This week we reached out to our U14 head coach Meredith Hickman who is also the JV Field Hockey coach at Whitman High School. She let us know from her professional opinion on what she looks for when girls enter high school and are interested in playing field hockey.
Here are her thoughts:
When girls try out for field hockey in high school I look for a few key features. You might be surprised to know none of them are related to running speed or skill level.
First I want to see that the girls are strong. Now I don’t mean that she is able to lift and move the field hockey goal by herself; I mean mentally strong. I have a tendency to push and be hard on my players in order to make them the best they can be. A mentally strong player is a winning player.
Along with strength comes dedication. Girls who start jogging halfway through their mile (timed or not) say “I’m not willing to push myself.” While I push my players, I’m only with them about 10 hours a week. Real growth has to be continuous, meaning on your own. Maybe that includes jogging through the neighborhood with a friend on a Saturday afternoon, or going to a camp in the summer. Either way, as a coach I can only push a player so far, she has to be willing to push herself to be better.
The last thing I look for in girls who try out for field hockey is confidence without being prideful. Meaning girls must be willing to teach and learn. Field hockey, like many team sports, is one learned through play and playing on a team. You don’t get a lesson and learn everything there is from watching a video or reading a book on your own. Girls who are willing and able to learn from their peers no matter the age or experience level shows great maturity and team-manship.
Those are the girls I want on my team!
There you have it! We know going into high school is already scary, but trying out for team can add to that anxiety. Relax! Coach Meredith, like many coaches around the area, just want someone who is ready and willing to learn. You don’t even have to be the most talented player, but, if you show team-manship, confidence, and have a good listening ear you will get better each time you step onto the field.