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2019 National Coaches Forum Presenter: Sarah Kelleher

Oct. 01, 2019, 4:45 p.m. (ET)

LANCASTER, Pa. – October 1, 2019 – Register now for the 2019 National Goalkeeping Coaches Forum and National Coaches Forum taking place at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. The National Goalkeeping Coaches Forum will be held on Thursday, December 12 and the National Coaches Forum on Friday, December 13 and Saturday, December 14. Join USA Field Hockey at a great event and opportunity to network with and be inspired by top experts in the field of coaching and teaching. Highlighted below is National Coaches Forum presenter Sarah KelleherEngland Hockey U-18 Lead Coach and Brand Strategy & Leadership Development Consultant.


The first 50 individuals that register for the National Coaches Forum will receive a collectable gift at event check-in. Register today!



Kelleher has been involved in high-performance coaching for more than eight years as Lead Coach of the England Hockey U-18 Girls team with experience as an assistant coach to Great Britain/England’s U-21 team. This, combined with her senior international playing career as Irish captain spanning over 10 years, provides her with an in-depth understanding of what it takes to be successful on the international stage. 


Kelleher is a qualified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Coach and Master NLP Practitioner with more recent qualifications in advanced coaching and Neuroscience, Mindfulness CBT and as a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator. She also works as a strategic consultant in innovation, business and brand strategy, specializing in the power of storytelling and cultural understanding. Kelleher has worked extensively with global brands such as Lexus, Nivea, Microsoft and Estee Lauder. This diversity of experience has positively influenced her coaching approach by adding another dimension to how she looks to effectively influence and shape athlete/coach relationships within the context of the environment and team culture.


Kelleher’s experience has allowed her to shape her philosophy toward a "flourishing model of coaching" that truly looks at the holistic development of players. She is an expert in creating team culture that allows players and teams to flourish as they strive to be their best and perform under pressure. This approach has played a key role in achieving podium success across three European Championships as England’s U-18 Lead Coach. 


Kelleher is the proud mom of her 7-year-old boy and loves nothing better than spending hours and hours playing together. In her "free time," she has renovated an old ruin to set up a Wellness Centre in Le Marche, Italy, that offers inspiration on how to live well, flourish and be your best self. 


On-field Presentation #1: “Playing with Flow and Fluidity”

Kelleher’s first on-field presentation will focus on fluidity, "go forward" principles of play and how being fluid and ‘playing with flow’ makes teams more unpredictable and difficult to play against. Being line breakers, risk takers and relentless sits at the heart of this approach. Kelleher will guide attendees through a constraints-led and scenario-based approach explore the topic while bringing to life what this looks like in the England U-18 program and at premier club level.


On-field Presentation #2: “The Power of Self-Expression & Creativity”

Kelleher’s second presentation will look into designing practices that allow players to explore their creativity and self-expression through purposeful play. Early on, when she worked with the England U-18 program, she ran a creativity camp with a focus on freeing players up to try new things and learn from mistakes, ultimately giving players the license to be themselves. This session will share what this looks like practically in a session and link to how we would build this across a program.


Classroom Presentation: “Creating Environments Where Players Flourish and be their Best Self” 

Following Kelleher’s playing career, the natural progression into coaching took hold, but it was “a life-changing” course in NLP in 2005 that helped motivate and guide her way of thinking. NLP explores a connection between neurological processes, language and behavioral patterns and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals.


Kelleher’s presentation will revolve around those that work in the high-performance world, where people have to operate on so many different levels – psychology, health, wellness, strategy and self-confidence. She believes that the Flourish Model can set players up for life, whether they go on to play field hockey or not. It’s a way of thinking that, whatever age in life, in real successful teams, it goes way beyond the player to the person. Kelleher will discuss how to create an environment for players to express themselves, drawing on her experiences of working in the England pathway system for the past number of years. Every level of coach will surely benefit from this presentation. 


A detailed schedule and presenter information for both Forums will be released at a later date.

Interested parties can register for both Forums at a discounted rate. For more information, check out the National Goalkeeping Coaches Forum event page by clicking here and National Coaches Forum event page by clicking here.