Hockey players in lockdown training in preparation for the future
The Covid 19 shutdown has stopped competitive hockey across the country but just like the Great Britain players who are training behind the scenes to stay fit for the resumption of the international season the talented AKS young hockey players are working hard at home to maintain their fitness and continue their skill development.
Current Fylde Performance Centre players Lucy and Beth were looking forward to more training sessions and especially to playing for the Fylde Performance Centre against the other North West Centres in July but all have been cancelled. Midfielder Lucy has been embarking on running sessions to keep up her endurance for her hardworking role while GK Beth has taken hints from GB Olympic GK Maddie Hinch following sessions posted on instagram to improve her ability to get up from a dive and her strength. Both girls are hopeful that the training will keep them in shape to be selected to re-join the PC next season. Lucy said “Over the Easter holidays and the course of this lockdown so far, my family and I have been keeping fit by going on bike rides, runs, playing games in the garden and doing home workouts. I have recently been involved in the ‘Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5’ for the NHS. I completed the challenge, and from then on, every other day, I have done 5K in some form of exercise. Whether that be running- including fartlek- or cycling. Along with this, I have been completing home workout circuits. I have found that this has already improved my fitness, as my times have been getting quicker each time. I have also tried some hockey skills in the garden, simple ones, but it’s just getting me used to playing again. Beth said ” To stay fit for hockey during lockdown I am exercising every day, for at least 40 minutes, whether it’s a yoga session or cardio and muscle building to keep me fit. I then go on either a walk or run which is about 3-4 miles on average. In the garden I practice my techniques for goalkeeping by doing basic lunges and agility circuits”
Other talented players working hard are Performance Centre hopefuls Charlotte Thomson, Olivia Merrick and Laura Knowles all of whom attended the Fylde Performance Centre Play Days earlier in the season. As part of the Lancashire U14 team all three were looking forward to playing against the other county sides to gain an assessment for next year’s PC but with the tournaments cancelled they will be hoping to be nominated for assessment when we return to playing and so are working hard to be ready for this.
Laura is doing a daily run and also doing lower body and upper body workouts during games and PE lessons while Charlotte has enlisted the help of her Dad with her training sessions and both have embarked on a schedule to improve both speed and endurance. Charlotte and Dad can be seen pounding the streets of Lytham and after three weeks both are getting fitter and going faster with Dad just keeping ahead at this stage. Charlotte has also been practising her skills on the newly laid pieces of astroturf at home and has followed ex GB players Callum Giles and Alex Danson skill sessions on twitter.
These are Charlotte’s thoughts on the lockdown “Because of the Covid-19 pandemic we have all had to stay at home which means our hockey season has been cut short and all my sport practises have stopped. Because of this I have been trying to keep fit at home. Every morning I have been walking/running with my friends’ dog, which has been good fun. I have been practising and trying to develop my hockey skills, watching lots of videos online. I am trying to eat healthy with my mum. I have also been following a running plan given to me which I have enjoyed. I have been doing this with my dad as he also wants to get fitter and he is at home so now has the time, which I really look forward to. We are both getting fitter and stronger which keeps me motivated. I have been doing this because I would like to perform well in the Lancashire tournaments when they do get played and I would like to get into the Fylde performance centre for hockey next year. My goal for the end of this pandemic is that I will be fitter and healthier”
Good advice from Olivia “To stay fit in lockdown you need to plan when to do the exercise as otherwise you will struggle to fit it in or will just keep putting it off. You can run, cycle, and lots more. A nice thing to do would be the 5,5,5. This is where you run 5km, donate £5 to the NHS for their amazing work and then nominate 5 to do the same. Also, you can practice dribbling around cones to improve your skills”
AKS is proud of its talented hockey players who like all ambitious sportswomen are working hard during this lockdown period and hopefully they will be rewarded with inclusion in the England Hockey Fylde Performance Centre when we eventually get back on the hockey pitch.