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'Handling Pressure Will Be Key In Asian Games': Indian Women's Hockey Coach Janneke Schopman

Indian women's hockey coach Janneke Schopman believes handling pressure will be crucial for her team as it will enter the upcoming Asian Games as one of the "favourites". "I believe the mindset the players have as individuals and as a team will make the difference. Can we perform under pressure and deal with the circumstances handed over to us? "We have talked about this over the past couple of months and what it means to not be the underdogs like we were in Tokyo but being the favourites," Schopman said on the latest episode of Hockey Te Charcha, a podcast series launched by Hockey India.

"We have spoken about the expectations from this team. We have also addressed what dangers are out there that might cause distraction, and trip us up, and how we can deal with the same." The Dutch coach said if her team plays to its potential, it can win win the gold in Hangzhou and qualify directly for next year's Paris Olympics.

"It is important to enjoy the journey as well. I hope we win; I think we can win but it's life and we might not," Schopman said.

"As long as we know we were able to control what we can and we were able to play as well as we can as individuals and as a team, then we have to accept the outcome. This is what we are trying to instill in the girls that we just have to play hockey and find a way to work around the pressure."

India are placed in Pool A of the Asian Games along with South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore, while Japan, China, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Indonesia are clubbed in Pool B.

After their opening game against Singapore on September 27, India will face Malaysia on September 29, followed by South Korea on October 1 and Hong Kong on October 3.

Schopman stressed upon the importance of