New Delhi: In what was a red-letter day in Indian hockey, Coaches from across the country have finished with outstanding results in the recently concluded FIH Academy Level '2' & Level '3' Coaching Courses.
This is another step towards becoming a global powerhouse in hockey, with the FIH Level '3' Coaching Course taking place in India for the first time. A total of 18 candidates achieved FIH Level '3' Coach Certification.
The FIH Level '2' Coaching Course course saw even more candidates, with 44 coaches achieving the FIH Level '2' Coach Certification.
While FIH Level '3' Coaching Course saw coaches from National Teams & former internationals like Harvinder Singh, BJ Kariappa and Bharat, while the FIH Level '2' Coaching Course had stalwarts such as Helen Mary, Deepika Thakur and Deepak Thakur in the mix.
The launch of Hockey India Coaching Education Pathway in 2019 equipped the domestic-level coaches to appear for the Hockey India Coaching Course and then become eligible for FIH Coaching Courses. Over 1200 Coaches from across India have benefitted from the programme since implementation which is a simplified education structure that consists of a combination of web-based modules and face-to-face interactive courses, underpinned by a competency-based assessment process, which helps the Coaches in progressing to higher levels.
According to BJ Kariappa, Zonal High-Performance Manager, TOPS NCOE, who achieved the FIH Level ‘3’ Coach Certification, explained that coaching certification courses gives domestic Coaches more tools to work with.
“The more the number of coaches are attending these courses, its effect is seen at the grassroot levels. Because when they are learning and working with younger players, the coaches then are equipped with the correct tools to help them progress. So then when they come to the national level after playing all the age-groups, it helps because the coaches in the camp can start off at an advanced level due to the grounding these players have had.”
Meanwhile, Siddharth Pandey and Piyush K Dubey, who have achieved the FIH Level ‘2’ Coach Certification, are delighted that Indian Coaches now have the opportunity to have certification at par with their counterparts from other parts of the world.
“I am grateful to Hockey India that these sorts of courses are now available to the Coaches in India because 10 years ago that wasn’t the case. These courses put us on par with Coaches from all over the world, and we are on a level playing field, which wasn’t there a decade ago.”
“Secondly, the coaching courses have helped Indian hockey progress because the methods have improved and are more in sync with the modern ways. So, the standard of coaching across the country will be standardised, and importantly this is happening on the basis of scientific information,” mentioned Siddharth.
Piyush explained that one of the biggest advantages for the Indian coaches is that having coaching courses at home reduces a lot of expenses. “If you ask me, I think, earlier we used to look forward to having such courses in India, because when we had to travel outside, it would be quite expensive. But now, the initiative has been taken by Hockey India, and I think it’s a wonderful thing that they have given the opportunity to the Indian Coaches to make it more accessible.”
“Earlier, there used to be just one system of playing, but now that has changed, and things like reading opponents has become a bigger part of the methodology, just like using video analysis.”
Former International players, Bharat and Deepak Thakur, who achieved FIH Level ‘3’ Coach Certification & FIH Level ‘2’ Coach Certification respectively, believe that the certification courses help to strengthen the lower levels of the sport.
“The Coaches get to learn something new and pick up more on tactics and ways of working from countries like Holland and Belgium. It’s a good thing that the Coaches are learning these aspects, because they can then use the same experience at the grass roots level of Indian hockey.”
“When someone becomes a Coach, it is perceived that he knows everything, but actually through this platform a Coach can continue to upgrade themselves from time to time.”
“The knowledge the Coaches pick up from these courses can only help as they are learning more advanced areas, and then after that they apply that at the grassroot levels. Hockey India is doing a great job by having courses like these because now more Coaches in India can make use of the information to help players.”