the most significant one or it’s simply another tournament. Whether this is your first time competing in a tournament or your last, the important thing is that you are here right now, so take advantage of the chance and make it count. That is what we will aim to do together as a team, Schopman remarked.</p>
<p>Deep Grace Ekka, Captain Savita, and Vandana Katariya are just a few of the seasoned athletes in India’s team at the Asian Games. Deepika, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, and Bichu Devi are among the newbies who have been granted the chance to participate in the famous multi-sport tournament for the first time.</p>
<p>“I think it’s a testament to the entire group of 34 players who were part of the National Camp that it is always difficult to select the final squad of 18 players,” Schopman remarked while discussing the selection process for her team. The junior players are persistently banging on the door while the senior players continue to perform regularly. Therefore, it becomes more difficult for us to choose a squad each time, Schopman remarked.</p>
<p>“We want to go to the Asian Games with hopes that we can win and go into Paris. If we succeed, it will be a credit to the 34 guys that made up our team and the hard effort we put in during camp. We cannot choose the 18 players just based on who has the most caps. I try to consider the team as a whole and evaluate what each member can contribute as well as how they can work well together. Some of the younger players have made significant progress over the last few months and have joined the squad as a result,” she said.</p>
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