Fresh juice doesn’t have to be green or full of spinach to be healthy. Pomegranate juice contains more than 100 phytochemical. The pomegranate fruit has been used for thousands of years as a medicine.

Pomegranates have been eaten throughout history for their health benefits. Nowadays, the juice of this fruit is a popular part of a healthy diet.

Benefits of Pomegranate

Here are some of the potential benefits of pomegranate.

1. Antioxidants

Pomegranate seeds get their vibrant red hue from polyphenols. These chemicals are powerful antioxidants.

Pomegranate juice contains higher levels of antioxidants than most other fruit juices. It also has three times more antioxidants than red wine and green tea. The antioxidants in pomegranate juice can help remove free radicals, protect cells from damage, and reduce inflammation.

2. Vitamin C

The juice of a single pomegranate has more than 40 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C can be broken down when pasteurized, so opt for homemade or fresh pomegranate juice to get the most of the nutrients.

3. Cancer prevention

Pomegranate juice recently made a splash when researchers found that it may help stop the growth of prostate cancer cells. Despite multiple studies on the effects of the juice on prostate cancer, the results are still preliminary.

While there haven’t been long-term studies with humans that prove that pomegranate juice prevents cancer or reduces the risk, adding it to your diet certainly can’t hurt. There have been encouraging results in studies so far, and bigger studies are now being done.

4. Alzheimer’s disease protection

The antioxidants in the juice and their high concentration are believed to stall the progress of Alzheimer disease and protect memory.

5. Digestion

Pomegranate juice can reduce inflammation in the gut and improve digestion. It may be beneficial for people with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory bowel diseases.

While there are conflicting beliefs and research on whether pomegranate juice helps or worsens diarrhea, most doctors recommend avoiding it until you are feeling better and your symptoms have subsided.

6. Anti-inflammatory

Pomegranate juice is a powerful anti-inflammatory because of its high concentration of antioxidants. It can help reduce inflammation throughout the body and prevent oxidative stress and damage.

7. Arthritis

Flavonols in pomegranate juice may help block the inflammation that contributes to osteoarthritis and cartilage damage. The juice is currently being studied for its potential effects on osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other types of arthritis and joint inflammation.

8. Heart disease

Pomegranate juice is in the running as the most heart-healthy juice. It appears to protect the heart and arteries.

Small studies have shown that the juice improves blood flow and keeps the arteries from becoming stiff and thick. It may also slow the growth of plaque and buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. But pomegranate may react negatively with blood pressure and cholesterol medications like statins.

Be sure to talk with your doctor before indulging in the juice or taking a pomegranate extract supplement.

9. Blood pressure

Drinking pomegranate juice daily may also help lower systolic blood pressure. A comprehensive review of randomized controlled trials stated that it would be beneficial for heart health to include pomegranate juice daily.

10. Antiviral

Between the vitamin C and other immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin E, pomegranate juice can prevent illness and fight off infection. Pomegranates have also been shown to be antibacterial and antiviral in lab tests. They are being studied for their effects on common infections and viruses.

11. Vitamin-rich

In addition to vitamin C and vitamin E, pomegranate juice is a good source of folate, potassium, and vitamin K.

Whether you decide to add pomegranate to your daily diet or just sip on it every now and then, check the label to ensure that it is 100 percent pure pomegranate juice, without added sugar. Or, juice it fresh.

12. Memory

Drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice a day may improve learning and memory, according to a recent study.

13. Sexual performance and fertility

Pomegranate juice’s concentration of antioxidants and ability to impact oxidative stress makes it a potential fertility aid. Oxidative stress has been shown to cause sperm dysfunction and decrease fertility in women.

The juice has also been shown to help reduce oxidative stress in the placenta. But researchers don’t yet know the exact benefits this may provide. Drinking pomegranate juice can also increase testosterone levels in men and women, one of the main hormones behind sex drive.

14. Endurance and sports performance

Move over, tart cherry and beet juice. Pomegranate juice may be the new sport performance enhancer. The juice may help reduce soreness and improve strength recovery. It also decreases oxidative damage caused by exercise.

15. Diabetes

Pomegranate was traditionally used as a remedy for diabetes in the Middle East and India. While much is still unknown about the effects of pomegranate on diabetes, it may help decrease insulin resistance and lower blood sugar.

In Last

Green juice isn’t the only healthy option out there. Adding pomegranate juice to your diet may reduce your risk for chronic disease and inflammation. It’s also a great way to get the fruit’s nutrients and a boost of antioxidants.

It’s best to check with your doctor before drinking pomegranate juice every day, to make sure it won’t interfere with any of your medications. Also, diabetics should check blood sugars daily if choosing pomegranate juice over whole pomegranates to ensure blood sugars remain optimal.

Thanks for reading

Love Yourself

You Don’t Need A New You

2020 has been like nothing we’ve ever seen – but now we know we have the resilience to face 2021 head-on, as the fallout from coronavirus continues. The “old” us is, in fact, pretty damn great.

Resolutions are a matter of personal preference, of course. But from a mental health angle, the idea of completely disregarding our previous selves and feeling the need to transform can be a damaging one. 

There’s definitely something to be said about using the start of a new year

to establish new habits and reset some of our routines. But the commonly-accepted ideas that we need to lose weight, work harder or stop eating junk food to be a “better” version of ourselves can often be more harmful than good.

Basically, it’s okay to just continue being ourselves as the calendar ticks over.

You don’t need replacing every year like another iPhone. Don’t throw yourself away like another piece of plastic trash. Love the old you.

Improve, evolve, do better, but head towards yourself not away. Be gentle with your mind.

There is always room for self-improvement and development – but that doesn’t mean we need to punish ourselves for being “us”. In fact, some of the most important lessons we can learn come from the mistakes we’ve made and hardships we’ve endured in the past, so letting go of those and pretending they don’t exist can be detrimental in itself.

Instead of hating on the “old” version of ourselves – whether that be at work, at home or with our friends – we can use our experiences to develop and “evolve”.

Wishing You A Very Happy New Year.

Adnan Zakir

Where There’s A Will

Salute to Mr Tauqeer Dar on his earnest and constant efforts for hockey development, his love for hockey is vital and pure. He proved that so many times through his hard work and passion, he gives international exposure to young players when PHF can’t, he runs his Dar Academy on self finance and gives the best experience and a platform to the younger players.

Recently he organised a successful event called a Hi-Tech U17 Hockey Tournament in Lahore, this tournament was a block buster and a eye opener as well.

One Legend said this event is a PHF vision. Really?  Suppose you compare the Hi-Tech U17 tournament with the recent PHF’s U16 Championship. In that case, you can see the massive difference in the vision and organisation, Hi-Tech was a more organised and well-planned event which need hard work, and a constructive approach and PHF one was just like a tick in the box event with poor organisation and I haven’t seen any vision or shift in the development either.

I’m not bashing any governing body I’m just trying to say the individuals are more capable than the governing body and they were doing a fabulous job around the country. Talent hunting and development is the first job of a governing body, but in our system self financed academies doing their jobs.

Yes, Sponsors are important, but who approaches these sponsors? Why not PHF or anyone else able to pull them? Why and how Dar academy make six tours across Europe, while the PHF was facing a massive financial crisis?

Sorry, giving credit to sponsors is unfair because they didn’t ask him to organise this event.I give credit to their skills in managing and organizing sporting events, particularly their proactive approach, their marketing skills to promote the event and attract sponsorship, motivation and enthusiasm.

Highlight of the event was CEO of Asian Hockey Federation Mr Tayyab Ikram donated 500,000 to his academy, this isn’t a ordinary thing this is something very special.

He also opens the AHF’s door to Dar Hockey Academy and he announced that the Dar Hockey Academy would be granted affiliation to the AHF and they will help and support them throughout which give a boost to Pakistan Hockey.
Thank You Mr Tayyab Ikram.

Here I would like to tell you something fascinating, this academy is not only the development and production of players they also develop coaches, umpires and video analysts. Numerous young coaches practise their coaching daily. I must say one of the youngest coach Waqas Butt is the shining star this year. He has done a very good job recently. A local town guy is not an Olympian, but his passion for coaching and hard work speak themselves, his team become a National Champion recently, and he lifts the Hi-Tech trophy as well, which should be appreciated and federation should support him in his further development.

Pakistan hockey needs more people like Mr Tauqeer Dar.

Pakistan Zindabad

for more details please click on the link of Mr Ijaz chaudhry article

A Bitter Critic Is The Sweetest Corrector

I honour all the Olympians who served in Pakistan, but when anything comes up like this is heartbreaking and disappointing, and I reckon these matter should be addressed.

I’m not blaming to PHF, but they have to produce some guidelines for their officials, our national game is already struggling we need to be very careful.

My actions are not personal at all. I’m merely giving an awareness to the authorities to bring things in a line for the betterment of our national game.

I have been working professionally in the fitness industries since 2010, and nowadays I’m enlisted in one more specialisation in the UK and also busy in my research work, you guys can go to my Linkedin profile.

Please Watch the video before continuing reading

I genuinely respect Mr Khawaja Junaid he used to be my coach in Jr World Cup 2004, but I have a right to disagree with him on the basis of facts.

“Choose criticism wisely, it might help you improve some elements of what you do.”

As my understanding as per Mr. Junaid’s statement is that his fitness team Allience Member of ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) and NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) Instead of Certified S&C Coach or Human Performance Enhancement specialist etc

What is the Alliance Member?

Please go to the given link, and you can find everything regarding alliance member and also you can become an ACSM and NSCA Alliance member today. Still, you are not certified to create any program even you become a Level 2 certified Fitness Instructor or you have done any online fitness course.

After seeing this clip I have seen this so-called program and I was shocked that they don’t even know the difference between a program and a sample workout.

I loved the confidence of Mr Khawaja Junaid when he presented his theory

“when muscle gets weak then its converts into fat

Well, there is no process in the human body or there is no energy system which does this miracle. Protein is the main component of muscle, the human body no matter how awesome it can be at times cannot magically turn one tissue into another.

Which nutrint convert into fat?

When carbohydrates are needed by the body the energy is created by the breakdown of plasma glucose and/or glycogen stored in the liver or muscles.
However, if an excessive amount of carbohydrates is consumed, they will be converted into fat and stored in adipose tissue in a process called lipogenesis.

In uncomplicated words, we eat carbs, which causes blood sugar to rise, which causes insulin to rise, which causes glucose to go into fat cells, which turns into fat, and recently national team doctor suggested to have more carbs but unfortunately he forgets to mention which carbs “Refine Carbs or Unrefine Carbs”   

I hope it will help.

Ramzan Guidelines:
There are no Ramadan Guidelines in their plan, Players can “reset” their body to use fat for fuel by incorporating certain methods and maintain the muscle mass during Ramadan and in this pandemic situation.

Also, his words are not meditating on their Sample Workout, and he said they are following NSCA guidelines, please have a look at the link below and go to page number four where you can find “Training Saftey Risk Factors.” then you will get a better picture.
By the way they have sent a HIIT training undefined Sample workout.

Click to access nsca-covid-19-rtt.pdf

Player’s training videos exposing the entire program where each player following different methods and exercises. I’m glad players have some knowledge. Still, unfortunately, these players can’t raise these questions due to fear.

There are no assessments has been taken yet which is the key component of creating or building up a plan or program next important step is a tracking system to see your plan is working or not If you have no data etc then how are you going to put progression and which parameters identify the hurdles and how players will overcome their weak areas.

Regrettably, there are no macrocycle and motorcycle which proving that there is no program running so there will be no follow up of any program that’s why they are given a generalized so-called program.

Realistic Goal:
Four weeks can be one block of training which can be applied as an adaptive phase if you are not running any program this is the right time to start, but unfortunately, Head coach said they are focusing Cardio Vascular endurance and Muscular Strength but when you see their sample HIIT workout is not reflecting that they are following as he’s been told.
Let me remind you we are talking about top professional athletes here 😦

I don’t want to divvy up this sample workout here because it will be very embarrassing, but I’ll tell you one thing no one can defend this program wholly.

“Players is canvas and coaches are the artists, it doesn’t matter how much colour and brushes you have, you can make a beautiful sketch with the help of a normal pencil”

I intend to say that there is always a process and there are some principles which need to be followed, you can do wonders in a limited recourses, if you keep playing a blame game and invest your energy and time to proving yourself right with the wrong bases then result will speak themselves.

We can progress when we listen identify our mistake and adapt the right approach.

PHF should take this matter seriously and build some system of accountabilty in the betterment of our loving national game.


Little Things Make a Massive Difference

5:30 am alarm buzzing; I got up quickly and was looking forward to the Fitness Test in the National junior hockey training camp Lahore, we had no idea which test is coming up, well after the warmup, we divided into groups where we were going to complete twelve rounds of a hockey pitch in 12 mins which will decide our overall fitness, anyways my test went well, and it could be better if I know about the basics of S&C (Strength and Conditioning) and sports nutrition.

In the entire training camp what we do in the morning session is distance running and running 40 laps of the hockey pitch with the pace and every day one lap increase. The training load is increasing not the rest time or calories intake the same general food we use to have at home, no pre-post training meal or any supplements. 

Well, the camp is finished, and luckily I have been selected to represent Pak Jr Team for the first time and you know what we have won this five-match series against England with my goal in the final game.

In my Int-playing career, I have been coached by so many coaches, but unfortunately, I never got a chance to be coached by S&C or any other fitness professional who could educate me, identify my weak areas, help me to improve my athletic abilities and allow me to understand my potential. 

Well, I have played a few years for my country and in those years what I have seen is every coach have a different hockey philosophy which I found very interesting. Still, the funny thing was their fitness philosophy which always made me confuse. 

A lot of people know my story about how I was dropped from the system. I can’t tell you how depressing it was when you are giving your best in everything. You have shown your improvement through your performance and how I become a victim of the bogus system where no one helps you to bring out your best, I have been in the system for 7 years and I have seen what this bogus and fake system does with the senior players and I was pretty convinced that I’m not going to try again in this slavery system. and I want to enjoy my hockey and I want to become a sports professional and that was the one reason I put my self in coaching and fitness studies.

I’m not the only one who has gone through this terrible phase there is a long list including Sohail Abbas, Salman Akber, Shakeel Abbasi, Kashif Jawad, Zeeshan Ashraf etc when I see these names then I feel my pain is nothing as compared to theirs, how sad is that after playing more the 100-300 games for your country these player’s career ended with disrespect. 

Unfortunately, from that time onwards we had no S&C (Strength and Conditioning) specialists who could give us basic knowledge and educate us on how to identify our weak areas and how to improve our TOTAL FITNESS which will help to bring the best out of us and prolong our playing career.

Experience in any sport counts a lot, Roger Federer, Glenn McGrath, Teun de Nooijer, Delmee, Brent Livermore, Jami Dwyer, Barry Middleton etc. Are having a successful and long career. Oh, how I forgot the wall of ARG man’s Hockey team Juan Manuel Vivaldi, he is 40 years of age and still representing his country since 2001 he is fit and still maintaining his total fitness with the help of their S&C professionals.  

Unfortunately, in Pakistan when players become experienced, and they have got a better understanding of the game then our selection committee starts raising  questions on senior player’s fitness and compare them with 18-24 years old players, I mean how they can do that when they never brought any system or a basic understanding of human performance how sad is that when player ready to serve and utilise their experience and exposure, this system chucks them out. I have witnessed how they disrespect the senior players in the front of their juniors and the worst part is this system even don’t bother to say goodbye with respect and appreciate their services. 

This is one of the reasons behind Pakistan hockey’s downfall. 

A lot of people will not agree with me that Pakistan Hockey federation focused a lot on modern or FIH high-performance hockey system which is good. Still, they have failed to create a right balance between High-performance hockey and human performance. I’m not going to open the overall development programme because we never had any as our Ex Olympians and few politicians think they can bring Pakistani hockey back with their so-called talent hunt schemes etc. and one sector believes we should bring the League model, I’m not against these suggestions but my mind is not buying these ideas at all because, in the end, we need a system, we need a structure, we need those professionals who have an understanding of talent identification and can develop this talent in the right way but what we do with these 1000 of talented players? would you like to hear the bitter truth? We do nothing we set high hopes with them and start expecting too much from them, resulting in significant pressure on players which killed their talent.  

Talent win games but not championships.”  

If you see some stats of Pakistan hockey team, then you will see foreign coaches made a massive difference in the team performance in a short period of time. If you collect some data from their tenure, you will realise that they have focused on Team and individual’s TOTAL FITNESS including physical assessments, tracking their fitness and performance, feedback system, remodelling eating habits, giving knowledge of sports nutrition providing an awareness of mental fitness, the utilisation of team and group video sessions (Visual Teaching Methods), creating a learning environment where players asking questions without any fear or hesitation because players know they are accountable for their given jobs, and make a balanced relationship between the coaching staff and players, creating a trustworthy environment which allows players to learn and play without fear of mistake and start enjoying when I say enjoying it means they are improving their performance and TOTAL fitness the most important they give respect, When we assemble all these little pieces and go to the books, then we will find the fundamentals of training principle, of team sports and Coaching. #Professionalism 

I know I just knocked on the door of a massive debate; Pakistan has a couple of highly qualified, experienced and well-reputed coaches but they are working with other national or domestic teams how sad is that I have already explained this matter in my previous blog, there is no room for professionals in Pakistan hockey because of Olympian mafia. 

Let’s get back to the topic if we see our neighbour India, they are doing well in the region at the moment their men’s team in the top 5s, they have won the recent Junior World Cup and their Women’s team qualified for the Olympics. So, I was looking at their overall structure and system I was amazed I didn’t find any Ex Olympians/Politician or selection committee drama in the current system, they are following the philosophy of “Team Behind The Team” professional setup and which linked to each other following the long term approach, I’m not going in the debate of local coaches vs foreign coaches this is another topic. 

If we go back in 2008-9 Hockey India appointed Spanish Coach Mr Jose Barca what he did, he spent months on their basics only (including dribbling), he changed Indian dribbling into rolling the ball, and guess who is in the camp? Sardar Singh, SV Sunil etc. imagine how frustrating for players like Sardara, meanwhile, Mr Barca brings Jesus Garcia Pallares the Spanish human performance analyst, who is helping and educating players, he spent hours and hours to work on the techniques and training systems, since then hockey India appointed so many foreign coaches and each coach bring one fitness experts but I found very interesting the appointment of Mr Robin Arkell the Head Strength and Conditioning coach of Sr. Men Hockey India, and the second appointment was Wayne Lombard Scientific Coach (FAP) who is working with their Women’s team, I admire both of them especially Robin who has been working with the rugby team earlier before taking the charge, he adjusts himself in a new culture quite well and utilising his top rugby experience in their system, he is the man who created a right balance I mean he transformed the players fitness which makes a huge difference and makes hockey coach’s life easier, I think he got the one advantage the players have a solid base of S&C understanding because they have been working and learning from different fitness experts which really helps him to take this group to the next level.

The second thing I would say is PHL and HIL where top players around the world were mixing up in the different teams and playing with the Indian players which allow Indian players to take their hesitation out and bring their confidence up while playing in the same team and against, also make a great relationship with them. Where they can enjoy hockey and discuss and share their hockey culture, this environment gives a boost of the confidence and players start believing in themselves.

In the same time, Indian media playing their role too I mean they making players bigger they bringing players in a lime lite and if I compare Pak sports media is working hard to get a tour from PHF and there are some decent sports journalist who still trying to play their role but this olympian mafia is quite strong that’s why Olympion mafia always in a lime lite rather then-current players.

When I present this Indian model then the argument came “Hockey India has huge funds” then I say what about Japanese Hockey Success? They are the real dark horse in the region they are Continent Champions and they have qualified for the Olympics on their performance which shows there is some system is running successfully. 

I agree finance is an essential aspect, but what happened to the Malaysian side then? they spent huge funds recently. 

Oh! Quick reminder Iran men’s indoor hockey team won the bronze medal in the recent indoor World Cup, and what about Southafrican Hockey team where players use their own funds when they travel with the national side, common please look at the Ireland Women’s hockey team’s journey of recent World Cup.

In short, I think, we need to be very honest with our national game, tell the truth and accept the reality, there is no other way to bring Pakistan Hockey back on track until we start telling the truth to this nation, we should get rid of all those fake and unprofessionals people from the system who are continuously misguiding the authorities with the help of their political or other influences. 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result” Albert Einstein

I firmly believe if we start from scratch and develop a robust structure with low funds with long-term approach than we can get there where we want to be, this isn’t rocket science at all.

In my next blog, I’ll explain the advantages of the physical and skills assessment and Identification of talent, where I’ll share my personal experience and give you some suggestions and ideas how we can start building a solid base at a grassroots level. 


My Quarantine Diary

Decision Making

Missing Hockey a lot during this lockdown situation and all the players and coaches sharing their crafts has been awesome. I would like to share something exciting – “Decision-Making!” Making the right decision will take your sports performance to the next level. So many people are playing sports, any a select are just incredible in their performances. A huge part of their achievement is due to their decision-making which has assisted in achieving their goals. Ultimately, that’s why mental fitness is so important!

Visual awareness and decision-making are essential to be able to play field hockey at a high level. Having the ability to process information, scan the pitch for options, and make quick decisions will set you apart from the rest. With tailored drills, you can improve your awareness, decision making and overall mental sharpness to improve your performance on the pitch.

I started playing Hockey professionally after school and six months later, the world would never be the same as my education achievements lost its value after a few Hockey badges.

Just out of school, I found that my decisions in the games impacted not only my performance, but also the team performance. Let me clear…I was a solid ball carrier, but without the ball, I was smarter than others. My brain was always busy thinking ahead. However, there was one small problem…I had no idea how to make more smart decisions with and without the ball. I had no idea how to reduce errors and create the right balance. I trusted my basic skills and I knew I could keep improving these through specific skills training but, I didn’t know how to make the best decisions I could and where to even start.

To fill my mental hockey toolbox, I looked around my hockey family and found some mentors. I watched them, asked them annoying questions, and tried to learn as much as I could from them. I started thinking about hockey 24/7 and I even began to dream about hockey. I went back to university to graduate. I’m not a fan of reading but one of my university professors suggested I start. I took their advice and began my reading journey about making decisions and the tools I needed to develop…the internet helped too.
Making better decisions is not a specific skill but rather a series of tools and frameworks. What distinguishes consistently good decision-makers from the rest is a series of diverse mental frameworks and tools (as well as relevant specific information).

Knowledge is hard to come by.

It takes work and commitment, and I think we owe it to ourselves to experiment with information. We should blow past conformity and apply all the knowledge at our disposal to the problems and challenges we face every day.

As a coaching student, I love experiments and freedom where I can learn and invent something productive. EVO Hockey is a company which  provides me with the opporunity, fredom and a platform where I can meet and share hockey philosophies, identities and cultiral differences with other top players and coaches from around the world,allowing me to keep developing.

“The frog in the well knows nothing of the mighty ocean.”

We live in a modern society that demands specialization. Being the best means being an expert in something. Letters after your name and decades in the trenches of experience are required before you can claim to know anything. In one sense there is nothing wrong with this — specialized knowledge is necessary to solve problems and advance our global potential. But a by-product of this niche focus is that it narrows the ways we think we can apply our knowledge without being called a fraud.

Hockey is a situational game, instances are constantly changing with actions. This means our nervous system is always engaged. I believe if junior coaches give extra assistance to help youth in improving their decision-making through different teaching methods and a variety of tailored exercises, young players will start becoming more aware of their hockey and ultimately increase their enjoyment.

Ultimately, decision-making is a diverse concept which I will contiinue to research, but thats enough for today.

I posted two videos on my Instagram you can see the link below to show you examples of how decision-making can be implemented in trainign sessions. This is one of my best intense exercises, which covers a lot of subjects, but the main focus is “Don’t Force the Decision.”

Please watch and enjoy!


FIH New Point Base System is Fair?

Wow, so two exciting weeks of the Olympic qualifiers are finally over.

While the Qualifiers were thrilling, it was sad to see only two Asian teams making the cut for Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Japan are Continental Champions and the host of the coming Olympics, so they didn’t go through the drama of the two back to back Olympic qualification matches.

While, I deeply appreciate FIH for all the hard work they do for developing hockey around the world, I still believe that the Olympic Qualifiers, where stakes are always high, isn’t a stage of an experiment.

Whatever happened with lower-ranked teams at the FIH Pro League and the unbalanced point base system was unfair.

That happened again at the Olympic Qualifiers, where top teams played two home games which proved 
massive advantage for them. 75% of the Olympic Qualifier games were predictable.

At this moment, the hockey world is divided into two parts, and this is not beneficial for global hockey development.

It is very important to create a right balance through a tournament format where the lower rank teams spend more funds wisely, play minimum 5 to 6 games against different ranked teams.

This will allow lower rank teams to learn and progress. Coaches, team and the players need that exposure to evaluate themselves to get better and back in the top race.

Playing home and away is a good idea to project hockey and bring more money and people to the sport of hockey, but at the same time the hockey world is losing a balance as well.


It was sad to see Egypt pulling out from the qualifier because they knew the result. They prefered to save their funds rather than giving an exposure of the two games to their players.

Africa is the one of the continent who struggle a lot. I got a chance to work with the Egyptian national side and I have seen their raw talent. The most important part is that they love hockey a lot.

Same goes for South Africa, the most distressing thing is their elite players are struggling.

It’s really sad their women’s hockey team are likely to withdraw from the Tokyo 2020. I feel bad for the players.


Coming to India, if you look at their budget, it’s insane. Still, they are on the right track at the moment, especially their coaching development programme aims to bring hockey in India on the top without any foreigners.


In Asia, Japan is an upcoming hockey nation. After the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan will attract their youth to play hockey and ofcourse they will receive additional funds, which will help them in the development. That’s why participting in mega events is very important for the development.


Honestly, I’m just disappointed with the Malaysian men’s team. Their last six months of hard work was insane. They did everything, but unfortunately, their results didn’t show their preparation.

Yes, we can give a disadvantage of weather, and the away game environment. Still, the forcing errors they made, was really high which took them in a pressure zone.

They also failed to control their emotions. Their individual initiative was the proof of frustration and GB punished them on every little mistake they made.

GB were clearly a better team and showed solid mental fitness in each situation especially when they were facing an aggressive Malaysian high press.

So, what’s the problem with Asia? 

Most of the Asian teams are very skilled and fit. But, their tactical awareness is low, and they have to sit and try to find a way, otherwise it will be very difficult for Asians to become World champions just on basis of their skill. 

The game of hockey is going to be more advanced in the coming years, so it’s better they start working now before its too late.

For this, FIH also need to show some interest in that area and help them. They should also give a fairground to all the lower-ranked team and give them a chance in the top tier events, to make them better.

My coffee is done, and I am off to my next training session. In my next break, I’ll write my views and suggestions on Pakistan Hockey.

You might not agree with what I have written but I am always happy to hear your views and suggestions. 🙂

Adnan Zakir

Coaching Philosophy & Development of Athelete

final cover P

Since I started coaching in 2004, I have continued to learn and grow as a coach. I have been professionally coaching for more than ten years. I believe that a good coach should have a set of principles that he stands by and believes in his heart. I’ve been developing my principles over the years and thought I would share them.

Winning is not everything in sports. It is a part of the sport, but it should never come before the well-being of the athletes. Having fun is an important part of sports. People want to have fun, so they play sports. I strive to foster an environment where athletes can enjoy themselves. Developing an athlete physically, psychologically, and socially is an important part of sports. Athletes learn life lessons, playing sports as well in a class. It is my goal to push my athletes to become stronger people physically, have a strong and sound mind, to understand social situations, and how to work together.

These are all things that an athlete uses both on and off the field. An important part of coaching is helping an athlete to strengthen those qualities in their lives. That is the reason; I would choose to help an athlete develop in these areas over having fun and winning. If an athlete is strong in all these areas, having fun and winning will follow.

The art of coaching is to know what technical move, tactical behaviour or complex competition a player is ready for at a certain stage of physical and mental development.

The best coaches do not work at the beginner level of sports because coaching young athletes rarely give them any economic gain. Coaches with terrific knowledge and experience are interested in older teams that can afford to give them higher salaries. Not getting the best coaches creates a problem for younger athletes.

The failure to interest well-qualified coaches means that poor quality and tedious coaching is taught to young athletes in schools and clubs. Due to this fact, young athletes are coached in the same way that grownups are coached, without taking into consideration the natural order or development of the young athlete through time. The alternative schemes that most coaches adapt do not give a solution to the problem of affirming young athlete’s quality coaching. Moreover, coaching youth at the beginning stages of sports is too important for the future development of the athletes to allow coaches to assemble quirky methods of coaching.

Unfortunately, it is the force of habit that constitutes the greatest obstacle to progress in youth hockey. Traditional methods are often followed blindly without giving sufficient thought of the consequences, both in training as well as in the structuring of the youth competitions.

To move past these obstacles and achieve better results in the future, coaches, administrations, and federations must first review the structure and organization of their youth hockey programs. The complicated adult game has to be simplified until a logical progression of competitions with gradually increasing demands is designed that adapts perfectly to the actual mental and physical abilities and capacities of the child. A child should be presented with only those exercises, games, and challenges that suit their current abilities, interests, and expectations. The training program, as well as the competitions for children, should be like their shoes. They should fit perfectly to feel comfortable.
If we are to improve the development of young players, it is crucial that we recognize the mistakes made in the past. Awareness of these errors is the first step towards more effective training and learning methods.

Once hockey coaches have been convinced of the need to modify the traditional way of teaching their players, they soon discover that the process of understanding and learning hockey will shift increasingly to self-teaching.

The key to develop successful youth Hockey players is in understanding and meeting the needs of young players, rather than subjecting them to boring exercises or a game designed for adults. These are some basic, yet important, needs children have that coaches should always keep in mind.

Nothing can be understood completely as long as it has not been experienced. Coaches should allow the children to experiment with tasks. Children need to discover on their own everything that surrounds them. The discovery also applies to the world of sports and in particular to Hockey. Kids should be stimulated with games and activities that are within their physical and mental capacities. This method of coaching allows them to develop their abilities and capacities step by step through their own discovery.

Children get highly motivated when tribute is paid for their efforts in mastering a skill or problem. Through praise, they are encouraged to try even harder. For children younger than 12 years old, the teacher, coach, or parent is like a mirror in which they see their capacity or incapacity. That is why educators and parents have to learn to be positive, to praise the children frequently and keep critical comments to a minimum.

Children prefer to do things on their own without depending too much on the adults. They like to reach independence as quickly as possible. The coaching methods and behaviour of the educator should consider this need, making sure that the children are frequently allowed to find solutions on their own to problems the coach presents. The educator should interfere only when the problems can’t be solved by the pupils.

Youngsters can also perform the tasks of putting down or collecting cones, modifying the rules of a practice game, or choosing players for demonstrations or certain activities. They need to demonstrate responsibility can also be stimulated in each training session by allowing them 10 minutes in which to freely choose what to practice, how to do it, and where and with whom to execute a determined skill or game.

Coaches who are hesitant to give up some of the liability to the young athletes must realize that learning also takes place out of the coach’s presence. In any team sport, young athletes, organize their play in logical form even if a grownup is not available to guide them. First, the young athletes make sure that the teams are even. Young athletes want competitiveness. They want the game to be fair and challenging, thus making the young athletes play to their full ability.

Young athletes naturally look for communication with others. The older the athletes are, the more they need the companionship of the same age. Young athletes love to be affiliated and to identify with a group or team that strive to achieve common goals.

Young athletes crave variety, which yields less boredom and fatigue. A great variety of activities are essential to keeping their attention level. Unless you often vary the method of presentation and the contents, most young athlete’s attention drift. You should also vary the intensity of the exercises and games.

Young athletes seem to live in their own world. They have distinctive problems, they learn differently, and they don’t think logically as most grownups do. Their ideas, thoughts, or reasoning often are lacking rationality. Their emotional certainty depends on a high degree of their speed of biological growth. In general, young athletes don’t know how to use their energy and tire easily. They act exactly the way they feel. For all these reasons, grownups who live and work with young athletes should know how to stimulate and direct them in their search for personality and identity.

Coaching Philosophy
My coaching style depends on taking the group together, I learned so much in last 13-14 years of my coaching life where I coach beginner to Elite Athletes, for me healthy environment is important I value letting athletes have input in some of the aspects surrounding the team and how it functions. Not all aspects of the team are up to team discussion, but some are. One of those aspects is playing time. I think it is important to hear what the team wants to focus on, and how they want to achieve that, letting the team have input is important to me.

I value ethics in all aspects of the sports. I will not tolerate unethical actions from my athletes and coaching ethically is important to me as well. I need to set an example for my athletes, and if I go about coaching by breaking the rules, what kind of example would I be setting? In the same light of setting examples, I would stress a family first model. I would never want my athletes to put the team before their own families, and I would do the same. The family is important to me and having a team that understands that family is an important aspect of all their lives is important.

My practices will be long enough to get what I want to be done, but will not go past what is needed. I think that shorter and more efficient practices are better for the athletes and their well-being. If you practice too much, the athletes will get burned out faster. The same applies when it comes to games. I would not schedule any games that would be detrimental to the athletes physically or mentally. I want to have just enough games at the right level of competition, so they can play in an environment that will push them, but not damage them physically or mentally.

I want to allow as many people to participate on my team as possible. There are limitations regarding space allowed on a roster, but I want to find a place for as many people to play as possible. If I am forced to make cuts from a governing body, or if the number of players on my roster exceeds the number I am allowed, I would do all I can to help find the players that cannot take a place to play.

I strongly believe that coaches are mentors for the athletes. I believe that it is something that comes with being a coach, and it is my responsibility to help them on and off the ice as much as they want me to. I will never force my involvement unless it is surrounding something that puts my athlete or people around them in danger. I am not their parent, but as someone, they look up to, it is my job to support them in whatever way they need. In doing this, I can help them get stronger mentally and socially.

Principle of Developing Athletes

The most important factor in developing a player is belief, your player must believe they are capable of being great. Not only must the players believe in themselves, but you must also believe in them. Nothing is more powerful than a respected coach that a player looks up to for advice believing in them. Players (people in general) are often capable of far more than they believe. For this reason, a coach must help a player achieve more than the player believes possible. If a player doesn’t truly believe what they are trying to do is possible their practice will not be as effective or efficient, in the back of their mind they will think “what’s the point.”

I think balance is the foundation of all fundamental hockey skills, a coach that can help new players become balanced will set the foundation for faster development in controlling/running with the ball, passing verity, basic of attacking and defending, power, speed, agility etc

Challenge yourself, challenge others, the simplest key to designing drills/exercises and helping players improve is to ask them, does this challenge you? Achieving a skill/movement should be outside of the players reach, just close enough that they want to work harder to achieve it. Once the player can perform the skill/pattern consistently move on to a new challenge and continue to find new areas of the player’s game to improve.

An opportunity to learn can be found in every minute – Maybe the best way to get better quickly (when not practicing) is to become a good learner. During practice is not the only time that Learning takes place. Imagine looking at every hockey game you watch, every game you play, every hockey player/coach you meet, and other sports/activities as an occasion to learn and grow. It’s not easy, it can’t be done instantly, like everything you need to practice this strategy and it will get better with time.

Success is obtained by failing– If you are pushing yourself hard enough, you will fail, and you will learn. If you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough, then you’re too comfortable, you are afraid of embarrassing yourself, and it’s a hindrance to your development. Every failure is a chance to learn and grow.

Learn efficiently. How efficient are your practices? It’s great you’re at practice or working on your skills for 30 minutes at home, but you must give it your all, you can’t just go through the motions. Too many young athletes go to practice and go through the motion, not getting all, they can get from the practice. Don’t wait for someone to correct you, push yourself. If the drills aren’t challenging you, you need to challenge yourself with the drill. Get lower, go faster (or slower), push harder, try something a little different, ask yourself “how can I do this better.”

There is something valuable in everyone– No one player should feel more valuable than another in a team, although this often happens. It’s important to stress the point that everyone in the team is important and valuable for the team’s success. Every player will have their chance to make a difference in the team. You must treat, and train them this way.

The key to improvement is focused repetition– Many books, scientific studies, and research into skill development all come down to one key point. The more you do something, the better you get. It’s simple, practice often with a purpose. (for example, I know how to take a goal shot right handed, I have helped many players learn and improve their Goal shooting, I have a deep understanding of how the Goal shot works, however, if I attempt a backhand shot I look ridiculous…. it’s because I simply haven’t put in the time and reps!)

The goal is not to win. As a coach, your goal is to get the most out of each player (and staff member) you have, while you have them. Your goal is to teach, develop, motivate and inspire.

The process should be the goal; not a destination – If you set a goal with high expectations, and stumble early, you may lose all motivation and quickly give up on your goal. However, if your goal is simply to engage in the process of improvement – with your high expectations as your compass for your development – you will be achieving your goal every time you engage in the practice. This shift will keep you motivated longer and allow you to continue in development even after a goal is achieved.

If practice goes wrong, a drill fails, or a player doesn’t understand something it is my job as a coach to improve my delivery of the message. As a coach, I strive to make my instruction and expectations as clear as possible. When drills go wrong, I don’t blame the players, I rethink my delivery and improve.

The best teacher is a thing called Experience – While reading (or watching videos) is a great way to learn, actually doing something is the only way to improve and develop. Until the things you’ve learned have been tested and tweaked, they are not truly yours. For this reason, coaches and players should seek out every opportunity to practice. Practice turns information into tangible skills, potential into reality.

I think this is all for now. I’m still young in my coaching career and will continue to refine the above principles and beliefs while developing new ones 🙂

“Coaching isn’t a job. It’s a away of life. ..You are either born for it or notIf you don’t love every second it,  it’s not for you.”

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What is Incompetency and how Incompetent people Destroying Our National Game – Part 1


According to the dictionary, incompetence is the inability to do something successfully. In my opinion, it is more than that. It is the habit of accepting failure or botched work and making excuses for it.

Failure and mediocrity are incredible. You fail at something or do a poor job and the consequences are not good but not so bad. You lost something, but you did not lose much. You were told off, you came up with an excuse or you apologized, but nothing changed

Guess what will happen next time?

You will fail and be mediocre again and again. And of course, always have a perfect excuse to justify everything.

Do incompetent people know they’re incompetent?
No, of course not; otherwise they wouldn’t be incompetent.
Incompetent people do not understand how incompetent they are because the factors that make them incompetent to make them unable to understand their shortcomings. Psychologists call this the Arrogance of Ignorance.

So what is incompetence?

It is an inability or lack of skill to perform adequately. So, incompetence is measured by results or performance not intelligently. Incompetent people can be quite charming and intelligent, but their perceptions can be out of kilter and how they perform can be disastrous. Incompetence can result from lack of organizational abilities, Ego, self-centered, lack of self-awareness; they may have book learning, but no practical experience, they may be in the wrong line of work, numerous other reasons or any combination of these, for example, if you have a great playing experience and you are a Big wig so it’s not compulsory you will be a good coach or a pilot etc. You have to work harder to be a successful coach or a manager etc.

Below does incompetent people use some of the coping strategies. If you see people doing these things, it’s not guaranteed that they’re incompetent, but you should be wary and very careful with these people until you know for sure because their lack of competence could hurt the system

Nice and Praising people – incompetent people sometimes use ‘nice’ as a coping strategy. They think that if they really, really, really nice and praising then the teacher will be more likely to forgive them or the boss will be reluctant to fire them.

This is a dangerously effective coping strategy because most of us like nice and praising people and we would rather deal with nice people than cranky ones.

In fact, we are more likely to forgive really, really, really nicer people for their incompetence than we are to forgive cranky people. After all, this is why incompetent people adopt ‘nice’ as a strategy; it works. At least, it works for a while and then after a time we get fed up with their constant screw-ups and even their ‘niceness’ is no longer enough to compensate for their perpetual incompetence.

Hiding their selves  – incompetent people sometimes try to make themselves invisible. They sit at the back of the class or the back of the meeting room, hoping they are didn’t noticing and called upon. Also, they keep quiet and don’t raise their hands or volunteer anything because when they do their incompetence becomes evident for all to see.

One more example lot of Ex Olympians and internationals never take a part in any FIH or other coaching certifications, also most of them don’t want to work on a grass root level I mean coaching and management, these kind of people living in a fear of exposing their selves, because they were a brilliant player of their era, but coaching and management are the different fields it doesn’t matter how good and intelligent player you are actually you have a playing experience ONLY.

Invisibility is also a dangerously effective coping strategy because we cannot see them. Since they’re invisible, they’re difficult to identify. They identify when they got some responsible position in federation or in any other organization where they have to work on different sector, like banking, airlines etc, of course they couldn’t fly a plane or run a Bank until they got the right education and a license to fly etc. A funny thing is these people relying on their playing career not on their education and certifications etc.


Never wrong- Beware of people who always make excuses and never accept responsibility for their mistakes. These people show that they are doing a hell of work and going to make a massive change in the system, but in reality they are making things worse because of their incompetence and lying habits. Someone writes “Incompetents will do and say anything to defend themselves … including disassembling, obfuscating, lying and blaming others … they misrepresent, they use decoy arguments and make ad hominem attacks.”


I am following Pak hockey for decades and also worked for a while with them and I have never seen anyone once admitted to making a mistake. They had endless excuses and it was always someone else’s fault. Fortunately, it didn’t take me long to realize they are a bunch of incompetents. They are always right, teaching and applying 80s and 90s formulas won’t work in this modernized sports world, I don’t know how long we will take to realize that and change this incompetence system.


Always right – this is the flip side of ‘Never Wrong’ above. One characteristic of people who think they’re always right is their inability to listen and learn. They’re like super heroes, they show they knew about everything, and they even cannot able to teach a right basic skills, or organize/manage anything. If you aren’t an Olympic medalist then you have no right to say a single word against their artificial and failed logics.

If you try to guide them in a professional and a smart way then you committed a crime because they are always right.


Back Biting and Negative People– Some people, in order to compensate for their incompetence, try to drag other people down with constant negative comments so they look better in comparison. No matter what you tell this type of person, no matter how positive it is, they’ll bend and twist it out of shape. You can see them in sports TV talk shows; They could make Pastola (Ball Boy) look like Cristina Ronaldo, because they know Pastola never going to say anything except YES sir NO sir. These people always want to be in a lime light and if they see some young one who is well spoken and rising slowly and they are recognizing in the Sports sector, then they start taking them as a threat, and start spreading negativity about his game and his/her character also they can give you a unfit certificate after playing 100 international games, they can make your legs uneven or suddenly they become an astrologer to predict how long you can play and perform, beware if a person does that, they are also likely to do it to you behind your back. Everything you say WILL be used against you.

These people are constantly searching for the negative and take great delight in finding it in others.

Poking into everyone else’s business – Some incompetent people, unable to do their own jobs compensate by telling other people how to do their jobs and enter fairing in their jobs. They try to make themselves look good by appearing to be busy ‘improving things’ and thus avoid revealing their inability doing their own jobs. For example, if they are a team manager then they will also take a part in everything, coaching, strength and conditioning, etc, even they start substitute players without asking from coaching team, once team lost the game then they put all the garbage on players and a coaching team.


Overconfidence – although this is not a coping strategy, it may be a sign of someone who believes they’re better than they really are. We live in a rapidly changing world that requires constantly upgrading our skills. Overconfident people may be loath to improve because they think too highly of themselves.

As well, overconfident people may think they don’t need anyone else’s input so they try to do things themselves rather than ask for the opinions from the professionals. Never underestimate the value of teamwork. Two heads are better than one and three better than two. It takes bravery to admit you don’t know everything. Learning is a long journey and this journey will stop when you feel YOU ARE THE BEST.

Hypocrisy– is an Incompetence people’s weapon, from this weapon you can destroy any sports or any system, these are the most dangerous people in sports, these people are always with the federation for the sake of their positions and keep surviving in every federation with the help of same slogan “Rival of Hockey” this federation is doing superb this and this blah blah blah huh…….. These kind of people keeps their position secure and keep the musical chair game on

Hazrat Ali (A.S) said “Always be open to new ideas”

Always try to gain more knowledge. Refrain from being narrow-minded and ignorant. Stick to your own principles but keep yourself open to improvement and constant development. That being said; don’t get yourself into matters which don’t concern you… “He who involves himself in matters without considering the consequences exposes himself to troubles.


Thanks guys for reading this and I think this is very important to know the meaning of INCOMPETENCE before reading my upcoming blog, in the next blog, I will explain how the Federation’s incompetency damages our dying national sport.








Why Always PHF Is To Blame For Pak Hockey’s Sad State of Affairs and The Importance of National Hockey Events

The National senior championship event that has been recently established as a means to promote Pakistan’s national sport across the country. Dubbed as the hockey carnival of the nation, this is an event where teams of various departments and provinces compete with one another showcasing their most talented players, providing ample opportunities for top talent recruitment for the national team. Because of this, the hockey league is immensely competitive and all departments and regional teams select their best players in this well sponsored and funded event.

Playing professional hockey has always been my dream. I first found my passion for the national sport while I was at school, after which I dreamt of participating at the national level. My first breakthrough came when I got accepted into the NBP junior team in the National Junior Championship event in 2000 after my schooling years.

When I stepped my foot into professional hockey, my eyes were set at joining the NBP senior team, which I thought was going to be difficult. Fortunately, my dream came true when some of my batch mates and I were selected for the 1 month bank camp in Gojra and Lahore in 2001

There we were blessed to be around the company of some of the greatest hockey players of Pakistan, including Tahir Zaman, Rana Mujahid, Khawar Javed, Ahmed Khan, and Nadeem ND. My friends and I were simply trying to secure a place in the team as 17th and 18th player positions. This was so that we would get a chance to improve and cultivate our skills by being in constant supervision and guidance of senior and more experienced players.

After a while I finally got properly accepted into the team and played proper professional hockey. Playing alongside some of the most experienced and skilled hockey players was a golden opportunity. They not only supported me, but also gave me the confidence to play up to my potential that helped push my hockey career forward.

Perhaps, the most important aspect of playing professional hockey was discipline. All hockey activities from trainings and rest periods for meetings and social events took place between morning and evening that provided the right atmosphere for building focus and training.

By spending a little over 6 weeks, I began to witness a significant improvement in myself. I, along with others, got a good daily allowance, stayed in 4-star hotels, and benefitted from various other benefits that helped me relax mentally and pursue my career in hockey with greater commitment. Lately, I received positive feedback for my performances in championship events and also got selected for the national camp, followed by the Pakistani Jr. Hockey team, after which my career reached greater heights.

My positive career in hockey is relevant for highlighting the importance of the National Senior Hockey Championship event for new players. If any federation failed to organize a hockey event properly, then they will fail to develop hockey talent that can be the drivers of our national sport in the future. Nowadays, the National Senior Hockey Championship event has more or less become a ‘khana-poori’ event in the calendar of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).

The event’s new federation has played such a crucial and positive role in changing the unprofessional system and structure of Pakistan Hockey to produce real talent for the future. One of their main contributions was introducing a quality and advanced coaching program that will ensure hockey training is executed and conducted only by qualified hockey coaches to meet high and professional game standards, and also brings the qualified GK Coach Salman Akber for the Goal keeper’s development program, and after a few months he quietly resigned due to PHF unprofessional attitude.

Although the idea was well-thought out, it wasn’t implemented properly and ended up becoming another slogan. In the Azlan Shah Hockey Cup, the federation takes a large number of people for coaching and umpiring courses that do not add up to anything beneficial.

I’m utterly disappointed with this non-serious management and cannot understand why this takes place. This is one of the reasons why the national sport of Hockey is losing interest among the younger generation day by day, causing many departments to disband their hockey teams, ending the careers of highly talented hockey players.

In this opportune time for developing future talent, the federation acted very irresponsibly and set a very bad precedent for professional hockey in our country. They organized a National Championship event that failed to fulfill any real objectives. In this event, many departments had set up their training camps for players to participate in the event and had also spent a large sum of money. However, due to poor event management, each team only played 2 games and any team that failed to qualify was asked to pack their bags and go back home.

The question is how else will upcoming players be attracted and motivated to make a career in hockey if such antics occur? Honestly, is there a point in spending a substantial amount of money if players per team only get to play only 2 games? Most important of all, how can the federation expect team sponsors to recruit players if the event is not made competitive enough to encourage talent recruitment for successive games?

There is no doubt that we are wasting good Hockey talent for our future and instead of taking serious measures to correct the problem, we are playing blame games.


One of the most unprofessional decisions taken by the federation was that they changed the draws that were not balanced. Also, they made a few changes to the event to accommodate a hockey player’s wedding reception. Furthermore, members of the federation along with other team participants travelled to other cities that were far from Lahore and got back just in time to play the match/team training the following day. Is this the example we are setting for upcoming players and officials in the professional hockey?

Discipline is the cornerstone of professionalism, but where does that leave us? The second major blunder committed by the federation was regarding the Malaysian Hockey League. PHF changed the draws in order to make the championship event shorter since a lot of players were participating in the tournament. This only showed that the federation does not have any serious concern about sustaining interest in the game of hockey or for nurturing talent for the future.

Video referral

Video referrals failed to bring about any viable outcome in the recent championship event. Video referrals took more than 3 minutes for each appeal and failed to make a good decision. This not only showed the extent of our unprofessionalism towards the sport, but also slowed down the momentum of the match that only made the match unexciting and boring to watch for spectators.

Winning Prize

The entry fee for each team was 1.5 Lac rupees that was embarrassingly low considering that the PHF did not give out any medal or trophies for the team winning 3rd Position. There is only a trophy for the Champions and the runners up but no other prize or medals for anyone else.

FIH Champions Trophy 2016

Pakistan got out from the recent World Cup and Olympics that led to a dramatic fall in their international ranking also in part due to the lack of participation in FIH events. The PHF, unfortunately, does not have any well thought-out plans to close this gap and increase the competitiveness of our national team.

Fortunately, Pakistan was invited to participate in the last champions trophy, which was a great opportunity to score around 150 participation points. This could have been a excellent for helping the team reverse their poor international ranking and along with giving the players tremendous exposure and confidence in being able to play against top teams. Had Pakistan participated in the event, it could have easily secured the top 3rd Position, to say the least.

Why? Because due to Olympic Champions Trophy wasn’t in the program of so many teams, and because of that these teams do not take this event as seriously and simply show up to London without any proper preparation and after seeing few games of champions trophy is quite obvious Pakistan can finish in top position and can improve their ranking, as Pakistan Team always play to win events we never participate for experiments and development procedures.


The PHF could have used this opportunity to try new players or experiment with different match tactics to gauge how well the team performs under different settings. However, the PHF declined the invitation by the FIH and decided not to participate in the 2016 event in order to save themselves the scrutiny of the team’s poor performance.

Ranking and team development aside, Pakistan should have participated in the Champions Trophy seeing that the country is one of the founders of the event. There is no question that the PHF was afraid of facing another major defeat, despite the fact that the team had lost in two major hockey tournaments in quick succession; as such, there was nothing to be afraid of losing.

But, in lieu of the unprofessional system of the PHF, the officials became concerned at the thought of people raising questions about the national team’s performance and blame being casted onto them. Since they could not handle such accountability, they decided not to induct Pakistani team in the event.

Junior World Cup 2016

There was little doubt about how well the Pakistani Junior hockey team had been practicing for the past 12 months, in addition to giving an excellent performance in multiple tournaments prior to the Junior World Cup. Under the supervision and guidance of Head Coach Mr. Tahir Zaman, the team had been doing surprisingly well within a short space of time. During these past few months, the players developed a strong team spirit and bonding and despite not reaching the top standard, they still exhibited a substantial improvement as hockey players.

All they were in need of was some international exposure to polish their skills and discover other areas of improvement. The PHF had a plan to organize a European tour that would give the national team to play against European teams and spend between 2 and 3 weeks in camp training. Despite the good intentions of the federation, the plan never came to fruition, as it was not executed properly.

Changes to the plan were made, owing to a scheduling conflict as a result of a Chief of Army Staff hockey tournament. Due to this, the PHF lost sight of their priorities and emphasized the importance of a local event at the expense of an international tour.

A short while after this, the Pakistani Junior Team was not able to participate in the Junior World Cup due to the refusal of the Indian government to issue visas to Pakistani hockey team players. But, instead of admitting their mistakes, the officials of the federation took advantage of the situation by putting all the blame on the Indian government for their Junior team’s lack of international exposure.

And since Indo-Pak ties often get sensationalized by our media, it was not difficult for the federation to cast blame on anyone but themselves for their poor decision making and lack of serious attitude. I guess we all owe the federation officials a big debt of gratitude and salute for bashing the Indians on television and scoring political points. The fact of the matter is that the federation was able to cover the root causes of the junior hockey team’s lack of international exposure – their own unprofessional attitude towards the game.

Honestly, is this the state of our national sports federation where it is better to waste our energy and time impressing our bosses in order to secure our jobs, but not executing future plans to develop our hockey team players?

The federation should have anticipated this and taken out the time to submit an appeal and do all the paperwork necessary to strengthen their case. However, PHF neglected three FIH warnings and did not submit the required papers. During this time, the FIH asked the Malaysian Federation and those of other countries to fulfill the replacement. In contrast, the Malaysian Federation took advantage of this by submitting the required paper within 48 hours and obtained the visas for their hockey players to participate in the World Cup.

After this blander PFH said we will take this matter very seriously and they will bring this matter to the court, after so called consulting they decided to be quiet………………………..

Coaching System

When the Legends in charge of the federation first took their jobs, they used many slogans and promises to bring change to uplift the national sport from unprofessionalism. However, all ended up in vain and we are still in the same situation without any optimism for true change or progress.

The coaching system is one example where PHF failed to live up to its promises. For example, apart from the fact that Khwaja Junaid was appointed as head coach, the federation, brought a retired army serviceman, Lt. Co. Mohsin Ali, as assistant coach or manager, Mr. Hanif Khan as camp commandant plus manager, and Ahmed Alam as GK coach.

I still do not understand why you need different levels of coaches or what these different coach titles are supposed to mean for the management. The interesting thing is that the PHF boss did not buy the idea of having a strength and conditioning coach as he instructed the players, during the Asian Champions Trophy, that all players need to work hard on their like how they used to in their time.

What really perplexes me is why retired army servicemen are being hired to do the job of a professional hockey manager or coach. I guess this only shows how our hockey federation is riddled with favoritism, something that resonates with our country’s political system.

The people who are aware of the federation can easily spot the problems in the management. How can you expect hockey players to take an interest in the game or for the team to have a consistent skills development and training system when the head coach instructs one player to be substituted for another, the Chief coach says to replace everyone except that player, or when the goal keeper is neglected by the coach because he has been coached by someone else in the past or when the new captain is forced to sit on the bench because he is not a favorite of another coach.

The fact of the matter is that there are many coaches with their different approach, each of whom have considerable authority to dictate and decide who should substitute and who should not. The worst part, of course, is that each coach has their favorite and any selection and induction of players happens through tribal customs.

This only creates a stress environment of players and makes them lose confidence and hope for seeing themselves grow in the sport and take the national sport to international level. It is no surprise then that Mr. Khawaja struggled to manage his own team.

We all need to reflect on our own problems and take steps to promote transparency and team spirit of the game. If the players cannot bond well and fail to perform as part of a team, then what does this say about the management’s responsibility to provide a strong playing atmosphere and core value system? The reality is that we are too busy casting blame on one another and fail to acknowledge our own mistakes.

I always say ‘attitude is everything’ and if this is the attitude of the people in charge, then there is no doubt that we haven’t learnt anything from our mistakes. Should this continue, we will never be able to progress in our own national sport.

Another point to reflect about is that foreign coaches will always bring their own team, such as video analyst professional, GK coach, physiotherapist, and so on. Have you wondered why this is the case? I will leave you to think about it. But you should know that that the national senior team has no physiotherapist no strength and conditioning coach and team is participating in the international events with someone’s friend Oh I mean DOCTOR (I already explained doctor role in Pak hockey in my pervious Blog).

Freedom of Speech

Our federation also has issues with people who voice their opinions for accountability. Recently, the former hockey player and legend Waseem Ahmed raised some questions during a national championship event highlighting the problems of favoritism in PHF. Soon after, he received a notice and got banned to sit on the team bench of his departmental team during the championship event and had to take permission from PHF to allow him to serve as coach for a foreign country hockey Club.

Now that was harsh! Waseem Ahmed recently became a FIH high performance coach and also got recommended for the next stage of FIH high performance coaching, along with serving as a coach for the Australian hockey club.

My complaint is why did the federation behave in such manner? This is not the first time it has happened with a high-ranking former hockey player. On the contrary, we have seen this happen with various other players and former players. The PHF, instead of being open to criticism, acts in a dictatorial fashion by shutting any mention of public scrutiny. PHF, in the past, have sent notices to various department officials to set an example for others never to open their mouths against them.

Unfortunately, this method is working on keeping the sport of hockey infested with favoritism and unprofessionalism. This is why in lieu of these systemic problems, I can only appeal to the government of Pakistan to introduce institutional level changes to rid the federation of incompetence and make hockey a pride of our nation.