Aikman, acclimatising to his environment in his position because the coach of the Pakistan males’s hockey staff, determined to hitch the gamers in one thing that may be very vital to them.
It is the month of Ramzan, main as much as Eid al-Fitr in lower than 30 days. Amid the month-long day-time fasting, meals can solely be had earlier than and after sundown. Members of the Islamic neighborhood, together with top-flight sportspersons, observe the Ramzan rituals, which may very well be a really troublesome factor to do alongside coaching for high-performance sports activities.
Schedules can go for a toss, weight-reduction plan plans demand a break and coaching packages are required to be re-drawn.
It’s Aikman’s first such expertise. Because the Pakistan gamers had been allowed a break from the nationwide camp to be with their households for the primary day of Ramzan, Aikman decided: he began fasting as properly.
As a result of yesterday my 1st fasting day was an amazing and particular expertise I all prepared began with day 2 my subsequent drin… https://t.co/c7dOIXeV8p
— siegfried Aikman (@SiggyAikman) 1649028773000
“It was a factor I thought of as a result of this is a chance to expertise what the gamers expertise,” mentioned Aikman, speaking to TimesofIndia.com from Pakistan.
Whereas that call of Aikman has warmed Pakistani hearts, it throws up a distinct set of challenges for him in his position because the staff’s coach.
The Dutchman was re-working the coaching schedule to include Ramzan-related necessities, when he took a break to reply TimesofIndia.com’s questions.
“Was planning the camp, make a schedule for the follow. I learn a paper written by certainly one of our FIH coaches about Ramzan and high-performance hockey, and he steered that we should always follow within the night, so the gamers can have three meals within the evening and sleep at daytime primarily,” mentioned Aikman, who was the top coach of the Japan males’s staff earlier than accepting a suggestion from the Pakistan Hockey Federation late final 12 months.
“I assumed, properly, let me expertise what they expertise as a result of that is the easiest way to grasp what is going on on. That is why I made a decision to strive,” Aikman advised TimesofIndia.com.
The Pakistan staff is getting ready for the crucial Asia Cup scheduled to be held in Indonesia in the direction of the tip of Could. A top-four place there’ll guarantee qualification for the 2023 World Cup in India.
It is Pakistan hockey’s quick precedence, after large setbacks of lacking out on Olympic qualification and slipping all the way down to 18th within the Worldwide Hockey Federation (FIH) males’s staff rankings.
Recognized to be very methodical in his method, Aikman ready earnestly for the fasting problem as properly.
“I acquired the Ramzan schedule…what’s the newest time you can eat within the morning and from when you can begin having meals within the night,” he mentioned.
Breaking Ramzan quick within the night is called ‘Iftar‘.
(Aikman with the Pakistan gamers – Photograph: TOI association)
On the primary day of Ramzan, Aikman wakened at 3:30 a.m. and ate all he needed to by 4:25 a.m., earlier than going again to sleep.
“I attempt to sleep a bit additional within the morning, in order that the primary (few) hours move,” he mentioned.
“Through the day, I begin counting the hours left to go (earlier than he can eat once more), as a result of I get an increasing number of hungry. I wasn’t thirsty,” the 62 12 months outdated mentioned speaking to TimesofIndia.com.
He broke his quick over the weekend watching India males tackle England within the FIH Professional League.
“Within the afternoon, I acquired a slight headache, which was perhaps from dehydration or starvation, I do not know. But it surely was not that I used to be actually hungry…I took my actual dinner at about Eight or 8:30 and watched the India vs England sport on the time I used to be consuming,” he shared additional about his first fasting expertise.
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— siegfried Aikman (@SiggyAikman) 1645460874000
However to proceed with that consuming routine for a month will not be one thing Aikman is bound about.
“It felt good. I’ve made the choice to proceed fasting for a couple of week. Then I’ll have a greater image (if I can proceed or not). I simply need to see the way it goes,” he mentioned, earlier than signing off saying, “It is one thing I’m doing from my coronary heart.”