I get some tips from GB’s super stopper
MADDIE Hinch and I were team-mates at Leicester and GB for several years, but more recently we’ve found ourselves on opposing sides for Holcombe and Surbiton. This means I’ve had plenty of practise at trying to score past her in training and games – with varying degrees of success!
A few weeks before Christmas, we decided it was time I swapped my shooting stick for a helmet and a bit of foam padding to give Maddie her chance for revenge (and both of us a good laugh).
I’m a big believer in understanding the game from different perspectives, so found it valuable for my goalscoring to experience how it feels to try and save the ball instead.
Much as strikers like to joke that all keepers do is stand around, I can confirm their job is hard work! They obviously have different physical requirements compared to outfielders, but this experience really emphasized the incredible agility, power and flexibility top goalkeepers need.
Maddie’s ‘little red notebook’ and match-winning penalty-shootout performances have earned her the headlines, but there is clearly more to her goalkeeping skills. Bravery and speedy reactions are essential for shot stopping, but it surprised me how technically challenging even some ostensibly simple saves were.
As an outfielder, a mistrap or wayward pass is occasionally significant in the outcome of a match, but when a goalkeeper doesn’t make a ‘simple’ save, it can be the difference in a one goal defeat. This adds a unique pressure to the role.
I won’t be making a permanent move between the posts, but I thoroughly enjoyed my two hour goalkeeping career and I’d recommend having a go. A few pointers from GB’s superstar keeper definitely helped me improve, but I’m not sure I’ll be challenging Maddie for her spot just yet. YouTube video of us: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=6xJ4qFp3bZQ&fe ature=youtu.be