The Talent Journey Introduction

The Talent Journey recognises that every young person will experience a unique route into and through the Talent System


As we have heard, the talent journey starts from the moment a player is born. Born with certain abilities, these will in part, help them along their talent journey. Every decision that is made by them, or for them - e.g which school/club, what interests they have etc. will all start to influence their journey. At some point there will be an introduction to hockey – for some born into a hockey playing family this may come early. For others, it may come later, perhaps at school by an enthusiastic primary or secondary teacher. No matter when that introduction to hockey happens, they start on their hockey journey.

From then on, they will be faced with a series of choices. At some point someone (a coach, parent or even themselves) realise that actually they are quite good (‘having potential’). That they have qualities that help them to stand out from others. That could be their speed, their hand-eye coordination or the speed of their hands when eliminate opposition.

The environment that surrounds their hockey, whether that be at school, at a club, in their garden with their family or friends will all continue to influence their talent journey. There will be a moment when they begin to take hockey more seriously, realise this is the sport for them and that they want to become the best they can possibly be. That moment might come when they are 12, it might come when they are 22. That’s the beauty of the talent development journey - each individual is different.

The talent development journey only ends when they decide to stop pursuing excellence or they are forced to stop because of a serious injury. Other than for injury, when they choose to stop is their decision. Some might say ‘deselection stopped me’, and that may be true at that moment, but it is still each individual’s choice whether to continue on their talent development journey. Is the energy it takes to become better at hockey worth expending for the reward at the end? How much are they enjoying it and what does it bring to their life? Each individual is in control of this decision.