Since the early 1990’s, Futures has been USA Field Hockey’s Olympic Development Pathway Program. This year, the program will get a new look, new name and new structure to better develop players and better serve the field hockey community. Introducing Nexus: USA Field Hockey's Olympic Development Pathway Program. Nexus, presented by Harrow Sports, will include both on-field and online components that will support player development throughout the program.
Want to be Involved?
Players development requires outstanding and committed coaches. USA Field Hockey is seeking qualified and ambitious coaches that will help USA players improve in all aspects of the game. All qualified coaches who are USA Field Hockey Members are invited to apply, help make Nexus successful in developing the next generation of elite athletes and future Olympians. USA Field Hockey's mission is to succeed internationally, to win consistently against top teams and to qualify and medal at the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. The participants in Nexus 2021 are the future Team USA Olympians. It is critical that all players have the opportunity and tools needed for succeed.
USA Field Hockey is starting the process by inviting talented coaches to learn more about Nexus. If interested, click here to register, or contact your Regional Manager for more information, including current regional schedules, program details and other information.
What will coaching in NEXUS entail?
Nexus will consist of regional coaching teams made up of some of the strongest and most talented coaches in the country. Nexus will be held over three weekends at multiple locations within each region. Head and assistant coaches will work with and assess players throughout each weekend. Coaches will bring various levels of experience and will have the opportunity to collaborate with USA Field Hockey’s Coach Education and Learning and National and Junior High Performance leaders. Focus will be on identifying the skills and qualities of the USA player and developing them through "The USA Way" principles of play. Emphasis will be on creating a fun, challenging and competitive environment for long-term development, talent assessment and identification. All players will be assessed using a new talent identification tool designed for the Nexus program.
Following the three weekends, top players will be selected from across the country to participate in a fourth weekend Selection Camp. Five Selection Camps will be held, and top coaches will be needed for these camps as well.
The final step in the Olympic Development Pathway Program is the prestigious Nexus Championships, to be held in Virginia Beach, Va. in mid-July. 720 players from across the country in the three age divisions will compete for selection to the Junior U.S. Women’s National Team. Coaches will be hired to work with these elite players. Coaches who are selected will receive additional professional development opportunities.
What are benefits of coaching in the NEXUS program?
Coaching in Nexus will help you take your coaching and team to the next level!
USA Field Hockey’s goal is for coaches to benefit from their Nexus coaching experience. Benefits include compensation and exclusive offers, professional development throughout the program, inspiration from peer collaboration and pride knowing that you are contributing to the future success of Team USA.
Professional development opportunity
- The USA Way - USA Field Hockey will provide coaches with more opportunity to develop themselves with the goal of further embedding our messaging, language, consistency of tone and messaging throughout coaching and playing "The USA Way". A united approach to teaching the skills and tactics of field hockey will be crucial in developing players from beginners to high performance players.
- Series of Webinars - Nexus coaches will benefit from learning about delivering sessions "The USA Way", through a series of webinars that will support your journey as a coach.
- On-field Delivery - Coaches will learn how to deliver the on-field sessions and discuss the layout and design of the sessions, how the sessions flow and how they link from eliciting game activity to identifying the skills that we see in the game to then how to practice those skills then get them back into the game.
- Off-field Delivery - There will be some off-field webinars and online learning released prior to the trainings that will tie the sessions together. Some will be linked to the psychology and social skills while also providing some mechanisms for feedback, peer assessments.
- Talent ID Workshop - Over the past weeks, USA Field Hockey developed a new evidence-based talent assessment tool. This is designed to sit across all of our programs and help provide consistency when viewing and assessing players as we move forward. The idea is to develop a tracking system over a period of time, to see that journey as a whole rather than over just one tournament.
Inspiration from peer collaboration - Nexus Networking
- Work with the Top Coaches in the country - Provide you with the opportunity to work with some of the best coaches and coach educators in the country.
- Informal Coach Development -There has been a huge growth in online community learning. USA Field Hockey’s Senior Manager of Coaching and Performance Phil Edwards has set up a Slack Channel creating an informal learning platform that has grown in size. There is a specific channel for the Olympic Development Pathway that you can choose to be a part of. Please email Phil directly – firstname.lastname@example.org
All Nexus Coaches are required to be USA Field Hockey Members in good standing, which includes up-to-date background checks and SafeSport certification. Coaches will be hired based on their certification levels and experience, with a Level 1 Certification mandatory. Background checks take 5 business days or more with COVID-19. SafeSport Certification requires online training and takes approximately 75 to 90 minutes in year one, and about a half hour in subsequent years when only a refresher course is required.
Nexus Coaches will be trained in "The USA Way", with three webinars and live calls required to prepare for the weekend camps. This training is free, and coaches will be Nexus Coach Certified. Training will include:
Introducing Nexus and "The USA Way"
Coaching Nexus and "The USA Way"
USA Field Hockey’s Nexus Evidence-Based Talent Assessment Tool
Calls with USA Field Hockey’s Coach Education and Learning Team, Junior High Performance Coaches and Nexus Staff will be held between weekends to support Nexus Coaches throughout the program, share experiences and learning with peers, and discuss topics related to the upcoming weekend session curriculum. Nexus Coaches will be invited to an online discussion forum through the Slack platform for additional sharing and informal networking.
Goals for NEXUS Coaches:
- To engage with you as coaches to ensure and help deliver a fantastic experience for these young players. USA Field Hockey will not just support Nexus players but will also support you as coaches as you develop your coaching skills.
- Leverage on the spirit of Nexus. Coaching in Nexus can help you build a network of respected peers. A collaborative approach is helpful when working with and developing people and teams. USA Field Hockey wants to be a collaborator, and whether it's a connection with you as coaches or between athletes and coaches, or players and players, or parents and coaches. NEXUS will emphasize and support whatever connection can be established to promote development and enjoyment of field hockey.
- Establishing "The USA Way" of teaching and coaching is of the utmost importance to USA Field Hockey and the long-term growth and development of the sport and its stakeholders. Not only does USA Field Hockey hope to provide coaches with more opportunity to develop themselves, but the goal is for Nexus coaches to further embed the organization's messaging, language and consistency of message through continued use of "The USA Way".
- The USA players and USA Goalkeeper is a holistic model that identifies and builds on the qualities, skills and characteristics that USA Field Hockey believes make great players. "The USA Way" principles will furnish players with the tools and ability to transition through this program to whatever they to aspire to be. It considers the technical, tactical, physical and psychological social skills required to make that holistic athlete. It not only supports those players who dream of playing in the Olympic Games, but also supports those that just want to be part of a great program in a sport that they enjoy, experiencing that sheer fun of playing as part of a team. Nexus does not just target the elite, it is about developing all players, helping them get to their next level.