Olympic hockey hero Hinch’s good advice during a ‘Cuppa & a Natter’ with Defroand
- Credit: PA
Olympic hockey champion Maddie Hinch had plenty of good advice for aspiring players in her online chat with Havering’s Emily Defroand.
Hinch was the second guest in Defroand’s new ‘Cuppa & a Natter’ series on Instagram Live on Thursday evening and covered a range of topics during their 30-minute talk.
Having expressed a preference for Yorkshire’s English Breakfast tea, with milk and no sugar, and a custard cream in the morning, Rio 2016 gold medalist Hinch discussed being a goalkeeper.
“It’s about understanding the role and being comfortable with letting in goals,” she said.
“It comes with the territory but I was hard on myself and broke a few sticks on posts. It became known as the ‘Maddie paddy’ as I took every goal so personally, but I learned to compartmentalise and move on.
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“It’s not easy, it takes time to work out your reset button. I watched other goalies at the top level and they all different routines after a goal.
“Some just stand there, some walk to the top of the circle, but one went behind the goal and had a drink. When they stepped back over the line, they threw away their bottle. I stole that routine! It definitely helped me to quickly move on.”
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Talking of water bottles, Defroand asked about the famous drinks container used during the Olympic final against the Netherlands, which went viral after Great Britain memorably won in a penalty shoot-out.
The words ‘relax’, ‘hand up’ and ‘chin out’ were seen written on the bottle and Hinch added: “The notes were for the game to keep me grounded. They were my three go-tos. And I had a notebook for the plan of attack for the shoot-out.
“Six months later the water bottle was delivered to Bisham Abbey as I’d left it behind!”
As for winning that gold medal, with a TV audience of 10 million tuning in back in Britain, Hinch admitted it had been such a thrill.
“I remember being in the tunnel and we felt incredibly ready,” she said.
“Of course I was nervous, but I was excited to play. I didn’t fear anything. I couldn’ve have been more ready. If it went terribly, I would’ve had no regrets. We played a team we knew an awful lot about and I remember thinking ‘imagine if we’d lost the shootout and I hadn’t done my homework’.”
Hinch then answered questions which had been sent in by fans, revealing how the worst thing about being a goalie was having such a large kit bag, how she would’ve liked to score goals if not a goalkeeper and how her worst fear was not being happy.
“Life throws challenges at you. I work hard to do things to make me feel happy and avoid things that don’t,” she said.
“You learn that when you get things wrong.”
Finally, she paid tribute to the coaches who had helped her reach the top of her sport – being named world goalkeeper of the year three times – and how she was hoping to pass that knowledge on to the next generation at her own training camps.
“I had so much good advice from John Hurst. He took me on board and said I’ll make you good at the basics and made me see the importance of having such strong basics to being regularly picked,” she said.
“The key was consistency, not making big mistakes so your bad day is still quite effective. The knowledge I’m now passing on was passed to me by some great coaches, who all had an input into my game in some way.”