December 18, 2013
February 27, 2013
Letâ€™s take a page out of law enforcementâ€™s book and apply it to hockey. All good players do it. It informs their initial touch and first step with the ball. It allows them the space, vision and speed required to eliminate defenders. What weâ€™re talking about is INFORMATION COLLECTION.
Coaches talk all the time about spacing. Good spacing or structure is the result of players taking an active role in their play off the ball. In order to be effective off the ball, players must collect information in real time, and then use that information to define their next movement in the context of the teamâ€™s game plan. For example, a key element of off-ball movement requires you to read the line of your attacking teammate who has the ball and position yourself in such a way so as to isolate defenders in numbers-up scenarios (2v1â€™s, 3v2â€™s). Another type of off-ball movement may require you to lead (move) out of certain spaces (away from the ball) to draw defenders away from your teamâ€™s intended line of attack.
The important point to take away from the act of information collection in off-ball movement, is that it ultimately occurs before your next touch on the ball. The more information you have prior to receiving the ball, the better off you will be in terms making your first step with the ball meaningful- whether that implies eliminating a defender, immediately passing or defining a new space for your teammates in transition down the field. The space around you after a reception will close down very quickly if youâ€™re spending time tying to locate teammates after the fact.
Check out the video clips below of information collection in action. Again, pay special attention to Â hard work being done off the ball. The players are highly aware of where their teammates are positioned, theyâ€™re comfortable in open space and the result is a succession of possession passes and eventual scoring opportunities.
February 26, 2013
Michael Pallisterâ€™s affiliation with Championâ€™s Edge dates back to 2009. He has served as a head camp coach and now more recently contributes in a Director capacity, in addition to his duties as an Assistant Coach at Princeton University.Â At 6â€™9, Pallister is probably the tallest field hockey player/coach in the world. Routinely a camp favorite, the nimble-footed Australian is more than just a circus attraction on the field; he also knows a ton about the game.
Prior to joining the Princeton coaching staff in 2011, Pallister spent three seasons with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Field Hockey program as graduate assistant while pursuing a Master of Business Administration. He also served a head coach with the Cape Ann Coalition club team in Massachusetts.Â Pallister spent the spring of 2012 in Vancouver, Canada, working as a coach with the largest club in North America, the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club. Through the WVFHC he was also involved with the high performance ADANAC program and assisted the Canadian U21 Junior National Team in their buildup for a European tour and World Cup qualifying.
A native of Canberra, Australia, Pallister represented the Australian Capital Territory in the National Championships as a junior before playing in the Men’s State League One competition for St. Patrick’s Hockey Club. He completed an undergraduate degree in finance and accounting from the Australian National University in 2004, before finishing an MBA at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2010.
Vitals – in his own words.
Stick: 37.5″Â TK Synergy 1 double shammied
Hockey Shoes: Asics Gel Fuji Racers
International Side: In the men, Australia, and for the women….. Australia (sorry USA)
Discovery Channel TV Show: My one addiction! Moonshiners, How its Made,Â Gold Rush, Swords, Swamp Loggers, Alaska, The Turtle Man “LIVE ACTION!”Â , Container Wars, and of course the grand daddy of them all… Shark Week!
Q: Australia has been massively successful on the international hockey stage for the past 15 years. What stands out to you as the biggest difference between the US and Australia in terms of youth development?
I started playing hockeyÂ when I was five in ‘Minkey’, the Australian version of mini hockey, which has organized leagues for under 7’s and under 9’s. From an early age you are taught the basics and simple tactical and technical progressions. By the time you are in the under 13 age group you are playing on artificial turf every game with access to both a youth league and also the mens grade hockey as well as high performance centres in most metropolitan centres. There are talent identification programs that pull in gifted athletes into government sponsored training programs. This is all before you turn 15!Â Growing up, oneÂ of the best things for me as a player was being able to play in the men’s grade with my dad. I was 14 or 15Â and playing in the men’s competition with guys who have 30 plus years of experience.
The majority of girls I’ve talked to here inÂ the US only started playing at middle or high school (12-14 years old)Â and are forced to try and catch up whilst playing in a shortened season, often on grass, with state modified rules (e.g. vision reducing goggles). Its tough! Â There are a lot of clubs that are now offering juniors the opportunity to train and receive quality coaching which is really positive and a step in the right direction. These clubs that offer training outside of the 3 month school season are crucial for youth development. With the absence of any leagues it is these programs that drive youthÂ development.
Q: As a strong proponent of year-round play, where do you see summer camps fitting into player development?
I love summer camps! I wish we had them in Australia. Summer camps give athletes the chance to be coached by some of the best coaches from within the country and also internationally. The good camps will provide a balance between being fun and relaxed while also really attackingÂ the technical and tactical side of the game.Â You get to practice and play with players from all over the country and make a ton of new friends. You can scrimmage with college players and coaches and it just mixes up the monotony of club and high school hockey. We squeeze in 6-7.5 hours of hockey per day for three and a half days. Each day you get to watch film of the professionals executing the same skills as you are learning, train new skills, play small games, and finally full field games. You wont find another product that gives you exposure to all facets of the game like a well run summer camp.Â The overnight camps are like a working vacation and can really jump start your fall season. I know I personally enjoy every minute at camp, the kids are always keen to learn and have a laugh, and we have never lost a staff vs. camp all star match. Maybe 2013 will be different but judging by the quality of our staff I wouldn’t bet on it.
January 23, 2013
Hailing from Caracas, Venezuela, Homero Pardiâ€™s affiliation with Championâ€™s Edge dates back to 2003 where he has fulfilled roles as both a Head Coach and Head Director of Camps. Athletes are quick to recognize him in his standard issued Oakleyâ€™s, a sun tan that can only be achieved through avoiding contact with sunscreen and his trademarked, bowling pin-shaped calves.
Pardi currently serves as an assistant coach at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. His cache of collegiate coaching experience includes Princeton University (2008-2011), Georgetown University (2003-2007) and Kent St. University (2002-2003). Pardi has also spent time as an assistant coach with the Venezuelan National Team (2001-2002), as well as director of the Venezuelan Indoor/Outdoor Hockey League (2001-2003).
As member of several Venezuelan indoor & outdoor national teams, Pardiâ€™s international playing career from 1996-2004 includes participation in the Jr. Pan Am Championships (2), the Central American & Caribbean Games and the Pan-America Cup.
When heâ€™s not busy coaching summer camps and college hockey in the fall, Pardi dedicates his winter and spring months coaching several high school indoor teams with Mystx Field Hockey Club (PA).
Vitals- in his own words.
Stick: TK Platinum 36.5 chamois grip double tapped
Hockey Shoes: Adidas
International Side: Gotta stick with my South American peeps… Argentina
Will Ferrell movie: Too many to just pick one favorite… but I guess I’ll go with Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. “If you ain’t first, you’re last!”
Q: Indoor season is in full swing these daysâ€¦ How’s the level of play? What do you see as something in general that all high school athletes should be focused on improving?
The level of play is decent and the effort is there. I just wish clubs would put the same effort into outdoor hockey in the spring as they do for indoor hockey in the winter. The execution of basic skills (passing and receiving) remains a constant area of focus; once these skills are improved, athletes will be able to play a more creative style, i.e. recognize passing lanes and play a faster more competitive and enjoyable game.
Q: You’ve coached over 700 camps in the US in the past 10 years (or so it seems). What are some of the things you see as difference-makers in determining a good camp from a bad one?
Wow, 700 camps? 10 years? I guess I just realized I’m getting old!
The main difference is the coaching staff. Coaches should be knowledgeable and fun at the same time. This balance is important because if the coach is “too much fun” the athlete will not learn as much; on the other hand, if the coach is too “serious” the athlete most likely will not enjoy her camp experience as much.
Another important aspect of differentiating a good camp from a bad one is the facility. An Astroturf or Field-Turf surface plays a big role in the overall progression of a camp. The camp coach will be able to demonstrate, teach, execute and evaluate proper skills; the athlete can later take these improved skills and apply them on any surface without sacrificing technique. Running a camp on a proper surface will also make it easier to help the athlete to get rid of bad habits acquired from learning incorrect skills or playing on substandard grass fields.
I would also like to mention field space. I have seen camps that pack a field with over 100 athletes in a given session. This creates a problem when trying to work on things like outletting, small games to goal, hitting, flicking, etc. A well run camp will allocate the right number of players in one session (max 75). I can proudly say that over my time as a camp coach at Champion’s Edge we have worked diligently in taking care of these details (and more) to ensure the best learning experience for our athletes.
You’ll struggle to find a camp these days that’s not ‘Elite’. This self-designated moniker knows no bounds across the sporting camp landscape, and field hockey is particularly guilty in this realm (us included!). The term ‘Elite’ is thrown around so loosely these days, its continued casual usage is sure to render brand dilution by association.
Rather than simply label ourselves as ‘Elite’ and assume that alone is going to resonate with athletes, parents and coaches, we’re going to take a moment in this post to lay our cards on the table. Below you’ll find an outline of our camp curriculum in all its glory. We’re not reinventing the wheel; you can only drill so deep in a 3-4 day camp. Our intent here is to give you something substantive to chew on while you sift through a myriad of camp options for this coming summer. With that in mind, our focus in 2013 will be in the execution of ‘Elite’ behavior, minus the need to tell you about it. That is to say, you’ll know it when you see it.
Camp Focus: 3 Elements
Our goal at camp is to introduce you to a style of hockey that is fluid, fast and fun. To achieve this style, there are three areas that will be addressed in complimentary ways over the course of camp:
1.Â Ball Control
2.Â Information collection in transition and while on attack or defense
Ball control enables information collection and the ability to make aggressive decisions under pressure. Fluidity comes from training skills in a dynamic fashion, while intentionally infusing pressure as confidence grows. Playing â€œfastâ€ means that we have the information necessary to make the most aggressive decision while retaining possession; or if on the defensive side of the ball, minimizing space, time and vision of the opposition. The game of field hockey requires a high level of fitness, so our training will be geared in such a way that athletes recognize effective practice work rates.
Ball control / ball position (use of peripheral vision when under pressure & pre-visionÂ Â prior to reception)
Changing angle & direction with the ball (both under and not under pressure)
Dynamic push passing from frontal position
Receiving closed & open
1v1 Individual defense
Perimeter defense (marking & intercepting)
Small Game Concepts
Holding possessionÂ (Information collection: pre-scanning/pre-vision)
2v1, 2v2, 3v2, 3v3
Basic outletting shape
Basic pressing shape
Counter defense structure
Basic penalty corner
January 15, 2013
The following events are OPEN for registration:
Teams are recommended to make a reservation. Find out how, HEREÂ >.
January 18, 2012
Champion’s Edge Camp Director and Princeton University Head Coach, Kristen Winn will be at the US Olympic Field Hockey Training CenterÂ in Chula Vista, California for a U19 training camp this week. Coach Winn is the current USA U19 Head Coach and is assisted by current CE coach, Ryan Langford (U. Michigan) and former CE coach, Carla Tagliente (U. Massachusetts).
The U19 squad is training in preparation for an upcoming test series versus Canada in Vancouver, April 1-8.
December 2, 2011
The following lists our current 2012 schedule. All camps listed are open for registration. Click on a specific location for more details.
Resident/Day (accommodates residents and commuters)
Day Camps (Commuters only)
April 6, 2011
CHAMPIONâ€™S EDGE CAMPS ENTERS AGREEMENT WITH E1FIT
TO OFFER THE FIELDHOCKEY1FITSMâ„ PROGRAM TO PLAYERS
Online Fitness, Nutrition and Mental Planning System Prepares Players for Camps/Clinics;
Company Founders Are US National Womenâ€™s Field Hockey Team and University of Iowa Teammates
DENVER CO and PRINCETON NJ, – April 6. Â Every1Fit (hereafter E1Fit) and Championâ€™s Edge Field Hockey Camps and Clinics (hereafter Championâ€™s Edge) signed a distributor agreement on March 31, 2011, offering Championâ€™s Edge players registering for camps, clinics and mini-camps, access to FieldHockey1Fitâ„ , the premier Â online fitness, nutrition, and mental planning system.
E1Fit developed FieldHockey1Fitâ„ , one of its field sport specific programs, for youth as well as adult players and for the sportâ€™s referees. FieldHockey1Fitâ„ is being offered by Championâ€™s Edge as a pre-camp or pre-clinic training program with the goal of having players arrive at the camp better prepared to enjoy a better overall camp experience.
The distributor agreement represents a commitment by both companies to the field hockey playerâ€™s growth and development. Uniquely, the respective company founders, Dr. Andrea Wieland (E1Fit) and Kristen Holmes-Winn (Championâ€™s Edge) were teammates on the US Womenâ€™s National Field Hockey Team and at The University of Iowa.
Both companies expect players using the FieldHockey1Fitâ„ program of online fitness, nutritional and mental training plans to be more focused, more fit, and more confident. â€œBy being better prepared and focused for their camp/clinic experience,â€ states Championâ€™s Edge Business Director Matt Winn, â€œwe expect our players will have an enhanced camp experience. Itâ€™s not enough to be choosing a camp, enrolling and showing up. Thereâ€™s a preparation factor that is easily overlooked. We feel this may be one of the more critical factors in creating an optimum camperâ€™s experience. E1Fit fills the need for preparation. Through the online program, the players will come to us better prepared and will get more out of their camp experience.â€
â€œTraditionally campers do not prepare themselves in two vital areas: nutrition and mental readiness. We donâ€™t view fitness as a stand-alone factor in the success of a player. By incorporating nutritional planning and mental preparation with fitness training, the Championâ€™s Edge players will gain an even greater edge to their performance, â€œ states Dr. Andrea Wieland, Chief Enthusiasm Officer of E1Fit, Olympian (1996 US Olympian, Field Hockey) and psychological performance coach.
â€œThe goal of enabling all Championâ€™s Edge players to experience the benefits of the FieldHockey1Fitâ„ Plan is a key to player development. We are focused on assisting developing field hockey players in achieving a higher level of success both during camp and in season,â€ notes Wieland. â€œWe are excited to be a part of Championâ€™s Edge vision for the emerging player and look forward to a long and successful working relationship with their outstanding coaching staff.â€Â The E1Fit tagline sums up the cohesive efforts of both companies in signing the distributor agreement; to â€œPrepare for Amazing.â€
Every1Fit (E1Fit for short) is a leader in providing online fitness, nutrition and mental plans to athletes, teams, referees, organizations, corporations, first responders, and individuals. Formed in 2009, it is the premier provider of sport specific programs (Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Tennis) for youth, adults and referees for use in pre-season, off-season or pre-tournament preparation. E1Fitâ€™s corporate-based programs, Corporate1Fit for Busy Travelers Plans and for Employees, and its General Health & Wellness Programs are recognized for complimenting a companyâ€™s existing fitness/wellness employee programs and serving as a key employee health and wellness benefit.
For more information, visit http://www.E1Fit.com or contact Dr. Andrea Wieland at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 1-877-E1FIT-ON or 904.460.9577
Electronic logo and banner and all other media requests: email@example.com
March 14, 2011
CE Director and Princeton University Head Coach Kristen Holmes-Winn is spending the week in Chula Vista coaching the U.S. U19 National Team. Get the scoop at usfieldhockey.com.