Indian coaches learn football, Dutch style

In a span of 24 hours, the 'Cup of Tea' between the two morning sessions of the Conditioning Conference for Football Coaches tasted so much better for all the 33 participating coaches.

Till Tuesday morning - the opening day of the three-day meet being conducted by renowned Dutch fitness coach Raymond Verheijen, the participants, which include I-League Coaches, All India Football Federation (AIFF) contracted coaches and few other tacticians from outside - 'the football world' and its 'language' was alien to them.

"The first impression was of a man who means serious business. We all thought this is going to be tough three days for us. But as the first day progressed, and he introduced us to the world of football where one should always speak in football language and not technicalities; it was like enlightenment of the highest order," Pune FC coach Derrick Pereira said. "I feel a different person now, with a different outlook. I feel abreast and so enlightened. I have learnt a lot so far and will translate this knowledge to my boys back in Pune when we resume next month," he added.

Minutes earlier, Verheijen, who has the experience of working with the likes of Guus Hiddink, Dick Advocaat and Frank Rijkaard, was talking about how a coach needs to be a role model in order to preach the football language which is difficult at the outset. "As a coach you need to be a role model. You need to be dynamic. Take decision on its merit and not by being presumptuous and predetermined. To be able to preach the football language, which is let me tell you a difficult job to do, you need to be uninhibited," Raymond stressed. "You are not wrong, always remember that. You are on the right side of the argument. You are here to learn the football language and not blabber aerobic and anaerobic while teaching fitness exercises or conditioning as a whole," he added, sternly.

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