As reported by The Hindu earlier, Hockey India on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of David John as the teams’ new High Performance Director. John, who worked as the physiologist and scientific advisor with the Indian men’s team for a year between 2011-12, is largely credited with bringing in a more professional and scientific approach to the training methodology within the Indian team andraising the team’s fitness levels to international standards. Coming on the recommendation of then coach Michel Nobbs in 2011, John had implemented and introduced new strength and training programmes for the players before quitting abruptly in October 2012, soon after the London Olympics, citing low salary.
He had been paid $(A)5500 back then but according to sources, is now expected to be paid $15,000 — the same as Roelant Oltmans was in his role as HPD.
While his previous stint involved only working with the men’s side, John would now be concentrating on both the men and women at all levels besides furthering the process of identifying and developing new talent across the country.
His presence is likely to help the women the most, who have been lagging in the fitness department in comparison to the top teams in the world.
Despite quitting with the national team, John had later worked as the Performance Director with two different teams in the Hockey India League, most recently with Kalinga Lancers in 2016 where the team finished runner-up.
“The role comes with its own unique set of challenges. I am hopeful that my previous experience will help me. One of the crucial areas is the identification and nurturing of talent in the country and look to develop the team for the 2020 Olympics,” John said.