COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Over 100 boys were in attendance at the late fall clinics put on by Men’s National Team staff Chris Clements, Ben Maruquin, and Mike Whitehead. The clinics were created to not only provide playing and development opportunities for boys, but also as a chance for some up and coming athletes to showcase their skills.
Ben Maruquin and Mike Whitehead held the first free boys clinic in Moorpark, California on Saturday, October 13 and over 50 boys showed up.
"I was completely surprised at the number of quality young male hockey players in both Ventura County and the Bay Area," said Maruquin. "We will have the ability to develop international playing characteristics at a much younger age and you will undoubtedly see more National Team members coming from the Bay Area under the tutelage of Steve Danielson and Pat Cota."
The following Saturday, Maruquin hosted a clinic at Stanford University in northern California, while Clements began the east coast tour in Spring City, Pennsylvania.
In Spring City, about an hour northwest of Philadelphia, nearly 30 young men took to the turf at The Training Center for three hours of skill development and small games. Men’s National Team and Junior National Team squad members, Alex Grassi and Austin Groeneveld, assisted Clements with the coaching.
“It’s great to have this opportunity to get boys out here and play. It’s also very inspiring when you see the younger kids learning from the older guys. It’s great for them to have a role model to look up to,” said Grassi.
The series of clinics concluded at Victory Fields in Watertown, Massachusetts on October 21. Fifteen boys joined Chris Clements, Chris Pothier, owner of Cape Ann Coalition, and Rutger Wiese, assistant coach at Harvard University for two hours of instruction. Athletes from all over New England, including Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut, were in attendance.
“I hope with more days like today, I can pay if forward to those who are willing to try field hockey and I will do everything I can to create playing opportunities to all boys and girls who want to play,” said Pothier.
USA Field Hockey will look to do additional boys clinics in 2013.
“Having the ability to provide opportunities and inspire boys to play the game across the country is something we want to continue to grow," said Clements. "We have a number of talented players already in our player pool, however we need to increase this player base with the help of people and clubs within the regions welcoming boys to play. It is not only about getting players to the National Team but also about boys being able to play a game that they love on a recreational level. We have a number of highly motivated people who are already doing this and we are thankful for their efforts and look forward to building the game for boys and men across the country.”
Cape Ann Coalition will host a U-14 Boy's Indoor Training starting December 2 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 9-11 a.m. that will run through February. They will also have a Junior Men's (ages 15-21) Indoor Training starting December 2 at MIT 11 a.m. -1 p.m. through February.
More information and additional playing opportunities for boys will be available at usafieldhockey.com soon.