USA Field Hockey NEWS Club of the Week Wed...

Club of the Week Wednesday: Falcon Field Hockey

Oct. 07, 2020, 1:40 p.m. (ET)

Each week on Wednesday, USA Field Hockey highlights an active club from one of the nine 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’s featured club from Region 6 is Falcon Field Hockey.

Club Name: Falcon Field Hockey 

History: Falcon Field Hockey was founded in 2019 by Jennifer Eden and is based out of Midland Park, N.J. In their first year, Falcon Field Hockey has served 60 members. Eden wanted to create the club because there were no playing opportunities in her area outside of high school and wanted to get sticks in the hands of kids at a younger age. Before its founding, Eden started a winter and spring league in 2018 that had more than 200 athletes participate. She also began to run various clinics throughout that year that had more than 150 athletes ages 5 to 18 participate. The athletes currently in the club programs range from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade.

Eden decided on the name of the club because she wanted to honor her late father, Guy Falconieri, who had passed away four years ago from a rare form of Dementia at the age of 62. Her father owned a land surveying company, Falcon Survey, that she worked alongside with him for over fifteen years. Her father always wanted her to take over the business, but Eden decided to follow her passions in field hockey but also wanted to honor him within the club somehow. This past year during the pandemic Falcon Field Hockey ran a Virtual 5K fundraiser to support research for Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia, raised $1,500 for the cause and plans to have this fundraiser again next year. The club also runs an annual Stick It To Cancer Fundraiser and last year was able to raise over $500 to be donated to cancer research.

Falcon Field Hockey is currently unranked in the USA Field Hockey National Club Rankings.

Eden on Club Life
Eden did not grow up playing field hockey but actively played softball and soccer and was also an avid ice hockey watcher. She did not start playing field hockey until her sophomore year of high school when she grew tired of soccer. Eden ended up making the varsity squad her first year, and at the end of her high school career she had no intention of continuing to play in college. She was ultimately talked into trying out as a walk-on at Montclair State University by the head coach, and went on to make the team. In her senior year (2003), the team made the NCAA Division III National Tournament for the first-time in program history. After graduating, she was not ready to hang up her stick and found herself recommended for a junior varsity high school coaching position while she also coached within the program, Futures. In 2019, Eden was hired as assistant coach for the Ramapo College field hockey program.

In the height of the pandemic, Eden, with her experience as a former teacher, did not want to add more stress to an already chaotic environment. She also received feedback from her student-athletes that they were tired of being on their computer screens from remote learning, so she decided not to hold video call meetings. Instead, she created Player Development Plans (PDP) for each athlete who was interested. These custom PDP’s included an athlete’s starting point, specifically oriented goals of what they wanted to improve and what actions they were going to take to accomplish those goals. These athletes were then asked to keep online daily journals on Google Sheets, where they could check in with progress and receive feedback. Eden also provided specialized workout plans to help each athlete achieve their goals. She said that about 80% of her athletes participated in this optional PDP.

Eden’s short-term goals for Falcon Field Hockey is to continue focusing on youth development because she strongly believes youth are the future of field hockey. She says getting kids involved with the sport at a young age is key. She has purchased beginner sticks and balls through USA Field Hockey and Harrow Sports with their FUNdamental Field Hockey program and has found much success with this. Eden is also focusing on the club’s U-14, U-16 and U-19 travel teams. She sincerely believes that hiring quality coaches has been a major part of the recent success and growth of the club with several head and assistant college coaches leading the programs. Eden also believes in individual goalkeeper instruction at all clinics and training sessions, and therefore hires goalkeeper coaches who have played the position at the collegiate level. In the long-term, she would like to enter in more competitive style tournaments. In August, Falcon Field Hockey had their first taste of competitive tournaments and now look forward to participating in the Regional Club Championships and National Indoor Tournament Qualifiers.

Eden’s favorite part of being a member of the USA Field Hockey Family is the camaraderie of the field hockey community as a whole. She has made many connections through her years in the sport that she is grateful. She mentions that she was able to meet a handful of U.S. Men's and Women's National Team athletes at the USA Field Hockey Summit and they agreed to help coach at some of her clinics. She appreciates the opportunities that USA Field Hockey creates to bring coaches together through Coach Education opportunities to share knowledge with each other.

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