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The Hockey Master’s Cup Winners

The 2022 Hockey Master’s World Cup was held in Cape town just recently, from 30th September to 10th October, and our very own school coach Jet was a key team player for England. The Cup involved 84 teams from 22 different countries in 4 different age groups; within Jet’s age group there were 11 teams.

Please take a moment to read Jet’s account of her amazing experience of playing in the Master’s World Cup and bringing home Gold.

Preparation for the tournament began with trials back in September 2021 running through to February 2022, and these followed with a succession of training sessions including a ‘Home Nations’ tournament in June.

This Master’s tournament was particularly demanding, we played 7 games over a 10 day period with additional activities around those games such as active recovery, opposition analysis and team reflections. We were being driven to our max. 

Hockey is such a wonderful sport because it constantly challenges and changes. It is both physically and mentally demanding, requiring good all round fitness as well as an ability to read situations and make good decisions. But one player does not make a team. It is very evident that the best teams in the world have excellent connectivity between players; and the desire to be part of that team is important and intoxicating. There is nothing quite like being part of a well oiled team and the expectation that everyone is at their peak in time for the tournament.

In order for the team to feel unity we had various zoom meetings and discussions about how to cope with the pressures of a world cup, as well as detailed fitness programmes to encourage peak levels of fitness. My A level students could tell you we aimed to limit the ‘faulty processes’ within the team; the management and coaching teams were an essential part of this.

Playing for your country conjures up great feelings of pride and pleasure, but in addition to these is the desire and need to play at your best. The need to prove the selectors right, and ensure you remain worthy of staying in the squad. Hand in hand with this comes intense feelings of pressure and self doubt and so the ability to quieten the negativity that could ravage, is critical. The need to focus on the positives and brush off the inevitable mistakes of playing at that level is vital and takes experience.  

My family and close friends would describe me as determined, but it was losing the semi finals in the 2018 Barcelona World Cup that ignited the determination in me. I was surprised by how upset the loss made me feel; it made me realise how much I wanted to win a world cup. I made a pact with myself to persevere and do whatever I needed to help myself and others in the squad to be the best. The new coach, Niall, made us think and adapt our games, discussing different strategies and formations to be able to match our opposition. This all came to play in the final, as the opposition had a key playmaker who played the aerial ball as their key strategy; this was a practised move and they used it to their advantage. But with our confidence to be able to adapt our game we quickly took a turn in our game to combat this. 

This world cup has been an amazing experience, one I have learnt so much from. However, I am conscious of the tremendous support I have had from the wonderful Finborough family and also James, Louise and Steven. Without my colleagues this experience would not have been possible, I am extremely grateful to everyone for this. 

I leave you with the thoughts to always follow your dreams, persevere and be determined to succeed.
Thank you Jet