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Wednesday, 28 November 2012 12:46

Secrets To Top SA School Coach's Success

IT is well-known that only a tiny fraction of South African school first team sports players go on to make national teams in their chosen code.

Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:46

Hockey: Heather McEwan One of The Best!

 

HEATHER McEwan is 17 going on 18 and in matric at Epworth in Pietermaritzburg this year with subject interests including consumer studies and life sciences (biology) but what sets the bubbly teenager apart is one abiding passion and talent - hockey.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 09:24

The State of SA Schoolboy Hockey

CATCHING up with Mike Bechet  is always going to be enlightening and I took the opportunity to probe the hockey brain of one of school hockey's most successful coaches about schoolboy hockey.  

Amathole win SA U18 girls interprovincial hockey title

Friday, 17 June 2011 12:44

Grant Glutz: Goal Scoring Machine

Grant Glutz: Goalscoring Machine

THERE we were, warming up alongside the powerful Michaelhouse's first team's pristine grass hockey field.

1st XI vs Kearsney College Venue: Masons Astroturf (Kearsney College) . College were back to full strength for this "top of the KZN Table" encounter at the newly laid yet very bumpy water-based surface.

Monday, 18 April 2011 14:52

Glenwood Hockey v DHS

 

Glenwood recently participated in the prestigious Founders and Nomads tournaments during the April vacations and of the 16 games played, they only lost 3. The Green Machine has been hard at work on the astro preparing for a demanding domestic season.

Sunday, 31 October 2010 22:44

Zimi Shange Reaches For The Stars

SOUTH Africa U17 hockey goalkeeper Zimisele "Zimi" Shange is a girl who is going places. Pietermaritzburg born and bred, Zimi represented her country at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August and it was an eye-opener on many fronts.ZIMI_VS_PAARL_GYM_-_Copy

Monday, 31 August 2009 09:18

KZN Inland Hockey- Why So Dominant

It has been a region that has developed some of South Africa's most talented hockey players over the decades and each year that passes a new crop of youngsters embark on the journey of once again reaching the highest honors in the sport and representing their country.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009 22:03

Thuthuka Goba- Hockey Keeper

Six KZN boy's were recently selected for the South African U18 Hockey Team at the interprovincial tournament held at the AB Jackson GreenFields Turf in Pietermaritzburg. Captain of the KZN Coastals, Greg Last and Thuthuka Goba of Midlands talk about their achievements, how they have been able to succeed in the sport and what got them started.

What got you started in hockey Thuthuka?

Well I played cricket at primary school but when I arrived at Maritzburg College I was suddenly exposed to more boys competing for places in the teams and more sports. So I tried a bit of basketball but I was still just trying to find my place. By the time the second term arrived I was playing hockey but I was an infield player playing sweeper and I was trialling out for the "E" and "D" team. However there was a shortage of goalkeepers at that time and I went for that position because I felt I was good with my feet and I can kick the ball. That year I made Midlands U14 B and amazingly the next year I made the Maritzburg U16 A side as well as Midlands U16 and SA U16 side. This year has been amazing too because I have been selected for the SA U18 side.

 

Have all these successes in hockey come as a surprise to you?

Well, I was surprised when I made SA U16, when I made that team I realised that I was good enough to play this sport at a high level. I told myself that if I can make it when I was underage what prevents me been selected when I am playing in my age group and I would have been quite upset with myself if I did not make the SA U18 team. I really was working hard to get selected.

You talk about working hard at the game, just how much of work goes into your game?

Well what I enjoy as a goalkeeper is that it is not as intense as all the outfield players training. It is more a mind thing; you have got to get into your own zone as a keeper and stay calm and collected. Everyone else has to worry about their fitness and stick work but for me I must look at my technique and keep my reflexes sharp. You have got to have a good eye for the ball, a lot of the situations in the game require you to save a goal that normally you wouldn't save but because your reflexes are well trained you are able to pull off a save somehow. So during training I get tennis balls fired at me at great speed which helps in this area.

If I didn't talk to my players I would be a lazy couch potato

 

It is very noticeable whilst you are playing that you are very vocal at the back shouting out instructions to your defenders. Does this help the team?

If you can control your defenders then everything is more organised and you don't as a keeper have to worry about balls coming from different directions. I feel a lot more comfortable when everyone is doing exactly what I am telling them because then I don't have to do so much work. Talking to the players also helps me to stay focused and to be a lot more organised. For example if there is no marking in the midfield then my defenders are in disarray and they take the men I am supposed to be marking and it just leads to confusion. So by continuously talking to the guys it is going to keep the defence orderly and composed. If I don't talk I am just a lazy couch potato at the back so by talking to my players during the game I feel in control I feel so much more confident and it keeps me in the game constantly.

Maritzburg College is synonymous with hockey, has this helped you in your development?

Well to be honest if I never came to College I would have never played hockey and would have just stuck to basketball and soccer. Here at College they take pride in everything they do, many people think College is a rugby school but if you are playing hockey you get that feeling that your sport is also very special and that they care about what you are doing.

 

Does the coaching at Maritzburg College make a difference?

The coaches here are awesome. I remember my U14 coach was really concerned about our fitness and gave me that belief that we can win games and winning is so important. When I lost my first game in U16 after I don't know how many games it was a terrifying experience really. There are different coaching methods as you progress and the game gets more demanding. When you jump to Mr. Bechet's level it is something totally different. He is a "unity" type of coach, "...you listen to me, you do what I do and you will win..." He has all the angles covered and his coaching really works. It really is a privilege to play for College.

 

Don't be scared to try something new in sport

 

What about a future, is hockey something that could be a career?

No not really. There is no money in the game in South Africa. A couple of guys who I have spoken to who play professionally only get paid about R10 per hour which is not enough to live on really. However the London 2012 Olympics is a goal that I would like to consider if South Africa can qualify. I will probably still keep on playing in University after school.

 

Any advice for a youngster wanting to achieve what you have?

I would tell them not to be scared to try something new, because honestly I never thought I would be where I am right now. A lot of my friends, being a black guy playing hockey, were very negative about it, but you must do what you want to do and you will go places.

 

Having coached 47 South African U18 hockey players and another 11 South African Men's Hockey players as well as being involved in coaching cricketing stars Jonty Rhodes and Kevin Pietersen, Maritzburg College have in Mike Bechet a Director of Sport who has a passion for his school and the sports which he has seen its boys play for more than 27 years. We caught up with the man behind Maritzburg College's sporting success.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009 20:40

Maritzburg College- Hockey MIC

Having produced 24 international hockey players, six who have represented South Africa at the Olympic Games and a staggering 44 SA Schools Under 18 players, Maritzburg College is recognized as one of the premier schools in the sport of hockey. In the last 2 years College were able to produce an 80.3% win record across all their teams results from the 1st XI down to the 14F team.It is a record to be proud of and one which sees College players striving to maintain and improve upon year in and year out. Brandon Swart is the Master in Charge of the sport at College and he shared his views as to why Maritzburg College remain so dominant in hockey.

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