England Hockey Player Pathway Handbook

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England Hockey Player Pathway Handbook

Experience • Play • Perform

England Hockey Player Pathway Handbook

Our responsibility through The Player Pathway is to give players the best

experiences and opportunities in which to develop and become the best players they can be.

Through a flexible and open system, with players at its heart, The Player

Pathway will offer young people the opportunity to reach their potential. The aim of this booklet is to offer a framework that you can use to help

you further understand, review and refine the part of the pathway you are involved with.

It is designed to provide clarity about the purpose of the pathway (at

different tiers), detail the key aspects for effective delivery, but mainly, help you highlight current strengths and areas that you may wish to develop. Ultimately, this will benefit all our players whether they enjoy playing the game, are a talented multi-sport player, or, an avid hockey player. Thank you for your continued and

concerted contribution to our sport. Danny Kerry – Senior Women’s Coach

England Hockey Player Pathway Handbook

OUR VISION Our vision is for England to be

A Nation Where Hockey Matters

We want hockey to be on the back pages of our newspapers, where children dream of scoring a goal for England’s senior hockey team, and where our performance stirs up emotion amongst the many, not the few.

Sally Munday CEO England Hockey

OUR PHILOSOPHY & AIMS All of our work is built around a virtuous circle: International success stimulates increased visibility which encourages growth in participation.

Our aim is to;

1. Grow our participation 2. Deliver international success 3. Increase our visibility 4. Enhance our infrastructure

The Player Pathway plays 5. Be a strong and respected governing body a vital role in England which encourages growth in participation. Hockey achieving growth in participation and delivering international success

International Success Enhanced Infrastructure Growth in Participation

England Hockey Player Pathway Handbook

A strong NGB

Increased Visibility

DEVELOPMENT CENTRES provide a local entry point to the player

pathway for U13s to U17s.

ACADEMY CENTRES delivered in 49 counties, provide a high quality talent programme for identified players in U13 to U17 age groups.

PERFORMANCE CENTRES are based across the country providing frequent,

high quality training with the best coaches for U15 and U17 players.

FUTURES CUP supports player development within a high-intensity and

pressurised best v best tournament environment.


programme provides additional training and sport-related education for U17 boys and girls selected from Performance Centres.

NATIONAL AGE GROUP SQUADS (NAGS) are selected at U16 and

U18 age groups for girls and boys. NAGS provides the first taste of international competition for our young players.

U21 AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME is an elite training environment for players who aim to transition into the senior programme and become world-leading players. SENIOR England Men’s and Women’s squads


stem Manager T +44 (0)1628 897518



England Hockey Player Pathway Handbook




PURPOSE OF THE PATHWAY DEVELOPMENT CENTRES Provide fun, enjoyable learning for every player that wants it

Attract new players to the sport and support them joining clubs Support coach development and develop links with schools and clubs


Develop a broad and high quality talent base to the pathway Offer high quality training and competition for development Provide a platform from which talented players can be identified Support coach and umpire development


Provide frequent, high quality training with the best coaches supporting our young players Utilise best v best competition to support player development Develop an oversupply of exceptional players

THE PLAYER PATHWAY Our plan for The Player Pathway is to ensure that we develop players with the potential to be world leading whilst retaining young hockey players in the sport. The aim of this handbook is to help you understand review and refine the key elements of The Player Pathway within your unique environment. Presented as a number of statements and questions it is designed to help you highlight current and future strengths, opportunities and challenges.

1. Pathway visibility 2. Programme Planning 3. Coaching workforce 4. Talent Identification 5. Programme delivery 6. Competition

England Hockey Player Pathway Handbook

1. PATHWAY VISIBILITY Is the Player Pathway visible with the purpose understood by all relevant players, parents and coaches? • There is a universal understanding of the aim and objective of The Player Pathway • Your delivery is clearly aligned to the key purposes of each tier • All players are able to see, and clearly understand, the journey to progress through The Player Pathway. • There is a strong identity and set of characteristics surrounding pathway activity programmes, providing a unique ‘look and feel’ to the experience. • Entry and exit routes in to and out of the pathway are clear to all, especially schools and clubs. • Development Centre activity is visible and proactively communicated across hockey and non-hockey environments using all available communications networks. Players are actively recruited from hockey and non-hockey schools. • Academy Centre players are aware of what is required to reach the next level • Strong and visible communication is maintained between Performance Centre and Academy Centre coaches and deliverers

2. PROGRAMME PLANNING Do you have clearly documented forward looking plans? • All key stakeholders (coaches, teachers, players and parents) support the best possible environment to allow players to fulfil their potential. • For your level of the pathway, you understand all the important elements, including player numbers, entry and exit routes, selection and de-selection criteria, age criteria and competitive opportunities. • The way you focus your resources is directly aligned to the purpose of the pathway. • You have clearly mapped a delivery programme which supports player development at your level. • Players are aware of other opportunities within the sport such as coaching and officiating, and management and administration opportunities. • You have a clear policy for financially supporting players in need, including local and national schemes. • Performance Centre Coaches have a comprehensive understanding of their players’ training and competition backgrounds and their previous development experience

England Hockey Player Pathway Handbook

3. COACHING WORKFORCE Do you have lead coaches with specialist knowledge in developing young hockey players at your level of the pathway? • There is a named individual with appropriate expertise who is responsible for the quality assurance of coaching. • You have a clear idea of what the ‘ideal’ coach is, in terms of knowledge, experience, style and qualifications. • You have, or are seeking to develop, an optimum number of coaches who meet your ‘ideal coach’ definition. • Your coaches constantly deliver against the Golden Thread principles and National Development Themes. • Your coaches are proactive and take personal responsibility for their learning, thinking and the sharing of best practice. • Coaches receive, and welcome, open and honest feedback.

England Hockey Player Pathway Handbook

4. TALENT IDENTIFICATION Do you have a talent identification and selection process which ensures the right player is at the right level of the pathway? • Your talent identification and selection practices ensure that the right player is in the right environment for their development. • Your coaches understand and work to the idea of non-linear development. • Your talent identification processes are built on the concepts of potential. Training age, maturity and ability to learn are considered in selection. • As a principle, too many rather than too few players are included through talent identification and selection processes. • You apply a principle of talent identification and selection throughout talent development. How players learn and respond to a development environment informs identification and selection decisions. • You avoid snapshot judgements of players based on short periods of assessment. • You have clearly documented the selection processes which are simple, accessible and understood by players and parents. • A safety mechanism is in place to ensure late developing players can access The Player Pathway.

England Hockey Player Pathway Handbook

5. PROGRAMME DELIVERY Do you have a well-defined working model which is owned and understood by all those involved? • You have established key geographical locations from which the programme operates. • Your delivery programme factors in year-on-year changes for a player moving through the system. • Roles and responsibilities ensure everyone is clear on who has ‘ownership’ of all key processes in the programme delivery. • Budgets exist to annually develop the programme. • You are confident that the programme delivery and culture would continue if you had a change of staff. • Players receive regular formal or informal feedback on their progress and their expectations are well managed. • Players are suitably prepared before changing levels in The Player Pathway and coaches are aware of their responsibility to new players.

England Hockey Player Pathway Handbook

6. COMPETITION Do you have appropriate competition opportunities for each stage of player development? • Competition experience focuses on long term development, not solely on short term performance outcomes. • Competitive opportunities reflect a player’s age and stage of development. • All players have the opportunity to play informal, fun, small-sided games within their Development Centre. • Competition experiences in Academy Centres drive player development and retention. A variety of competition and game play is placed throughout the programme to support development. Travel distances are manageable. • Competition experience in Performance Centres drives player development for all players. Competition opportunities allow players to be challenged in a best versus best environment, to take risks, develop resilience and experiment without fear of failure.

England Hockey LTD Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 1RR Tel: +44 (0)1628 897500 Email: info@englandhockey.co.uk Twitter: @EnglandHockey Facebook: England Hockey

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