A report on an FIH Coaching Department Project:
Guyana is the only English speaking commonwealth country on the tip of South America, whose traditions and culture are more influenced and tilted towards Great Britain than the Spanish and Portuguese, speaking countries of the rest of the South America contingent. When we talk about a commonwealth country, it is hard to not think of cricket and hockey, and these two sports are well represented, in Guyana, as they are in various other Caribbean islands. In the West Indies cricket team, there are quite a few outstanding players from Guyana, especially the ones with their roots in India.
History of Hockey in Guyana:
Hockey has a rich tradition in Guyana and has been played for decades. The Fernandes family, who have the love and passion for the sport, are the driving force behind it and are the ones who lead and manage it.Shiv Jagday FIH Coach first visited Guyana in 1988, when he conducted the OS coaching course, Chris Fernandes, was the president of the Guyana Hockey board. And now his son, young and energetic, Philip Fernandes, leads the sport and is determined to take the game, to the next level, so it may be well represented and respected on the America’s scene. He does have the passion, vision and knowledge to make this happen.
The five days OS coaching course went very well, where 18 coaches actively participated in the theory and practical sessions. The course was divided into 2 parts, namely Basic and Advanced, to serve the specific needs of the coaches and programs, for the various levels of the game.
OS Course format:The first 2 days of the course were devoted to cover the basic level topics of the game and the remaining 3 days to cover the intermediate to advanced level, topics of the game.
Basic level course:
During the basic level of the course the key focus was upon, How to develop a young athlete, who has just started playing the game. And build a solid base, which compliments a style of play, which is fluid and facilitates, executing the various skills of the game, on the run.
Advanced level course:
During the intermediate/advanced level of the course, the various types of styles/systems, and the various departments of the game, with their specific Role and responsibility were discussed and covered.Time was equally invested towards, theory classes and practical. During the former, the key focus was to educate the coaches to understand the Principles, strategy and tactics, involved to employ the various concepts of the game. Power point presentations and video analysis were the tools employed to achieve these objective. Later, the same principles were given a practical shape and practiced on the pitch. This went very well and we achieved our set objectives.
Strategic Plan for the Future:
To achieve the short term and long term objectives, the key strategy designed by the Guyana hockey board, is to introduce and develop the game at the junior level in the schools and clubs. This way a broad base is built, and a high number of juniors are exposed to the game and are taught, to play the game the correct way, right from the beginning. This is the first step in the right direction.
Photo and Text courtesy of Philip Fernandes
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