Herman Kruis: Three-Time World Cup Medalist
April 4, 2018, 5:43 p.m.
Herman Kruis: Three-Time World Cup Medalist
Belarus Indoor Hockey Coach
"In 2007, we won the first Indoor World Cup in the history of Dutch Hockey. Nobody saw it coming –but us.”
1. How did you become coach? What’s your experience?
I was about 16 years old when I started to practice. I played actively until I was 29. Immediately after, I started as a trainer coach for the male team at the BHV Push. I was the head coach for 6 years and then I was promoted to the Overgansklasse. From 2000 to 2008, I was the head coach at the Den Bosch for the female team. We won the National Champion 8 times, and 8 times we were the European Champions in outdoor field hockey. During the same period, we were National Champions twice in Indoor Hockey. From 2006 to 2008, I was the National Team Head Coach for Indoor Hockey. In 2007 we won the World Cup in Vienna. From 2008 to 2010 I was the National Head Coach for Outdoor Hockey. In 2009 we won the European Championship and in 2010 we lost the World Cup final, in Rosario, to Argentina. From 2010 to 2012 I was Head Coach for the female team HDM. Then, in 2012 and until 2016, I was the Head Coach Push for the male team and we were promoted to Dutch Hockey’s First Division (Hoofdklasse) in 2014. Since 2015, I have been National Head Coach for the Belarusian female team. In 2015 we won the Bronze medal in Prague Championship 2. In 2016 we also got the Bronze Medal for the European Cup 1 Indoor at Minsk. In 2017 we got the third place at the WHL round 2 in Vancouver. In 2017 we won the first place at the European Cup 2, and were recognized as one of the top 8 Hockey teams in Europe. In 2018, we won the Bronze medal for indoor hockey at the Prague European Championship. In 2018, at the World Cup in Berlin, we got the Bronze medal (first time in history for Belarusian hockey).
2. What are the differences between training your Club and training a National Team? In a club you can work the whole week with the team and you control all the important things. In a National team, athletes train at their own club and they all train differently. We try to advise club coaches, but they have the last word.
3. It’s the first time you win a medal in the World Cup, what does this feel like? As a Coach, I was at three World Cups. In 2007, we won the first Indoor World Cup in the history of Dutch Hockey. Nobody saw it coming –but us. We defeated Spain 4 - 2 in the final. In 2010, we played the Outdoor World Cup in Rosario, Argentina, in a stadium with over 20.000 people. We lost 3 to 1 and went home with the Silver. In 2018, I played with Belarus the World Cup and we got the Bronze medal. This was the first time in the history of Belarusian hockey that somebody had won a medal… and every medal is unique. My first world title was completely unexpected, and that feeling was wonderful. The Silver was rather a disappointment because you will always get the feeling that you could have won. The Bronze medal was fantastic because I immediately realized this could be a boost for Belarusian hockey.
4. In such short competitions, how do you work towards preparing the matches? We prepare the team for such tournaments by training at the same rhythm. We also hold a lot of team meetings after the practice and we discuss how to play. Exercising your mind is also key.
5. In terms of video analysis, what do you think is more important, focusing on your team or on the rival team? When you work with video analysis it’s important to focus on what you need as coach and what you will give to the team. It isn’t possible to transmit to the team everything you see. It’s vital to set the important points apart. Find four important points and discus them with your team in one team session. Let the team come up with the solutions. Don’t justtell them what needs to be done, let them think.
6. What do you like about working with LongoMatch? It such a user-friendly tool. I use the drawing program to explain certain topics –and also the statistics. You can actually see why you succeeded or you didn’t. This is a great feature.
7. Would you recommend LongoMatch to other users? Yes of course, because it’s so easy to use and provides so much information. I always recommend LongoMatch in courses and seminars.