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How to Stand Out to Your Field Hockey Coach
To be a strong field hockey player, it of course takes skill, endurance and mental toughness. For anyone looking to grow and improve, another critical quality is an openness to being coachable.
We talked with renowned field hockey coaches and top-tier players about their secrets for standing out to your coach.
Shona McCallin – Team STX Athlete, Great Britain Hockey
"Always have a good attitude and give it your all when training. Mental resilience is so important as a top-level athlete - show coaches you have this."
Megan Fraser, Head Coach, Johns Hopkins’ Field Hockey
"My advice is to not take shortcuts! Pay attention to the details of a drill. If you are a good listener, you will execute correctly and your coach will value that immensely!"
Taylor West – Team STX Athlete, U.S. Women's National Team
"Show up to preseason physically fit. It is always evident who has put in the work during the summer when no one was watching. Coming in fit also causes less stress when it comes to fitness testing. You have nothing to worry about if you have done everything you can to prepare! Being a good teammate and leading by example is a great attribute to have as well. Actions speak louder than words!" Follow Taylor West on Instagram
Sally Starr – Head Coach, Boston University Field Hockey
"I look for a kid who plays with great energy with and without the ball. A kid who plays with good pace and intelligence on ball and works relentlessly to win the ball back."
Alyssa Parker – Team STX Athlete, U.S. Women's National Team
"You can teach skill, but you can’t teach the willingness to work hard and being coachable. My tip for players trying to stand out is to be the hardest working player on the field. Go after every 50/50 ball and be willing to leave everything out there, every time you step on the field. Players with a positive attitude who listen to the critiques made by coaches and focus on improving are the ones I want on my team. A player who is coachable has unlimited potential to grow." Follow Alyssa Parker on Twitter
Robin Balducci – Head Coach, University of New Hampshire
"It’s important to see a player finish and really take ownership for the intangibles on the field. Play through the situations that present themselves on the field. Have a balance of technical execution and tactical savvy."
Kelsey Kolojejchick – Team STX Athlete, U.S. Women's National Team
"Just showing your coach that you are giving it 100% when you are out on the field makes a big difference. Coaches who see girls trying their best and working their hardest always catch attention. Be open and accepting of criticism. Coaches love coachable players. Players who can handle criticism and learn from it and then grow and put that into use on the field is very important and noticeable to coaches."
Ali Campbell – Team STX Athlete, U.S. Women's National Team
"Make your movements matter! Just a simple jog everywhere may not catch the coach’s eye. Use short sharp movements, which will catch the eyes of coaches because you’re being purposeful and meaningful with opportunities on and off ball." Follow Ali Campbell on Twitter
Katie Bam – Team STX Athlete, U.S. Women's National Team
"Don't worry about making mistakes! Coaches love to see you trying new things and playing with confidence even if things don't always go your way. My second piece of advice is to want the ball! Coaches know when you are hiding or slacking, so want the ball and want to make a difference on the team. Besides that, make sure you HAVE FUN!!"
To strengthen your shooting skills, check out this Skill & Drill featuring Kelsey Kolojejchick demonstrating the on-the-move right foot shot.