Former head coach of India’s hockey team, Roelant Oltmans has picked the Indian men’s hockey team among the medal contenders for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in July-August. In an insightful conversation with ‘Hockey Te Charcha’, a podcast series initiated by Hockey India ahead of the Olympics, Oltmans emphasized that mental toughness will be a deciding factor for any team to succeed in Tokyo.
Ex-coach said, “For me, India is among the top five contenders to win a medal in Tokyo. the team has shown good consistency in competing with the best teams in the world over the last two years.” However, he warned against needless panicking in pressure situations. He added, “India has already shown they can beat teams like Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands. Although, doing it at the Olympics will be a different matter. The decisive factor when you are trying to win such a tournament is the mentality of the team.”
He further said, “You cannot panic if you are behind in a game or get overexcited when you are ahead. You have to be in control of each situation.” He lastly said, “You need a good development plan, but you also need the resources to execute a plan. Hockey India and SAI have played a crucial role in creating and executing this plan to develop hockey in India.”
India has not won an Olympic medal since 1980.