Inline Hockey prepares for world champs

Inline Hockey prepares for world champs

THE Senior Namibian Inline Hockey squad will be attending the IIHF Inline Hockey World Championships in Hungary from July 8 to 16.

This will be the second time Namibia will compete at the international event, after qualifying last year by securing victory over Chinese Taipei and winning the acclaimed Fair Play trophy. In preparation for this year’s championship, Namibian players have undergone numerous high intensity-training camps throughout the year with participants coming from all over Namibia and players working and studying in South Africa.Despite marginal losses against Brazil, Japan and Australia, head coach Phil Boudreault is more than confident about how the national team will perform this year.”We will do better; with the experience of our first year I am sure we will perform very well.The games we lost were with a maximum margin of 4 or 5 goals, not bad for our first World Championships,” he said.This year Namibia has been placed with Great Britain, Argentina and Japan and hopes to excel in its grouping against these formidable rivals.The training camps are intended not only as preparation for this year’s championship, but also as a means of selecting the national team.The training camps focus predominantly on improving four major aspects of the players: strength, cardiovascular output, technical skills and psychological conditioning.Players contesting for a position in the national team have been placed on a biokinetic training regime.Strict gym routines have been established as well as daily exercises to improve stamina, fitness and flexibility, all of which are monitored continuously to ensure the best physical output, as well as to examine progress and to minimise possible injuries.With regard to psychological training, players participate in team-building exercises as well as improving their knowledge of the game and its culture.Since inline hockey is a somewhat alien sport in Namibia, players learn about the history of inline hockey, including that of its parent, ice hockey, and the different attitudes taken by various countries that dominate the sport.In addition to achieving the correct attitude and mentality required for such an international sports occasion, players study video recordings of professional hockey events.This includes close examination of ice hockey games played during the Winter Olympics as well as games the previous national team played during last year’s championship and that of the other nations competing.Having tasted the professionalism of more seasoned teams, the players have learned a lot from their rivals and are becoming accustomed to this intense level of game play.”The biggest difference is how they read the game, they have found the timing.The players are physically and mentally much stronger.This year we will see a definite improvement,” said Boudreault.In preparation for this year’s championship, Namibian players have undergone numerous high intensity-training camps throughout the year with participants coming from all over Namibia and players working and studying in South Africa.Despite marginal losses against Brazil, Japan and Australia, head coach Phil Boudreault is more than confident about how the national team will perform this year.”We will do better; with the experience of our first year I am sure we will perform very well.The games we lost were with a maximum margin of 4 or 5 goals, not bad for our first World Championships,” he said.This year Namibia has been placed with Great Britain, Argentina and Japan and hopes to excel in its grouping against these formidable rivals.The training camps are intended not only as preparation for this year’s championship, but also as a means of selecting the national team.The training camps focus predominantly on improving four major aspects of the players: strength, cardiovascular output, technical skills and psychological conditioning.Players contesting for a position in the national team have been placed on a biokinetic training regime.Strict gym routines have been established as well as daily exercises to improve stamina, fitness and flexibility, all of which are monitored continuously to ensure the best physical output, as well as to examine progress and to minimise possible injuries.With regard to psychological training, players participate in team-building exercises as well as improving their knowledge of the game and its culture. Since inline hockey is a somewhat alien sport in Namibia, players learn about the history of inline hockey, including that of its parent, ice hockey, and the different attitudes taken by various countries that dominate the sport. In addition to achieving the correct attitude and mentality required for such an international sports occasion, players study video recordings of professional hockey events. This includes close examination of ice hockey games played during the Winter Olympics as well as games the previous national team played during last year’s championship and that of the other nations competing.Having tasted the professionalism of more seasoned teams, the players have learned a lot from their rivals and are becoming accustomed to this intense level of game play.”The biggest difference is how they read the game, they have found the timing.The players are physically and mentally much stronger.This year we will see a definite improvement,” said Boudreault.

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