We asked several of the most successful young field hockey coaches in the United States about the future of the game in the United States given the loss of coaching experience in American high schools, especially over the 2001-02 offseason, where more than 2,000 wins' worth of experience were lost in just six coaches. We asked what they are bringing to their successful programs that may differ from the older generation of head coaches.
Amy Wood, Bethesda-Chevy Chase (Md.)
"I go to World Cups to remain current, and I try to bring that experience to my kids. Hockey, as played around the world, is different from 'high-school hockey.' "
Jennifer Sponzo, Flemington Hunterdon Central (N.J.)
"To be honest with you, I don't think I bring too much more than before. What we've done is to take what we've learned from our college coaches and tweak them a little bit."
Danyle Heilig, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
"The game has come very far; it's a much faster game, it's a much more aggressive game, and kids are more skilled. We know what's available for the kids right now, and we push those things that are available."
Jill Cosse, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.)
"The big difference, I think, is that the women leaving now pioneered the game. They did things that nobody thought they could do in their generation. Our job is to maintain that tradition, and to look in the directions that we can expand and make ourselves stronger. Where Title IX opened the door, they banged it down. And it's time that our generation of coaches bang it down full-strength."
Holly Huff Bruland, East Chapel Hill (N.C.):
"For the most part, we try to train them to think. We believe that that the field is a place to just experiment and try new things, and you have to create an atmosphere where players are free to do that.