Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jo(k)se Brasa: Indian hockey coach

Coach, what does the word coach mean? A coach or manager is an individual involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of a sports team or of individual sportspeople. This type of coach gets involved in all the aspects of the sport, including physical and mental player development. Sports coaches train, develop and mentor their athletes to become better at the physical components of the game. The coach is assumed to know more about the sport, and have more previous experience and knowledge. The coach’s job is to transfer as much of this knowledge and experience to the players to develop the most skilled athletes. Combining these aspects of the sport, the coach is accountable for the overall performance and results of the team or player.

Jose Brasa is said to be another page to the growing list of Indian hockey coaches who have burnt their fingers while dealing with the hockey administrators while helping to revive the fate of Indian hockey. From past many days (read: years) everyone has been talking about reviving the fate of Indian hockey. But everyone except the administrators are doing something or the other about it.
FIH, the body who runs the sport in the world appointed Australian Ric Charlesworth to help and run the game but he left the post of technical advisor after just 9 months of service. We should not even name Gerhard Rach, who was appointed as the coach of Indian team without looking at his credentials.
Then we have Jose Brasa, who is a great coach and he has the ability to turn the fortunes of the game in the country. But, since his early days as the coach he has been facing problems and he is unable to deal with the administrators of the team. He had asked for equipments like GPS software, laptops, soft balls, video analyst etc but they did not deliver them. He also asked for a sports psychologist but Hockey India could not even provide that and we know that we need sports psychologist for the Indian team. Indian players have shown tendency to concede in last moments of the game but still Hockey India does not care about it.
To add to the woes, he does not have any authority to select the team for the tournament. Coach should have right to select some members of the team but he is not given that right. He has not seen any domestic tournament, so he cannot search any new talent for the team. He is not allowed to see domestic tournament. For e.g. he has not seen the Chief Minister Cup held in Bangalore which was a good tournament and he could find good teams playing.
He is not allowed to talk to the media, and give interviews. So what is the point in keeping him at the post?
And the limit was crossed when the administrators of Hockey India gave right to team manager to select the starting 11 for the game. How a manager who has not played a tournament can is allowed to select the playing 11 for any game. A coach deserves request but Indian hockey is not giving any request to him. He is patiently bearing everything that has been happening to him. It remains to be seen for how long he will remain as a coach.

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