As quick as the last season ends the new one is now upon us. Training for our ten senior sides starts this week and in light of recent events at the Rio Olympiad, we are expecting big numbers at training with ladies starting Tuesday at 7pm and the men following suit at 7pm on Wednesday. The challenge for the club coaches is to help new players integrate into squads, stay enthusiastic for the sport and best prepare the squads for the start of the league campaigns in September. With six different sides entered into EH Competition, the club is hopeful of representation at Lee Valley before the season is through. It is with great pleasure that we can announce our diverse and experienced coaching team for the coming season and we hope you will get to know them over the coming weeks.
Paul Lewis is one of the most recognisable faces at Leeds Adel HC. His input into the club is a well known driving factor of the positive steps made over the last few seasons. For the last three years he has provided coaching as Ladies’ Club Coach and as one of our lead junior coaches. He is qualified to level 2 standard and continues to improve his coaching through England Hockey CPD events. This year we are pleased that Paul has taken the lead with the club coaching structure, he has assembled his team and will continue to provide direct coaching to our very popular junior section as well as support the senior section fulfilling the role of Men’s Club Coach. Over the summer, Paul has been coaching with England Hockey JRPC, so as I am sure you can imagine, he is very busy at the moment (not to forget full time employment) and we hear that is just the way he likes it!
“I’m delighted with the coaching team we have put together for the forthcoming season. I’m confident that the success over the last few years in the Ladies section will be continued and hopefully replicated on the Men’s side.
All the coaches are experienced and will seek to drive individuals and groups to stretch themselves and develop their hockey. The commitment and effort of those attending sessions over the past few seasons has been excellent, and I hope everyone will see the social and sporting benefits of coming training.”
Whilst we announce the season starts this week, for our club fitness coach Jenny Wright, season preparation started a whopping 8 weeks with a summer programme which has enjoyed great success. Not every club can boast the support of a gym and trainer, but the connection between Leeds Adel and Primal Gym gives our teams a distinct advantage on the pitch. We asked Jenny how important she thought fitness was as part of the preparation for the coming season:
“Fitness is one of many components needed to build on the success of last season. We know the games will be harder and we will be pushed to our limits, so we need to be ready- both physically and mentally.
Fitness can be improved fairly quickly under these controlled sessions, and will ensure that in the second half when other teams are flagging- our speed, strength, endurance and all round superior fitness will show.
Pushing players hard in training forms the mental toughness needed to keep going in the dying seconds of the game.
The fitness sessions are a great way for the team to bond as well. Friendly competition and super encouragement are part and parcel of the sessions and create a team strength that is invaluable on match days.
Train hard. Win easy!”
Ben is another coach who has cut his coaching teeth at Leeds Adel with the ladies. In 2013/14 he was the performance coach for the ladies and the club are delighted that Ben once again is a performance coach, this time focusing on the higher teams in the men’s section. Our men’s 1st XI have suffered two very frustrating seasons, narrowly missing promotion with third place finishes in successive seasons. We asked Ben how he intends to grab one of those promotion spots come March 2017:
“Our aim this year is to win the league. We have a talented squad of players and have proven in previous years we are one of the best teams in our league. We will be focusing on improving our team play and decision making to increase our win consistency. I’m looking forward to season and can’t wait to get started.”
Sam Ransley continues as Ladies’ 1st XI Coach for the third season. As a level 2 qualified coach Sam has enjoyed success with club, county and regional performance squads. The squad this year will be competing in a new league following promotion, we asked Sam what the focus is for the next few weeks
“I am very lucky to have been able to retain a core of players in the time I have been coach here, and this makes integrating new players very easy. Whether talented players moving up the club or new players joining, we only have a few weeks to establish a squad that train alike, think alike and play alike. If we can get our squad doing this, we are confident of another successful season”
We are delighted to have Ash back us. Ash has a wealth of experience as a level 2 coach, having worked with schools, clubs, county and university sides both in the UK and Australia. Ash’s easy going style makes him a popular coach, but do not be misled, he expects results:
“The clear aim for the season is going to be promotion. Success this season will be achieved by setting high standards both in training and in matches with excellent execution of skills and tactics from minute one to minute seventy of every game.”
Katy Blyth has been coaching Leeds Adel juniors for numerous seasons. As a product of Adel coaching from the past, Katy has enjoyed many playing honours and now takes up the role of Ladies’ 1st XI captain. It is great that the leader of our performance squad is now helping the future of our club to integrate into senior squads. We asked Katy what a player can expect from training at Leeds Adel HC:
“Adel is such a wonderful, friendly club. We pride ourselves on providing coaching sessions which are challenging but also very fun. As a coaching unit we all bounce ideas of each other in order to achieve balanced sessions incorporating skill and game play work. Over the seasons the quality of coaching has improved greatly, this was reflected in the results, match performances and overall finishing positions of every ladies team. Tuesday nights are always challenging but also great fun!”
We hope that you agree that Paul has assembled a strong team and we look forward to seeing new and old faces at training this week and over the next few weeks of summer.