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In Case You Didn't Know, Wimbledon Hockey Club is Crushing It
Hey everybody, Wimbledon HC has arrived…
Over the past 7 seasons, Wimbledon HC has come a long way.
Starting in the lower South Premier Division 1, the club has worked its way to Premier National League. Not settling there, the Wimbledon team won back-to-back championships in 2015 and 2016 and even made the 2017 final (talk about an amazing few years!).
Continuing that success, the team has qualified for the Euro Hockey League (EHL) in two straight seasons and is set to compete in the 2017 Finals for the first time in its history!
Ever wondered what it’s like to play at that level? What goes into a legit European hockey championship (so you know for when you’re in one…)? STX athlete and Wimbledon HC squad member Phil Ball chronicles a play-by-play of Wimbledon’s 2017 semi-finals journey for us:
Wheels Up! Two Days Before the Tournament…
-Meet the squad at Heathrow Airport & catch a flight to Germany (perks of being a pro athlete: International travel!).
-Take a bus to the hotel, chill out & get some food. (Okay, not some food. A LOT of food.)
-Make sure all the equipment is unloaded and prepped for the days ahead. The manager handles this so the coach can fully focus on hockey. MVP!!
Butterflies & Yoga - The Day Before…
-A.M. on-pitch training session, featuring some yoga to get the team loose and comfortable! Plus, we always go over basic playing principles. It’s elementary stuff that we’ve gone over a million times, but it makes a huge difference for the team to be in the same mindset.
-Afternoon at the “cinema”…catch up on a bit of film and discuss team strategy.
-Late team dinner with all the food our trainers don’t approve of…
-Then, following the team dinner, we meet with the trainers and physio to sort out any kinks before the big day.
GAME DAY! No pressure…
-Meet for team breakfast to finalize game plan and have a laugh together (always important before a game – gotta have that team chemistry!)
-Get final treatments from the trainer, ankles strapped and gear up for the game.
-Stretch, warmup and, as always, then we’re ready to #PlayHuge!
Live, Play, Repeat…
-Following a win over UHC Hamburg, it’s time to do it all again in preparation for the next game…just two days later. We go out for a bit to celebrate, and then hit the pitch again the next day for more training.
-After the post-match victory dinner, the manager gives a game review (because there is always something you can improve). I really appreciate this part – I think it’s exercises like this that have really helped our team to grow over the last couple of years!
-Then, we get our new training schedule, and it’s time to start focusing on the next match. Not a lot of time to recover, but there’s always great momentum coming off of a big victory.
-Time for the second go-round! When we’re at home in England with other clubs, the hosting team always takes the other team out for dinner and drinks. For an international game it’s a bit different, but whether we win or lose, it’s always great to go out and celebrate the tournament weekend.
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