Talent Development – England Hockey

EH wants players who are:

  1. Highly skilled and creative
    Players who can execute highly adaptable skills and tactical understanding under pressure:
  2. What it takes to win attitude
    Players that consistently thrive and look to develop themselves and teammates.
  3. Effective decision makers
    Players who implicitly understand principles of the game and link these to the skills required to deliver performance.
  4. Self organising
    Players that transfer best practice based on tactical and experiential knowledge and can adapt in order to perform.
  5. Fast and robust
    Players who are consistently available and motivated for long term training, and ready for the technical, tactical, physiological, psychological, social and emotional demands of international hockey.


How they demonstrate the above


1. Fast
Player is able to demonstrate the necessary speed of body, mind, and/or stick to compete in a fast dynamic game.

  1. Speed of body:
    Player demonstrates sound levels of peak speed and acceleration speed and technique.
  2. Speed of mind:
    Player demonstrates sound levels of context-sensitive (for example, field location, score, and time) on-field decision making, both while in attack (either in possession of the ball or without) and in defence.
  3. Speed of stick:
    Player demonstrates effective ‘foot skills’, decision making and stick skills and technique.
2. Physically, Mentally & Emotionally Durable
Player is able to regularly perform over time, in training and competition, when needed, without injury.

  1. Repeatability:
    Player demonstrates repeated sprint ability and aerobic speed endurance to increase intensity in the final period of competition.
  2. Consistently available:
    Player demonstrates a robust physiological profile that is resilient to the increasingly high volumes of work required from training and competition.
3. Physically Literate
Player is able to demonstrate the basic fundamental physical movement skills to be able to perform increasingly complex hockey skills.

  1. Fundamental movement skills:
    Player is able to demonstrate the fundamental locomotor (walking, running, jumping and landing, and evasion), stability (static and dynamic balance), and manipulation (handling and controlling a ball with the stick) skills that form the foundation for (but can be learned alongside) more specific hockey skills.
  2. Health literacy:
    Player demonstrates a holistic understanding of the body and its function; they know what good health looks like for them?
  3. Hockey specific movements:
    Player is able to demonstrate strength in flexion, and an appropriate hip range of movement, rotational power, and lower lib eccentric control and strength.
4. Intelligent Trainers
Player can effectively adapt, manage and optimise physical preparation and recovery to meet specific performance needs when away from the GB/ HC environment.

  1. Physical preparation:
    Player can demonstrate extended ‘warm ups’ to develop game specific movement skills and robustness, with increasingly less guidance and direction..
  2. Recovery:
    Player can consistently and independently develop and apply meaningful recovery strategies to optimally recover from training and competition.
5. Self-Managers
Player is able demonstrate resourcefulness in managing time and tasks, and in balancing hockey life and home life.

  1. Well-being:
    The player can self-regulate and maintain an optimal state of physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.
  2. Sleep, rest & nutrition:
    Player is able independently make good choices with respect to sleep and rest, and as to what, when and how much to eat. They are able to adjust their energy, nutrition and lifestyle for optimal health.
  3. Off field development:
    The player appreciates the value of developing professional and personal skills outside of hockey.
6. Motivated and Driven
Player is clear on what they want to do, how to do it, and is prepared to do what it takes.

  1. Motivation:
    The player has a clear ambition, higher purpose or goal that is ultimately tied to performance and ‘being the best they can be’. They are passionate about achieving their desired goal and demonstrate appropriate commitment, optimism and self-belief.
  2. Drive:
    The player is sufficiently conscientious, has a strong work ethic and values, knows what it takes to succeed and is prepared to do what it takes. They demonstrate persistence in achieving their goals despite obstacles over an extended period of time.
  3. Direction:
    The player has clear long and short-term goals/ objectives with a detailed plan of how these will be achieved in order to maintain perspective, stay on track, and fulfil their ambition.
7. Able to cope with pressure
Player is able to demonstrate a range of mental qualities and techniques consistent with elite performance at the required moment.

  1. Self-regulation:
    The player has effective emotional control and behavioural regulation skills and is able to employ these under pressure in order to perform to their potential (e.g. achieving optimal arousal or being in the ‘zone’).
  2. Focus:
    The player is able to minimise internal and external ‘noise’ in order to establish, maintain and regain focus. They demonstrate appropriate attention and concentration, at the required time, in order to execute their skills.
  3. Decision-making:
    The player is not ‘overthinking’ or ‘under- thinking’ prior to action. They demonstrate ‘sporting intelligence’ and make effective decisions through good tactical knowledge, awareness, anticipation and processing speed.
  4. Flexibility:
    The player is able to adapt in the moment to and deal effectively with changing situations, challenges, or setbacks. They are able to ‘let go’, adapt their game plan, or be creative according to the demands of the situation.
8. Self-aware learners
Player is able to demonstrate good self-awareness, realistically reflect on own performance, engage in purposeful practice, and access appropriate support from others to master skills in increasingly challenging training and competition situations.

  1. Self-awareness:
    The player is able to demonstrate a good awareness of their own strengths, weaknesses, values, motivations, emotions and learning preferences. They are able to use this awareness to realistically evaluate their own performance and development.
  2. Resilience:
    The player is able to manage change and deal appropriately with setbacks, challenges or adversity in their development. They have a positive sense of self-worth, effective problem solving skills, and ability to self-soothe. They also have access to a number of positive relationships and are able to appropriately seek support or be regulated by others.
  3. Openness to learning:
    The player is open to learning (‘growth mindset’) and proactively seeks appropriate advice, feedback, and instruction from coaches and other support staff. The player is also willing to work on their weakness and develop competencies or strengths through engagement in purposeful practice and learning (including self- directed).
9. Able to work with others
Player is able to communicate effectively, relate to others, and demonstrate appropriate leadership.

  1. Communication:
    The player is able to listen and communicate effectively with others both verbally and non-verbally. These skills are evident both during and away from performance situations.
  2. Team player:
    The player is aware of how the team functions and is able to effectively relate to others, through effective social skills and an awareness of others’ needs. They are able to appropriately be a selfless and if required place the needs of the team above their own.
  3. Leadership:
    The player is able to demonstrate appropriate transformational qualities through the ability to set high standards, inspire and motivate others, promote collective goals and teamwork, act as a role model, and provide appropriate developmental and motivational feedback