USA Field Hockey Weekly Report

June 24, 2014, 1:14 p.m. (ET)
USA Field Hockey Weekly Report - Week of June 23, 2014

Home of Hockey Gears Up for National Futures Championship 
680 upper-echelon athletes from across the country will gather in Lancaster County, Pa. this week for what will surely be an opportunity to showcase their refined skillset to 150 recruiting college coaches. U-14, U-16 and U-19 players are competing for selection into Junior Olympics, Junior National Camp and Futures Elite Academy as they have their eyes locked on the moving up the Olympic pipeline. We wish all of our athletes the best of luck! Check out the official NFC tournament program by clicking here.

Women’s National Championship Concludes
Last Saturday was the finish line of the 2014 Women’s National Championship (WNC). This traditional week-long assessment acts as the ultimate challenge of tactical knowledge and elite performance as the U.S. Women’s Head Coach Craig Parnham and his core staff conduct an evaluation with the goal of creating a new national team roster. Tomorrow Craig will announce his selection but in the meantime, we’d like to applaud all of the competitors who displayed such remarkable talent at the Home of Hockey venue.

USA Field Hockey Honors Inductees at  Hall of Fame Ceremony 
The long awaited USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame inductions will be held at Spooky Nook Sports this weekend. The event was long ago sold out with well over 200 people slated to attend. The Hall of Fame was resurrected after the Home of Hockey was established in 2013. And, quite frankly, it is about time. The last Hall of Fame induction was well over 10 years ago. With the establishment of the new Home of Hockey, it just made sense to bring it back again. We did make some tweaks to our protocol for inductees. Not only are athletes being inducted, but also are those folks who have contributed in many ways to the growth and vibrancy of our sport over the years. There are many of you who fit into that mode so the decisions on inductees were difficult.

The unsung group making the protocols and then weighing the nominees spent hundreds of hours mulling over the details of the event. Meagan Connolly directed the group, and the USA Field Hockey's Hall of Fame Committee consisted of Clarence Janelle, Carrie Lingo, Becca Main, Karen Marley, Jarred Martin, Jeanne O'Brien, Jenepher Schillingford and Sharon Taylor They are the group we owe the greatest thanks toward as building these ceremonies to be meaningful is an enormous task. Thanks to Meagan and the entire awesome committee for making this event a reality.

Sending Applause and Recognition to Women’s High Performance Staff
A few weeks ago I spoke about several members of the USA Field Hockey Women’s National Squad's High Performance Team. This is a group that has been assembled by Head Coach Craig Parnham. You will recall that our Women’s National Team finished fourth at the recent FIH Rabobank Hockey World Cup in Holland. During my earlier introduction of several of the members of the group two weeks ago, I spoke of Director of Performance Science Dave Hamilton and Assistant Coach Janneke Schopman. Both are great contributors to this team but, there are others. Nate Franks is the team videographer and general overall guru of all things high tech (alongside Dave). They collectively work toward analysis of performance and do a superb job. That work includes taking and viewing hundreds of hours of video plus editing tape for athlete and coach use. Just imagine sitting before a screen for 12 hours a day doing objective analysis and you start to get an idea of Nate’s contributions. Nate’s dad, Marty, has also been of tremendous help. Marty is a former CBS Executive and was a censure for David Letterman for years (an impossible job). During the recent World Cup, Marty provided a major assist when he was able to receive sports placements on local CBS affiliate newscasts in New York City and Philly. Good on you, Marty.

Going down the line, Kelly Knapp is USA Field Hockey's Team Manager. She does just everything and does it just magnificently. During her collegiate career she was in goal for the University of California at Berkeley and post collegiately she has now migrated with the team from the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center near San Diego to the new Home of Hockey. Her job is never ending and consists of arranging all things travel related, taking care of needs both at Spooky Nook Sports and whilst traveling, and preparing and adhering to approved budgets. She is great.

Our traveling physician is Dr. David Higgins also plays a vital role. David has had involvement with the Olympic family for many years. Both he and his wife Lisa travel with the team providing medical and cheerleading support. David is a very fit guy and a great example for the team as he heads off the gym on a frequent basis. He is a tremendous support person and his services have always been gratis over the years and we really appreciate all he does.

Our Home of Hockey on-site medical team is a huge contingent of physicians, trainers, and other support people located at Spooky Nook Sport’s Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster. That group is headed up by its CEO Bill Weik. They are a wonderful competent group providing countless of hours of service to all levels of athletes in hockey. We so appreciate their services and encourage you visit their offices located at Spooky Nook Sports.

You can see that there is a tremendous team behind the team. Next week we will showcase our team of the U.S. Men’s National Team, another highly motivated group headed by Head Coach Chris Clements. 

Ignite your dreams with Olympic Youth Camps
This August, Men’s and Women’s National Team athletes are hitting the road and coming to communities near you to coach USA Field Hockey Olympic Youth Camps. Olympic Youth Camps are designed to teach boys and girls 7-13 the fundamentals of field hockey in a fun environment with some of the top players in the country. Don’t miss your chance to learn from the best of the U.S., register for a camp today!

The USA Field Hockey Board of Directors Meeting will be held at Spooky Nook Sports
The Board of Directors meeting will take place this weekend at the Home of Hockey in Lancaster, Pa.  The Board meeting, open to the public, will be at Spooky Nook Sports (check on reception desk for location) on Friday, June 27 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Saturday, June 28 (8 a.m. -12 p.m.).

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: “The American Medical Association says that cheerleading should be classified as a sport because of the skill and training that goes into it. LeBron's teammates said, 'See? We ARE athletes.'”

Have a great week!

Steven Locke
USA Field Hockey
Executive Director