Each week on Wednesday, USA Field Hockey highlights an active club from one of the eleven regions around the United States to shine a spotlight on what makes Member Clubs unique. From coast-to-coast, clubs big and small will be featured to increase awareness of field hockey across the country, and administrators and coaches will have the chance to talk about initiatives, training and favorite parts of the game. This week from Region 6 is New Heights FHC.
Club Name: New Heights FHC
History: Ahmed Elmaghraby recalls when he first began coaching for New Heights in 1997 following his time with the U.S. Men’s National Team and Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. As his time as an athlete came to a close, he held an immense resolve to do his part in growing the game in the United States. After a fateful introduction with club owners, Jody, he has been the heart and soul of the club over recent decades and is proud to have been part of every USA Field Hockey National and Sanctioned Event since the early days of the club. As such, he has been a long-time believer in giving athletes as many opportunities as possible to practice, train and improve, which starts with dedication on all fronts.
Accolades/Awards: New Heights FHC is currently 19th in U-14 Girls, 1st in U-16 Girls and 1st in U-19 Girls in the USA Field Hockey National Club Rankings.
Below is a list of recent finishes:
- 2020 National Indoor Tournament
- U-12 Pool N Winner
- U-14 Pool A Fourth Place
- U-14 Pool B Fifth Place
- U-16 Pool K Winner
- U-16 Pool R Third Place
- U-19 Pool S Second Place
- 2020 Disney Field Hockey Showcase
- U-12 Olaf Top Team Division Fourth Place
- U-14 7v7 Vanellope Consolation Flight Fourth Place
- U-14 11v11 Moana Consolation Flight Third Place
- U-16 Mulan Top Team Division Tied Seventh
- U-16 Tinkerbell Consolation Flight Winner
- U-16 Alice Consolation Flight Third Place
- U-19 Belle Top Team Division Tied Fifth
- U-19 Belle Top Team Division Tied Fifth
- U-19 Snow White Consolation Flight Tied Seventh
Elmaghraby on Club Life
Elmaghraby has been a large factor in growing the size of New Heights from a few dozen athletes to more than 300 over the years, from one or two teams entering a USA Field Hockey National or Sanctioned Event to several across all age divisions. He has carried the same love and dedication of field hockey he held as an elite athlete to help teach, recruit and develop young players to the best possible talent levels they could achieve. It was these same personal standards that led to Elmaghraby being nominated for the 2020 USA Field Hockey National Coach Award, presented by Longstreth, and for several athletes to attract the attention of collegiate programs.
Before becoming a centerpiece to the club’s system, Elmaghraby was a veteran of both the Egyptian and U.S. Men’s National Teams, accumulating almost 200 international caps between the two nations. More recently he was named to the U.S. O-50 Men’s Masters Team that competed at the 2018 EXIN Masters World Cup in Terrassa, Spain. He has also previously helped coach the Junior Indoor USWNT. Through all of his experiences, Elmaghraby has helped New Heights achieve new heights in the indoor and outdoor styles of the game.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continued over the past few months, his dedication to offer the best possible training did not waiver. His short-term goals have not changed: to develop athletes talent levels while also inspiring to grow the game. During quarantine, this came in the form of first and foremost, communicating with USA Field Hockey personnel for the best guidance on a weekly basis to help keep players sharp individually. He then quickly developed a rhythm to film and help demonstrate various lessons for club athletes to watch, follow and train at home. He said that while they could take to the field as a group, backyards, garages or any small space possible to train was the next best thing.
As restrictions slowly lifted in the New Jersey area, Elmaghraby continued these video trainings in the form of 1v1 and 2v1 with players. Over time, less restrictions allowed New Heights to once again practice safely in “pods” - about 90-minute sessions with a handful of athletes at a time - which ultimately changed to being able to travel to neighboring states to scrimmage fellow clubs and teams.
In the long-term, New Heights’ goals are similar to the short-term but in a larger scape. According to Elmaghraby, he hopes each and every club member aspires to play at the next level, the one after that, and so on until they are able to have the honor to wear the national colors if they so wish.
His favorite part about being a part of the USA Field Hockey Family is to be a part of the immense family across the country since becoming a member himself in the early 1990s. He also appreciates being able to work with USA Field Hockey personnel on a nearly weekly basis. Field hockey is a common language everyone shares to bring everyone together and share a common dream.