One-lin­ers from Peter would lift my gloom

The Hockey Paper - - WILLIAMS -

COACH­ING can be pretty stressful stuff at times. Be­tween the frus­tra­tions pro­vided by your own play­ers, the op­po­si­tion and the um­pires, the heavy, dark clouds can quickly draw in over you, even heav­ier than the ones the mid­dle of winter are al­ready pro­vid­ing.

For me, in 12 or so sea­sons of Premier League hockey, there was one won­der­ful voice of sense and rea­son that we’ve re­cently lost who in­vari­ably seemed to pop up on the side line at just the right time with ei­ther his cam­era or voice recorder. Peter Sav­age was ev­ery­thing our sport should be proud of.

He was knowl­edge­able and pas­sion­ate about the game, in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive and al­ways look­ing to lis­ten and share ideas.

And yet, de­spite his own con­sid­er­able knowl­edge, Peter would never bom­bard you with the­o­ries or opin­ion but in­stead just leave you with a one-line pearl that could res­onate with you for weeks.

In my last sea­son in the Premier League, it be­came my pre­ferred habit when I needed a deep breath to wan­der down and have a chat to Peter if he was there.

He’d ob­vi­ously picked up on this ad­di­tional role of pro­vid­ing a 30-sec­ond coun­selling ser­vice and it gave me a real in­sight into just how clever he was.

No mat­ter how I tried I could never guess what he would say and yet inevitably it would be spot on and some­how al­ways clear away the gloom. So, thanks not only for that Peter but for ev­ery­thing you did in your life­time of hockey. You will be sorely missed but al­ways re­mem­bered. Todd Wil­liams is a for­mer Aus­tralian in­ter­na­tional, the hockey pro­fes­sional at Mag­dalen Col­lege School in Ox­ford and a Premier League coach for over 12 sea­sons with Hamp­stead and West­min­ster HC, Slough Ladies HC and, most re­cently, four sea­sons with Sur­biton HC.

Twit­ter: tod­dwilliamsuk

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