What are the 3 best things about being 'England Team Manager'?
1. We share a great sense of camaraderie. It is inspiring to be part of an elite performing team.
2. Being able to contribute towards success at the very highest level.
3. Earning and keeping the respect and friendship of a dedicated set of athletes and staff.
What are the 3 worst things about being 'England Team Manager'?
1.Long trips away from home, miss the family.
2. Organising the washing!
3. Dealing with people who don't understand our "performance" need and culture.
What have been your 3 best moment as 'England Team Manager'?
1. Managing Great Britain at an Olympic games,
2. Beating Australia at the World Cup in Delhi, India. In the first game after a very difficult pre tournament phase when we received direct terrorist death threats.
3. Winning a bronze medal in Glasgow at last years Commonwealth Games.
Has your job as Team Manager changed since you started? If so, how?
The role changes dependent on the Head Coach's wishes. Jason Lee and Bobby Crutchley both have slightly different leadership styles.
However, overall, the role has not changed a great deal since I started.
Was it easy going from being a coach to being a manager?
I still coach a great deal. I am the England Indoor Head Coach and also Head Coach at my club, St Albans. The contrast between the two roles is one I enjoy.
I particularly enjoy the indoor role, getting the opportunity to coach the players I manage most of the time.
We know many players have pre-game rituals but do you as a Manager have any?
Not really, I do sometimes get quite nervous like anyone else, I try to exhibit an image of complete control on the bench, I have to think clearly and make pressurised decisions to ensure the substitutions run smoothly (up to 60 in a game). I also have to maintain squad discipline around the team bench. I do sometimes just try and switch off for a couple of minutes during the warm up before games. It gives me a chance to collect my thoughts and focus on remaining calm. It is very important not to get too wrapped up in the emotion of the gsme, particularly when we might be on the rough end of a few decisions.
1. Stick tape can fix anything and everything...(most of the time).
No hockey player has ever had a crack in their stick and not covered it in stick tape. The theory behind it is that the tape compresses he crack and smoothens the surface which is true to some extent.
2. Turning your current chamois grip in side out will double the grips life span.
If you take your 'shammy' grip off and put it back on but wih the used side now facing the original grip, you will be able to use your chamois like brand new.
3. How to blow your Fox 40 whitle properly.
Click on any picture of the whistle to see a video made by Fox 40 showing how to get maximum power from your blow.
4. Home made 'Shin Liners'.
As you can see above, if you have a old pair of socks don't through them away. You can cut them just before the section where your foot goes, then you have a home made shin liner. This is cheaper, more cost effective and lasts longer.
5. Leather Grips.
Some brands such as Uber and Guerilla produce sticks that come with a leather grip as the original grip. This leather grip has a simliar feel and texture to most chamois grips as well as lasting longer and saving you having to buy a new chamois grip threw out the season.
6. Tape on the shaft of your stick for stick stops.
There is a theory that wrapping the lower shaft of your stick will slow the ball down when stopping the ball in open play and stick stopping for short corners. This heory is well practiced as many hockey players do this as they feel it adds control.
7. Using tape to stop your socks falling down.
If you wrap stick tape around your sock once, at the point the sock folds (just above the shinpad) it will stop the sock riding down and saves you pulling it up every 2 minutes and saves you buying a sock stopper.
8. Some 'Gym Style' gloves have similiar grip and feel as the thinner hockey gloves.
Some 'GYM STLYE' gloves are very similar to the thinner non-padded hockey gloves so if you have a pair why no use them for hockey as well, saving you a few quid.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself still representing Canterbury, England and Great Britain still. I would like to work within media so I will at some point do a masters or get some work experience within this field to help me identify exactly what I want to do. Whilst I am representing GB I am unlikely to play abroad again as our central training program is based in England. If the opportunity was to arise after I have finished internationally then I would definitely consider it. In between my hockey I would still like to travel the world and experience as much as I can.
What is your proudest hockey moment?
This is a hard question for me to answer as I have had many incredible moments in my career. I think as an athlete we talk about winning medals and being successful, this is of course is very important to me and is why I play! To name a few moments I would say winning a Commonwealth Games silver medal, coming 2nd in the Europeans in Belgium in 2013 and being nominated as players player of the year in 2014/15 season. A moment that I also cherish is coming 4th in the junior World Cup, although we missed out on a medal it was an experience that I will always cherish as I had grown up playing hockey with most of the squad in that team and for us to do so well on the world stage was very special. The moments that people don't see when are training are something that make me proud every day as we are all a part of something where we work together to be the best we can be.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
It is something I deliberately try not to have! I balance the ball on my stick before a warm up but if I don't do it then it isn't a problem.
Do you have any tips for young girls who want to play for England?
In your lives you will have set backs and at times it will be hard and you won't always enjoy it. Things worth having in life are things we have to work extremely hard for so never give up on your dreams. Make decisions in your life that set you up to be the best players and people you can be. Always believe in yourselves and play with a smile on your face. I promise you it is worth it!
Low bow or mid bow?
I play with a slightly low bow.
Lastly, What's your favourite song to get you pumped?
My favourite song is: The island: Tiesto remix: pendulum.
It has been my pre match tune for the last 6 months, it always gets me going before a game! Is definitely worth a listen to!
How2Hockey have been very lucky to have the chance to interview England Superstar Lily Owsley and we decided to ask her a few questions about her pre-game routines and so on...
Do you have any pre game rituals?
Listen to same playlist before ever game, set my kit out the night before, last to leave the changing room pre-game.
How do you cope with pre game nerves?
Listening to my music, imagining the game in my head.
Do you have a favourite song you listen to pre game and why?
Eminem- lose yourself.. Motivational, gets me up for the game!!
Low bow or mid bow?
Lastly, does anyone in the England team have a strange pre game ritual?
Nothing too strange... Very superstitious team.. Same seat on the bus, same seat in the changing room.
I find myself every game in getting annoyed with bad calls from umpires who striaght up don't know the rules, to be clear i'm not mad at umpires missing things but umpires that see fouls but don't give them because of their lack of knowledge of the current rules.
I myself have a Level 1 Umpire Qualification which meens i am more aware of the lack of knowledge of some umpires in the lower leagues in english hockey. This is mainly because in the lower men's leagues you do not have to be a qualified umpire to umpire a match, in my opinion they should change this to make it so there has to be 2 level 1 umpires doing the game just like in all ladie's leagues.
Some Level 1 umpires still dont know the current rules which is because they got it a long time ago, before the rule changes. I think there should be refresher courses for all umpires when there is a a set of rule changes or every 2 or 3 years.
In conclusion, I think it should be mandatory to be a Level 1 umpire to umpire a league game in any league and there should be refresher courses so the umpires can fully understand the new rules, this will in turn lower the amount of needless abuse of umpires and help everyone to enjoy each game.