Craig Parnham recently made his debut with the U.S. Women’s Field Hockey Team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the International Hockey Federation’s World League Round 2 tournament. Parnham was named Head Coach of the U.S. Women’s Team in January 2013 and relocated to San Diego with his wife, Emma, in early February. Back in the United States after a successful performance in Brazil, Parnham spoke with usafieldhockey.com on his coaching philosophy, the new Home of Hockey, his thoughts about living in America and more.
What excites you most about working with Team USA?
Craig Parnham: I think what excites me the most is the fact that there is a really strong group of young players and a nice blend of more experienced players in there; the balance to the team is nice. I have watched the USA for a number of years now, and I remember watching the Junior World Cup team and thinking then “this team really has a lot of potential and promise." There are a number of those girls now on the senior team and it is about finding the next group of junior players to come through and add more layers of depth and quality to the squads. I think that’s what excites me most because, with the system here, there is real opportunity to do that.
What do you think about field hockey in the United States?
CP: I think what we have is a fantastic opportunity to do something quite special with hockey. The NCAA system is certainly different to a lot of other systems around the world but I think you could look at it and say it has the potential to be one of the best development systems in the world. The access the players have to coaching, strength and conditioning, facilities and pitch time through their colleges would be looked at from other countries around the world as quite enviable.
With the move to the new Home of Hockey in Lancaster County, Pa. later this year, what kind of impact will having a home base have for our sport?
CP: The impact will be significant. I think the advantages of having a venue that you can call home is going to be really beneficial to the nation and for the sport in particular. It will give us more of an identity and it is certainly going to help shape our culture and create an environment of excellence. The facilities there will be world leading which means that the players will be able maximize the time we spend there, whether it be on the technical side on the pitch, or physical work in the gym. In addition, there will be a support network around them that will be second to none. It is going to be a fantastic set up. From my background in Great Britain, we had a venue we called home which was Bisham Abbey National Training Centre – it allowed the team to be in the gym, just meters away from the pitch – so the squad can do the transferrable work, and be together more often. The Nook will be very similar to a lot countries around the world that have specific training venues, and I think it will be one of the best.”
To read the full interview, please click here (External Link: usafieldhockey.com)
Source: USA Field Hockey
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