Indian hockey women’s team coach Sjoerd Marijne is happy with his decision to stay back with the Indian eves amidst the national lockdown.
While most Indian athletes are confined in their homes with their families to counter the coronavirus outbreak, Indian men’s and women's hockey players couldn’t leave in time and therefore had to be isolated at Bengaluru’s Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre.
Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne, who is also with his players in the well-equipped training centre, has made the most of the unforeseen opportunity and believes that he made the right call.
"We had a very good camp between February and March and I was looking forward to see my family after four weeks but I had to decide not to travel and I am glad I did that,” Indian hockey women’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne told the Times of India.
“I could not have afforded to be stuck in the Netherlands away from the team for so many weeks due to the travel ban," said Marijne, who was on the way to the airport before deciding to come back,” he added.
With the players not allowed to use either the pitch or the gym, the 45-year-old Dutch coach has planned customized training for every player and is also improving their knowledge about opponents.
"We do individual meetings, individual running and strength and conditioning exercises and bodyweight training. Besides, they are doing a lot of analysing. They are watching videos of other countries with our analysing software," added the Dutchman.
With the coronavirus pandemic keeping all sporting events shut and most countries in lockdown, Indian players and coaches await the end of the announced 21-day lockdown. And Sjoerd Marijne believes his players would need a much-needed personal break when it eventually gets lifted.
"I just have to wait like all the girls. It's too premature to say something about this. The only thing we know now is that we must stay here till April 15.
“Everybody will need a mental break after this because it's been a long time in camp, but we have to see when that will be," the veteran coach added.
The Indian hockey women’s team had started their Olympics preparations after they qualified for the Tokyo Games under the tutelage of Sjoerd Marijne in November last year.
The Indian eves had a decent tour of New Zealand earlier in January this year, where they played three matches against New Zealand and one against Great Britain.
Under the trying circumstances, a host of tournaments for the year have now been postponed.