The national hockey team will undergo a four-day commando training programme at the Bangladesh Air Force's training camp in Gazipur from today in order to build confidence and fitness levels.
Commando training for athletes is not a new concept in Bangladesh; cricketers underwent similar training in 2007 under the supervision of the Bangladesh Army ahead of the ICC World Twenty20.
Coach Gobinathan Krishnamurti felt the players needed such training after his charges lost all six practice matches against India A and the Indian Junior hockey team over the past two weeks.
"The players need confidence and courage when they go to the battle on the pitch and such training will help them keep the flag in their hearts and boost them to fight. It will also help players alleviate fatigue and lift each other up when they are down," Gobinathan explained yesterday.
After the camp, the players will resume their training at the stadium from July 16 before flying for South Korea on July 24 to play four to five practice matches against their counterparts.
The tour of India was part of the team's preparations for the upcoming Asian Games, to be held in Jakarta from August 18, but it was a bitter experience as Bangladesh suffered heavy defeats in all six encounters.
"The important thing is to know the weaknesses of your team and you can't know them until you play against strong teams like India, who are now ranked sixth in the world. We lost all the games but the players' confidence was boosted. Some players learned a lot of things although I saw that some could not perform due to fear," said Gobinathan, who got only 10 days to train the players before leaving for India last month.
"There have definitely been some improvements but at the same time some problems [are still there]. So I have to improve those areas over the next month," the former Malaysia international concluded.