02 October, 2020

Whither, Magic Wand?

This team's our best ever in terms of talent, but what it needs is brains to bring home the gold Updates

Whither, Magic Wand?
"Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing." So said one of the greatest coaches in the NFL, America's professional football league, a man obsessed with winning, Vince Lombardi. It may be too much to ask the Indian hockey team, now training in Arizona, to read the classic Lombardi biography When Pride Still Mattered. But it would do them good to take time out and ask each other: "Does Pride Still Matter?"

Twenty-four years ago in a depleted Moscow field, Vasudevan Bhaskaran's team won India's last Olympic gold medal. Since then, Indian hockey teams have spun and woven dreams only to see them shredded every four years.

This year, when the team returns from Greece, will we see 10,000-plus fans outside the Indira Gandhi International Airport as our hockey team proudly displays its medals? Yes, it's a dream. But one with a realistic chance of coming true.

Spain's brilliant Dutch coach Maurits Hendriks will tell you what the key problem for our team is, though: "With such talent, they need a strategist." Yet strategy seems to have been...


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