THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

India Youth Coach Nicolai Adam: It’s about developing the winning mentality

India U-17 Head Coach Nicolai Adam

It’s been a little more than a year that German Coach Nicolai Adam has been in charge of the Indian U-16 National Team squad and the no nonsense German coach has been stressing much on the mental toughness along with the normal routine of “high intensity training” during the practice sessions in Goa.

As the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup Team gears up for the inaugural edition of the AIFF Youth Cup in Goa, Adam isn’t willing to read much into the “complements coming in for the boys.”

“Right now compliments are coming in from all quarters as the boys are working really hard. But at the end it’s all about developing the winning mentality – the mentality of winning or losing,” he mentions to AIFF Media.

“The mental aspect is directly related to success in sports and we are focusing on it right now. They need to stay concentrated for longer periods to reach that level of optimal awareness,” he adds.

“The boys remember that they have the chance to hopefully play five games in a period of 11 days. That means they have a game almost every alternate day. It’s important they strike the right balance. For that you need to work harder,” he states, referring to the AIFF Youth Cup.

The five-nation tournament comprising of five international teams – USA, Korea Republic, Malaysia, Tanzania and India – kicks-off at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco, Goa on May 15.

The tournament is part of the exposure being provided by AIFF to the India U-16 National Team as they prepare for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Adam, however, admits that he has no complaints about the boys from their “physical point of view.”

“I would say that from the physical point of view they are in very good shape. I can’t complain. We have been meticulous and the ball action speed is higher now. In fact, it’s improving day by day and we still have some time for the World Cup,” he quips.

“But it’s not just about the mental toughness. Since I took over, we have tried to play football, stressing on building up from the back and not just playing high balls. We need to put pressure on opposition when we don’t have the ball. That’s how football is played all round the World,” he maintains.

India U-16 play Malaysia U-16 in their first match on May 15.

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)