Hockey – Shona McCallin
“I am 20 years old and have been playing hockey since I was six. I have been playing for England since I was 15 and have moved through the England age groups over the past five years. I’ve won 3x European Championship medals with England and trained with the GB Women’s Squad in 2011 in preparation for the London Olympics. I am currently playing in Holland, which is viewed as the best league of hockey in the world.
“Ever since the age of six when I first started playing hockey, I fell in love with the game. The hockey pitch has become a sort of second home to me due to the hours a week I seem to spend there – usually training, running or coaching. Sometimes I do get sick of it, but know I know, behind all the training I’ve done and the athlete I’ve become today, is that little girl aged six who simply fell in love with hockey – I play for her.
“As I’ve grown up and moved up the levels, hockey has become more intensive and a bigger part of my life. I currently train seven times a week, which consists of a combination of pitch sessions, fitness sessions, gym sessions and recovery sessions.
“Attention to detail has become increasingly important over the years too, the small things are the ones that make the big differences. The importance of good nutrition, being well o rganized and having a good time management has been key for me in order to be able to compete at my best at international level last meeting the study demands of a university degree.
“However, the most important aspect to have whilst trying to manage the demands of high-level sport is a supportive and grounding family and circle of friends around you – something I’m very lucky to have. The difficult times in sport are when you really realise the importance of this circle. The unconditional support from family and welcome distraction away from hockey from friends helps to keep me happy and motivated. ”I enjoy playing hockey as it gives me a different dimension and drive to my life compare to others. I am proud of what I have achieved so far in my hockey career bonobos a long bumpy road ahead of me before I reach the ultimate goal and potential.”