Charlesworth keeps Academy players to their toes

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Chandigarh, Apr 10 (UNI) Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) technical adviser and legendary Australian hockey coach Ric Charlesworth today imparted training for two and half hours to Chandigarh Hockey Association trainees at the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium here.

The moment he entered the field, he kept on egging the trainees to shed their lethargic attitude on the field. ''Go, Go, Go,'' Chalesworth kept on advising the trainees who were divided into two groups for training.

Charlesworth, who skippered the Australian men's team to World Cup triumph in 1986, set an example to the two CH Academy coaches who were assisting him, by remaining on his toes, running from one group to the other to impart training. One coach was translating Charlesworth's instructions in Punjabi.

Watched by Chandigarh Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum-Sports Director Inderjit Singh Sandhu and Joint Director Sports Dr J P Sidhu, four-time Olympian Chalresworth made the players play four vs four, five vs three. One-or-two-touch games amd positional play.

Cover up the gap while attacking or defending. And of course, strike at the goal at the first available opportunity.

Former Member of Parliament Charlesworth, who trained the Australian women's squad to gold medals at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, and the World Cup in 1994 and 1998, stressed on development of speed, not to be sluggish and slopply on the field.

He told the trainees that their trapping requires tremendous improvement. ''If any player correctly traps the ball five times out of ten, he is only 50 per cent fit. For an international player, he has to be 90 per cent fit,'' remarked Charlesworth.

The Australian coach advised that a player must look ahead before giving a pass to his colleague which should be stopped and the receiver should take minimum time to release the ball to another colleague.

The players must develop 'thinking habit'. They should ask themselves questions and this thinking process must continue. The coach should point out the player his mistake once only and it was up to the player to achieve perfection.

He had a piece of advice for the coaches also. The trainers themselves must have to be active to inspire the players.

Charlesworth demonstrated this today and lost Thursday last.

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