I get some tips from GB’s su­per stop­per

The Hockey Paper - - MEN'S SUPER 6S -

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

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