John Hurst Gold Medal GK Top Tips

Maddie Hinch celebrates

John Hurst was the manager and goalkeeping coach of the GB women’s team that won a gold medal at the Rio Olympics last summer, he decided he would finish on a hire and took retirement from International hockey post Rio. Or at least slow down for now! 

Hurst himself was the non travelling reserve goalkeeper for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul when GB men’s hockey team won gold. He has dedicated 47 years to hockey and has helped develop England and Great Britain's best. He has coached the likes of England greats, Jimi Lewis, Simon Mason and our current keepers Maddie Hinch and George Pinner.

Here are his top tips for any aspiring keeper, no matter what age or ability;

  1. ENJOY! Make every goalkeeping hour a happy hour and have FUN!
  2. WATCH THE BALL – Keep your eyes on the ball all the time, even when you are kicking it by your feet.
  3. Kick with the inside of your foot (not the toe). Keep your weight forward, follow through with the kick and be in line for the next action. “HOB” – “Head Over Ball”.
  4. Be BIG in the goal and make sure you get your ANGLES right, between the centre of the goal and the ball, about two steps off the line if you are in the centre, on the post if the action is along the goal line.
  5. Make sure you drive at wide shots with your leg. Lead with your head.
  6. Keep your hands high but comfortable. Preferably chest height.
  7. Don’t bat the ball with your hands or stick. Watch the ball and deflect it away wide with hands or stick.
  8. Dive on your side not your tummy. Make sure you watch the ball onto your hand or stick.
  9. Make every practice as real and match like as possible.
  10. At penalty corners, watch the ball leave the stick and react to it. DON’T GUESS!

You can find practices for your sessions via the Hockey Hub plus check out our coaching workshops and our goalkeeper specific sessions here!