‘Drag-flickers, Goalkeepers at The Junior Level Need Vast Improvement’ – Dilip Tirkey

In a recent correspondence to all Hockey India member units, Dr. Dilip Tirkey, President, Hockey India on Monday stressed the importance of specialist drag-flickers and goalkeepers in modern hockey and asked academies to focus on improving these two aspects of the game.

Dr. Tirkey also highlighted the need to develop a talent pool of young athletes specialised in these two skills.

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He stated, “The drag-flicking technique has become one of the most thrilling aspects of modern hockey. The joy of a well-coordinated penalty corner with the ball being dragged at the speed of a bullet going past the wall of defenders always emerges as one of the most exciting aspects of the sport.

“Similarly, there is a growing importance of having a well-trained and agile goalkeeper. India’s recent success in major international tournaments can be attributed to PR Sreejesh and Savita Punia who have played their roles with the utmost professionalism,” Dr. Tirkey was quoted as saying in a release on Monday.

He further added, “Drag-flickers and goalkeepers at the junior level still need vast improvement in their game skills. Hence, there is a growing need for specialised coaching across these disciplines at the academies.”

In light of this need for enhancing our pool of talent across these aspects, Hockey India has initiated a process of scouting talent from a young age and with the support of the hockey academies and sports hostels, support the training and selection of these athletes for national programs.

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Additionally, to develop better young talent across these two critical domains, Hockey India has urged the member units to initiate specialised coaching across the hockey academies and sports hostels.

The coaches engaged for this will train Zonal teams selected during inter-zonal tournaments. These coaches, who are as essential to the ecosystem as all other coaches, will also get a chance to enhance their skills as part of this programme, Hockey India said in the release.

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