Welcome to the England Hockey Talent Academy for the South-Central region of the South East of England, hosted by East Grinstead Hockey Club.

We are excited to provide young, high-performance hockey athletes training, coaching and competition, designed to play a part in their development towards performing at the highest possible level of our sport. Young players on such a journey will gain experiences at the Talent Academy which will nurture their potential through the “Talent Development” phase of learning, as set out in GB Hockey’s “Player Development Model”.

East Grinstead Hockey Club is proud to have been selected by England Hockey as the first licensed Talent Academy host in the catchment region. One of only a few clubs in the whole country who have teams in both the Ladies Vitality Women’s Hockey League and Men’s Premier Division, we are experienced at working with Elite Level Hockey Players.

Despite East Grinstead HC’s position, the Talent Academy is a resource for our entire catchment area, an additional hockey environment where young hockey players who show desire & potential to play hockey at the highest levels of the game, will come together and receive additional hockey experiences, while maintaining their existing hockey environments at school, club and county hockey.


Which players take part in a Talent Academy environment?

Young players who want to progress their playing career to national or international level hockey, can be part of a Talent Academy. They will exhibit a mindset of wanting to achieve the highest level of performance in the game and be prepared to work hard to succeed.

They will already show high standards of ability in the “Complete Player Capabilities” outlined in the GB Hockey Talent System Framework and be showing progress through constant improvement.

They, their parents, and their existing coaches will recognise their potential and feel that they have the ability to progress further.

Like the journey to becoming an elite level athlete, Talent Academy will be hard work and a lot of commitment. A player consuming all of the Talent Academy training and competition opportunities will be part of over 160 hours of hockey per year, this will need to be in addition to their existing hockey environments.


What is the program for the Talent Academy?

East Grinstead Hockey Club has set out to develop a Talent Academy which:  will offer high-performance training to as many athletes in the area as possible; will aim to include rather than to eliminate players from high-performance environment as often as possible; will give them a hockey ‘diet’ to aid their development.

Our Talent Academy is therefore made up of three main experience elements:

Talent Academy Camps – In every school holiday throughout the year, the Talent Academy runs 2-day high-performance camps. These camps will include hockey training (both on-field, indoor and classroom based) plus additional experiences designed to develop the critical elements of becoming a high-performance athlete, these include workshops on mindset, strength & conditioning, fitness, nutrition and more. There are seven TA Camps per year, in each of the school holidays.

Talent Academy Squad Training – During school terms, a squad of 20 to 30 of the highest potential players from the Talent Academy Camps will be invited to take part in regular weekly TA Squad training on Monday evening. These sessions will be for 2-hours and are focused on hockey skills and strategy. There are six half-terms of TA Squad Training of 6/7 weeks.

Talent Academy Competition – At times around the year, mainly in the spring/summer, Talent Academy players will come together as a team and play against another Talent Academy in the region. The team format will be the same as international hockey with 18 players selected from the squad to play in the team.

The schedule for the 12-months starting in September can be found here – TALENT ACADEMY SCHEDULE

The vision is to maximise the availability of high standard hockey to high-potential young players while they develop through their teens. Selection for the squad is not an absolute event at any particular time point and players who are not invited back to TA Squad training will continue to have opportunities to access TA standard training and squad places thorough current and subsequent TA Camps.

How do young players get into the Talent Academy?

The journey to being part of the Talent Academy will start with the young players themselves. If they believe they are ready, they should speak to a coach at their current club, school or county hockey environment and discuss whether they might be eligible.

Based on coach feedback and profile of the player, they might be invited to the upcoming Talent Academy Camp. Here they will receive the experience of the TA Camp and receive feedback from the Talent Academy coaches. They will receive recommendation on what to do next, this might be to take part in the upcoming Talent Academy Squad Training, to come back for the next Talent Academy Camp or to concentrate on developing at their existing hockey environments, until they and their coach feel they should be reinvolved in the Talent Academy program.

There are no trials. Nomination to the Talent Academy Camps is via a coach at one of the amazing clubs, schools, county hockey associations in our catchment area, or by England Hockey. This is not limited to, or bias towards any of these environments, young players should not change any of their current hockey environments to try to get access to the Talent Academy, it will only result in them having to get to know a new coach and delay their opportunity.

Nominations for each round of Talent Academy Camps finish 3 weeks before the camp. This is to ensure us time to communicate with everyone and organise everything. If you are nominated after that, no problem, you will be invited to the following camp. Good things come to those who wait. Communications with nominated players will therefore happen up to 3 weeks before the camp, we aim to communicate sooner.


How much does the Talent Academy Program cost?

Unfortunately, the Talent Academy isn’t going to be cheap to run. There is no funding from governing bodies so our Talent Academy is self-funding, meaning we have to use the income from the Talent Academy to run it. Paying for the best facilities, the best coaches and the best experiences is quite expensive.

That said, we believe the Talent Academy program is great value for money for each individual taking part. Our program of weekly training and camps was conceived to try not to increase the average annual cost of hockey for this type of player too much on an annual basis, we believe most of these players were likely to have taken part in hockey camps during the school holidays anyway.

The average cost per hour for a player attending all of the available Talent Academy experiences during 12-months is £7.18, with the TA Squad Training costing £72 or £84 (6 or 7 weeks) per half-term, and TA Camps costing £120 for the 2-Day camp.

Because the program is “modular” it also means that single payments are never too high and it’s nature leads it to being flexible, allowing for breaks in the program, which all help with affordability.

Fee Discounts are available on application to players who need assistance due to financial circumstances. PLEASE DO NOT RULE TAKING PART IN THE TALENT ACADEMY OUT FOR MONEY REASONS, please contact treasurer@eghockey.co.uk who will discuss your situation and find a solution.


Welfare, safeguarding and dispute procedures

The safety and wellbeing of every young person who interacts with the Talent Academy program is essential. Our robust Safeguarding processes are designed to ensure staff and volunteers are vetted appropriately to be suitable to work with young people and our defined process for highlighting issues is available for anyone involved.

If at any time you feel that something is wrong, please follow the EGHC Welfare Process found on this link or report to one of the coaches or Talent Academy staff.

Every adult is responsible for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of young people in hockey. No incident is too small or too insignificant not to be reported. We also guarantee that any issue raised will be dealt with without biased any issue raised will be taken seriously and will be dealt with impartially and confidentially.


Partnership with other hockey environments

The Talent Academy is not an East Grinstead Hockey Club only environment. It aims to serve the young hockey players from the whole catchment area who wish to try and progress to the highest level of the sport. If you are a hockey club, a school who provides hockey or from county hockey, we look forward to working with you to increase the achievements of young players from our area.

As above, the route for young players into the Talent Academy is via your nomination. Please work with us to ensure those who want to and can play hockey to this standard get their chance.

We also encourage area hockey clubs to come and get involved. Volunteering at TA Squad Sessions will allow you to see the current standard of player, bring familiarity to players nominated by your club and get a chance to speak with the TA coaches. We have strict Safeguarding rules but please contact talentacademy@eghockey.co.uk if you can come and be part of this program or have other questions.


Partnership with parents

As parents of these young athletes, you have the most important role in their experience. It is very exciting when your child is exhibiting potential to excel at something, we appreciate this can drive us to want and to ensure the best for them. The Talent Academy team want this too. It is important to remember though, the Talent Academy is designed to nurture their potential, not your view of it.

The most important thing you can do as a parent is encourage participation and a growth mindset. Most elite level hockey players are fully grown adults, the average age of international and national league teams is mid-late 20’s, this Talent Development phase is just part of a long journey to achievement. Your child has potential, they still need to work hard to develop that into Talent.

Our Talent Academy will mainly focus on working with the young players, they will receive regular direct feedback from coaches at intervals which the coaches feel appropriate for the player. As parents you will receive less regular feedback unless necessary. Pushing for more information leaves coaches and therefore the child in awkward situations, please respect this.

Despite the above statements we do appreciate how important to your child’s hockey journey you are, we aim to provide regular communication with you and provide opportunities through the year to have more in depth sessions with the team on specific feedback. It is also very important you feedback to us and significant welfare or wellbeing concerns.


Useful information

The following links take you to useful information:

England Hockey’s Talent System resources: https://www.englandhockey.co.uk/play/talent-system/about-the-talent-system

Use the above link to access important information (as PDF, downloadable on the right of the page):

RARE (Right Athlete, Right Environment) Principles – Every parent should read and understand this

Talent Development FAQs for Parents

Talent System Framework – Parents and Players to understand this, especially Section 3 and Section 4


EHGC Policy Documents, all of which will be relevant for anyone attending the TA - https://eghockey.co.uk/our-club/policies

The schedule for the 12-months starting in September can be found here – https://www.eghockey.co.uk/our-club/policies/81-talent-academy-2022-23-schedule-v1/file