Year 11 pupil Ben Kroeze has been selected for the Under 16 England Boys Hockey Squad. Ben is excited as he has been clearly focused on this goal for many years.
Ben has written the following article detailing his experiences and training regime and how he manages this alongside his GCSE preparations.
It is safe to say Ben is a very committed and dedicated individual!
It’s not always fun: There are times when you’re not achieving your goals in hockey and study , such as a bad training session and a bad test, worst result which makes the day more physically draining or tiring. But this drives me to strive harder for my goals the next time: improving my percentages.
• Key learning – Pushing past disappointments! I do lots of minor practice off the hockey pitch such as juggling to improve hand-eye co-ordination, this type of exercise ‘fits in’ with the day easily increasing the small margins.
• Key learning – Including small specific exercises, which don’t take a lot of time but do stack up to a positive change or result, into my routine help to balance time available with what’s got to be done: study, exercise, training.
My approach to stressful situations at school has been greatly improved by my high-level hockey. I’ve adjusted to breaking down a big task e.g. exams, into more manageable realistic/achievable exercises, just like focusing on the first things I’m going to do in a game.
My parents help me greatly, as they are an important sounding board post-match or training session. Improving my assessment of games and allowing for both positives and negatives to be approached constructively and positively. They put in countless hours taking me to training and competitions all around the country. Some trips are so long that I have to take revision or homework to complete on the journey. Training camps are 2 or 3 days long, and competitions will be even 6 to 8 days long.
• Key learning – Routines: I have established important pre-event routines which allow me to focus. I use similar processes in managing my revision in preparation for exams, although there isn’t the same level of adrenalin involved.
• Key learning – I use Mindfulness techniques to calm my nerves and focus in the same way before exams and matches. These include: visualisation (taking myself outside a situation and looking from a third party perspective), chunking (grouping) and breathing techniques.
Mon: Performance Centre (PC) training 1 in 3 weeks
Tues: Club team training
Thurs: Club GK specific training
Fri: 1:1 at home
Sat/Sun: Club matches or PC training/matches
Run up to England selection:
County training selection (AC) 2019: team training and GK specific training 1 x per 3 weeks September to June.
Regional training selection (PC) 2020: each region has 5 performance centres: selected a year younger but the Pandemic stopped all training and competition that year.
(PC) 2021, 1 x per 3 weeks September to April, 1 x per 2 weeks May & June; weekly in early July
Selection for Futures Cup July 2021: a single team represents the region: 2 training sessions and 4 days of competition in August
Selection to attend England U16 Boys trials: 31/8/21
England trials selection stages: October, November,
Selection for squad January 2022.
Ben’s dedication to his hockey is incredibly impressive – a huge well done on your achievement!