October 11, 2013 - Colorado Springs, Colo. - Last week, the U.S. Men’s National Squad Head Coach, Chris Clements, shared his wealth of knowledge and experience through several clinics across the country. Over the course of five days and three states, he hosted six different clinics for boys, girls and coaches in the hopes of growing the sport and discovering areas to build developmental programs for boys.
“We really wanted to promote the game for boys and support the regions and people within those regions showing initiative around development for boys and men,” said Clements. “As a whole, it’s imperative for us to continue to identify regions and key people suitable for developmental sites to help build the Olympic pipeline and connect these programs to our current pipeline from boys to men.”
The clinics offered a unique opportunity not only for the participants, but also for Clements to gain better insight into the grassroots programs of the nation. While athletes had hands-on coaching from one of the most reputable and outstanding coaches in the sport, Clements learned first-hand of the struggles faced by upstart programs and the hopeful opportunities for new boys development sites.
Beginning on Tuesday in California, the locals from Southwest High School visited the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista with their high school field hockey program. Several boys in the group, inspired by the words and actions of Clements, hope to play at the Chula Vista Boys Development site.
Traveling onward to Virginia, Clements held a clinic in Virginia Beach for boys ages 10-16 on Wednesday. On Thursday, Clements hosted a coaching clinic, a skill development clinic for boys and girls, and a coach education session. On Friday, Clements made his way down to Florida to observe club training and then held another clinic for boys ranging in age from 6-13 on Saturday. He also hosted a skill development clinic for girls followed by a coaches’ clinic, which covered coaching tips and advice, as well addressing the specific needs of Florida coaching and player development plans.
“The clinics were a fantastic success,” said Clements. “The places that were visited, the great number of boys that participated, the encouraging level of play and the excitement that we saw from coaches and boys is certainly driving us to create more events and opportunities for boys.“
While athletes and coaches walked away with newly acquired game knowledge from a world class coach, Clements found love and passion for field hockey thriving in new and lifelong players alike. It was a powerful learning experience that neither party will soon forget.