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Former women's team player Jaspreet Kaur lauds Hockey India for new initiatives & grassroots programs

Published at :April 23, 2024 at 6:57 PM
Modified at :April 23, 2024 at 7:05 PM
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(Courtesy : Hockey India)

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Jaspreet Kaur represented the Indian women’s hockey team at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Former India Women’s Hockey Team player Jaspreet Kaur was part of the group of former drag-flickers who underwent intensive training under the tutelage of High-Performance Director Herman Kruis at SAI Bengaluru, earlier this month. The training session was a part of Hockey India’s novel initiative aimed at standardizing coaching methodologies across the nation and nurturing the next generation of hockey talent.

The program, conceived with the vision of ensuring uniformity and consistency in coaching, witnessed the participation of esteemed former India goalkeepers Adrian D’Souza, Bharat Chetri, Yogita Bali, Helen Mary, Dipika Murty, Akash Chikte, PT Rao, and eminent former India drag-flickers Rupinder Pal Singh, Gurjinder Singh, VR Raghunath, and, Jaspreet Kaur. 

Under the watchful eye of Herman Kruis, these stalwarts honed their coaching skills, ensuring that they were equipped with the latest techniques and methodologies in goalkeeping and drag-flicking. The aim is to streamline coaching approaches, enabling athletes across the nation, especially at the grassroots level, to learn the same fundamentals and skills, thereby fostering uniformity in training standards.

Credits: Hockey India

Speaking of her experiences, the 28-year-old said, “Hockey India has started a brilliant program for goalkeeping and drag-flicking because they are different sets of skills. This requires a special technique. So, the stalwarts of Indian hockey were called for this training – and I even learned a lot from them.” 

“We were asked to create parameters to identify the athletes and about the combination of body and ball, and the steps and processes of drag-flicking. Our team created those parameters and we showed it to them and we held discussions to further adapt and enhance and create a module that will help us in identifying potential drag-flickers,” she added.

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Speaking on her new role as a trainer and a coach, Jaspreet Kaur said that she is learning how to communicate with the athletes and make them understand the steps to make progress.

Credits: Hockey India

“Coaching is different from learning. Teaching someone is difficult. This is my first time as a coach. I am also learning how to train young athletes. So, I am also learning how I can communicate and make the players understand. I am also learning the importance of speaking to the athletes in languages they are comfortable with.”

Following their intensive training, these seasoned trainers have been strategically deployed to premier national academies across India, ensuring the dissemination of expertise and knowledge to aspiring young athletes nationwide. Jaspreet, who held her first training session at the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, Jharkhand on 22nd April with the young women athletes, explained her process.

“We are holding an identification camp. We identify players who we can prepare for drag-flicking. And it is also to improve the skill set of all drag-flickers. We are starting this at the grassroots level,” Jaspreet Kaur said.

Credits: Hockey India

“The player requires strength and power in legs and body. The height is also a criterion along with age. Below 16, we will be able to groom players as they are fresh and they will adapt quickly. Because once players have become used to a particular routine, we will not be able to make a lot of changes. We also look at how quickly they are willing to learn and are interested,” Jaspreet Kaur further added.

Following her camp in Ranchi, Jaspreet will travel to Bhopal, Aurangabad, and then head to Naval Tata Academy in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, before making her way to Imphal. Across all the destinations, she will hold five camps spread across three days.

Jaspreet, who is making her return to the sport of hockey after 2017, said that she wanted to give back to the sport that gave her the recognition. The former Indian player earned 13 International Caps for the Senior Indian Women’s Hockey Team between 2011 and 2017.

“I express my gratitude to Hockey India for calling me again. This is the time for me to pay back to Hockey and the country. The sport has given me a lot, and I have reached this level because of the sport. I want to develop the sport. After becoming a mother, women become even stronger. I feel great after returning, and I wish to train youngsters with all heart and I am thankful to Hockey India for this chance,” Jaspreet Kaur signed off.

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