Executive Director Weekly Report

Aug. 28, 2012, 12:38 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of August 27, 2012

Over the past two years, we have had a very effective and essential Club Advisory Task Force (CATF) made up of eight individuals who provide input regarding the programming, services, and events provided by USA Field Hockey to our members and member clubs. The CATF has reached the end of their term and with that comes a chance for all current members to apply to be in the CATF.  Any current member who would like to be considered for a one year term in the CATF (a task force in which we are recreating new short term goals), please email your name, email address, membership number and role within the field hockey world to Emily Thomas (ethomas@usafieldhockey.com). Four spaces are available for current USA Field Hockey members. Two of these spaces must be Elite Athletes so to constitute a 20% representation (athletes who have competed on the National Team within the last ten years). As per USA Field Hockey bylaws, the Executive Director selects the representative group, meaning I will be receiving your submissions and making a decision through input from many others. If selected, you will be part of an eight person group; four remaining CATF members, and four new CATF members. Once the group has been formed, a Chair and Secretary will be selected. For each CATF meeting, USA Field Hockey recommends the agenda with an addition of an Any Other Business session at the end of each meeting where CATF members can raise concerns of their choosing. By the end of August, after the group has been formed, a news story will be published on usafieldhockey.com and an announcement will be made within the weekly report providing the names of the individuals selected to serve for the next 12 months.

In our final meeting of this term, the CATF members proposed one last idea for USA Field Hockey; and that was to give all of our current members a voice at the CATF meetings by providing an outlet for members to submit their thoughts on our programming, services, and events. The submitted concerns will be discussed during the Any Other Business session at the end of all CATF meetings. Any current member may email CATF@usafieldhockey.com to submit their thoughts. I ask that you do not abuse this resource by using it as a place for “venting.” The submissions should be formatted in such a way that objectively explains a problem and proposes solutions for the CATF to discuss. We are excited to extend this outlet to you and hear your proposed solutions to the difficulties we may face in growing our great sport.

The guys were terrific. Our Men's O-45 Masters Team returned from Great Britain a little bumped and bruised, but with heads held high. The outcome was a 9th place finish and a 0-5-1 record. They went in knowing they were going up against squads that had been in place for a long time from countries with established Masters leagues and they had only had two practices. They came away knowing that their presence was hugely appreciated by the other competitors and that the USA was represented for the first time at an international Masters event. Their representation was in the purest sense as USA Field Hockey provided uniforms through ASICS and some other support; the Field Hockey Men’s Foundation offered support as did the Hospital for Special Surgery, a premier sports injury and orthopedic hospital out of New York City; and the rest was on the team itself. This was a collection of passionate hockey men led by team manager Simon Gray, and coach Peter Jones.  Thanks to everyone on the team and for the massive effort put forth by Peter and Simon in organizing our country’s participation.

USA Field Hockey’s Futures 2013  As a young athlete or athlete’s parent, I suspect you are keen to learn of opportunities to play or see your child play at a higher level. USA Field Hockey’s Futures is the first step in the Olympic Development pipeline. The Futures program is made up of 27 hours of specialized training developed by Technical Director Terry Walsh. Hockey athletes go through the specialized drills while being coached by USA Field Hockey accredited Level I, II, or III coaches. There is also a competition element associated with the program. This is a great program for athletes wanting to improve their skills and for athletes who dream about playing on a higher level. To become a Futures athlete you must go through a trial with your coach. To find out more about the Futures trial process, please contact Caitie Tornes at ctornes@usafieldhockey.com or visit the Futures section of usafieldhockey.com
Last year USA Field Hockey had 5,000+ athletes go through this program. From those 5,000, everyone had the opportunity to showcase and compete in the Futures Regional Tournament.  From the Futures Regional Tournament 680 were selected to compete at the USA Field Hockey National Futures Championship. Almost all of those young women were recruited for collegiate team opportunities. Showcasing athlete talents for collegiate coaches has become a big emphasis for this organization. Largely the showcasing has come about as a positive consequence of our creating programs to help develop athlete enjoyment of the game through skill improvement, and to improve the pipeline leading to eventual Olympic team participation. No matter the outcome of the program (being on the Olympic team, gaining a scholarship or opportunity to one of the many fine colleges and universities throughout the USA offering hockey, or just for the enjoyment of competing and developing hockey skills) the Futures program has through the years consistently shown positive outcomes for athletes.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: “The Mars rover Curiosity has sent back images of some odd things on the surface of Mars, and some people think they could be UFOs. Here's my question. If we're on the surface of Mars, aren't we the UFO?”

Have a great week!

Steve Locke 
Executive Director 
USA Field Hockey