Players eager to learn from McLaren

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The players were able to have a lesson with McLaren at the Eastern Southland hockey turf in Gore.

The parent of a player, Netty Dennis, said any child given this opportunity would jump for it.

“It’s a different skill level and a step up,” Miss Dennis said.

“It’s important for us because there is someone with such wonderful skills and talents who wants to share them with us,” she said.

The programme ran for one hour and ended with a question and answer session.

Players and McLaren completed drills working on lining up goals, stick handling, dribbling, dodging and hitting.

“They really seem to be enjoying themselves,” St John’s Hockey U13 coach Janine Hopcroft said.

“It’s a great experience,” Hopcroft said.

“It was all booked up pretty quick so I think they were quite excited about it.”

Autograph . . .Cate Reynolds (12) gets her stick signed by Anita McLaren at a question and answer session.

Hopcroft said the players were learning some really good skills for the future.

“They can see what they are learning already, it’s obvious.”

She thought McLaren would really help the children listen and learn.

“It always sounds better from an international hockey player than a coach or a parent.”

McLaren said the most important aspect she wanted the children to remember was the understanding that basic skills were important.

Dribble it . . .Mya O’Connor (11) gets involved with drills by dribbling the ball through cones. representative players got the opportunity to practise skills with Black Stick and Olympian Anita McLaren on Wednesday.

She said she enjoyed herself but did not particularly enjoy the weather.

“I had to defrost my hands,” McLaren said.

“But the sun’s out now and I am not as cold. Once I got to take a few layers off it was better.”

Player Charlie Hopcroft (9) said he really enjoyed the “great stuff” he had learnt.

Charlie said he enjoyed learning how to hit properly and he would definitely do it again if he got the chance.