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India head coach Igor Štimac: Coaches need to improve the mindset of the players

Indian national team head coach Igor Štimac. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)
Indian national team head coach Igor Štimac. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)

India National Team Head Coach Igor Štimac advised Indian coaches to utilise every moment to enhance their “knowledge” and guide the players to improve their “mindset” in order for them to become a better player.

“As a coach, you need to enhance your knowledge so you can help your players become more knowledgeable. Utilise every second of your free time, read more, learn more about strength and conditioning. We need to develop our mindset,” the National Coach averred.

“You need to take care of young talented players and create a great positive atmosphere within your dressing room. Unless you have proper knowledge, your players will not follow you,” Štimac stated during the International Virtual Coaching Conference on Wednesday (September 30, 2020).

He went on to stress on the importance of “nutrition and protein-based diet” to develop a player’s muscle strength.

“Our strength and conditioning coach Luka Radman has put it a great effort to assess our players. We have tested every single player individually. Muscle strength is immensely important in sports globally. We need to increase usage of protein in our diet which will help you to lower the fatigue level and increase the work rate on the pitch,” he explained.

The Croatian tactician highlighted the advantages of the formation 4-2-3-1 which according to him, is the “best system for Indian Football.”

“We have had to adapt to a system where players would play more with the ball and spectators would love to watch. We have switched to 4-2-3-1 where the game starts from the goalkeeper and the centre-backs play a major role in controlling the game,” Štimac who coached Croatia to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, averred.

“There are connected movements and players need to be intelligent to make quick decisions. Full-backs need to make a run forward so they find free spaces in between and hurt the opponent. They need to learn to run behind the opponent backline. Even wingers can come inside and fullbacks go the side-lines to utilise free space.”

“Success in 1v1 positions help you gain greater results. Wingers need to take responsibility and show greater character on the pitch. We expect them to make good dribbling, better crossing and shooting.”

He further referred to the Blue Tigers’ improvement in recent times since switching to the aforementioned formation.

“We are really proud of the players how they have executed their job so far. They have been doing the right job. There has been an overall improvement,” Štimac continued, “Number of passes as well as the duration of playing with the ball has gone up significantly. We are constantly working on improving the numbers and raising the bar.”

“In order to improve our passing, we throw in our players to small-sided games. It improves players’ passing accuracy and their movements after passing the ball. We need our wingers to be more confident in 1v1 positions. Ashique and Udanta are the quickest guys in our team. Now, we need to work harder to improve their crossing.”

“Everyone involved with Indian Football is working hard to make it count. Our short-term goal is to qualify for the next AFC Asian Cup which will grow our confidence and then advance further. Our long-term goal is obviously to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.”

“With Golden Baby Leagues, grassroots and all other programs going in full swing, we can be sure that our future is going to be brighter,” Štimac mentioned.

(AIFF Media)