Dear Futures Athletes and Parents,
USA Field Hockey is thinking of you and your family and hope that you are safe and coping well with the pandemic restrictions in place within your community. We recognize the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is extraordinary, impacting everyone in our field hockey community and world. As a nonprofit organization, USA Field Hockey is grateful for your ongoing support and the generosity of our donors, particularly given the unprecedented challenges we will face in the weeks and months to come.
On March 13 we felt it was important, as part of the national effort to contain the further spread of the virus, to suspend all Futures sessions until such time it was considered safe to hold mass gatherings and sporting events. We are saddened that COVID-19 continues to affect the delivery of these training sessions across the country and want to assure you that we are committed to delivering Futures, our Olympic Development Program, in 2020.
It is impossible to predict with certainty when the COVID-19 virus and social distancing guidelines will ease and enable us to get back to work and play. Considering these uncertainties, USA Field Hockey has been working diligently behind the scenes on plans to deliver 2020 Futures in an alternate format and timeframe. An online Futures curriculum is being developed by our top U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team and Junior High Performance coaches in conjunction with our Coach Education and Learning team. As many educational institutions are pivoting to online learning in these unprecedented times, we feel confident that we are in a unique position with the subject matter and experts on staff to deliver valuable programming which will develop the whole athlete.
The new online program will be a blended interactive experience, with aspects covering tactical development through video analysis, opportunities to learn from the best with guided technical skills sessions featuring national team players and coaches as well as physical and psychological elements. Each week will feature a different theme, including Coping with Pressure, Goalsetting and The Use of Imagery to Aid Performance. Through the 7-week program players will use the skills learned each week to build their own personal development plan tailored to their individual needs.
All registered Futures athletes will receive additional information and instructions on how to access this programing in the coming weeks.
Additionally, our goal is to be ready to resume delivery of on-field programming in a revised format as soon as it is safe to do so. The National Futures team and Regional Futures Managers have been working to modify Futures delivery when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restrictions allow. This will supplement the online curriculum and may be delivered as follows:
- A day camp format may be delivered in the mid to end of June timeframe. In that case, athletes would be assigned to an age appropriate regional camp delivering on field skills and technical training along with classroom sessions with topics relevant to high performance athletes.
- Selections for the National Futures Championship would take place during these camps by USA Field Hockey trained selectors, with selections for the U-14, U-16, U-19 girls age divisions being posted at the end of all camps. These would replace the Regional Futures Tournaments scheduled for May.
- Current plans are to move the National Futures Championship from its originally scheduled June date to a proposed mid to end of July timeframe in Virginia Beach, Va.
Please continue to watch for updates on USA Field Hockey’s website and on each Regional Futures site. The situation is constantly changing, and our primary goal is safety.
We want to thank you for participating in the USA Field Hockey Futures program. You, our members and program participants are the lifeblood of our organization, and this is the time we need each other most. Our staff is accessible and focused on providing support and service to the field hockey family during this crisis. We will continue to advance our strategic plan goals, maintain communication, engagement and evolve our programs and resources in preparation for the great day we can take the field again, together. Please feel free to submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey Executive Director
Lisa McCoy, USA Field Hockey's Director of Futures & Programs