Pine-Richland hosting Future College Athlete field hockey clinic

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Sunday, June 26, 2022 | 11:01 AM


For years it has been Donna Stephenson’s mission to grow the game of field hockey in Western Pennsylvania.

So, when she was presented with a unique opportunity to host a clinic featuring instruction from nationally renowned coaches and former USA national players it was a no-brainer.

Pine-Richland will host a Future College Athlete field hockey clinic July 16-18.

The clinic will feature instruction and evaluation from USA Field Hockey Foundation and former Yale coach Pam Stuper, former USA national team head coach/player Caroline Nelson-Nichols and former Brown coach and national team player Jill Reeve among others. All of the instructors have coached at the NCAA Division I level and there’s four former Olympic players in the group.

“The lineup of coaches for this clinic is something I’ve never really seen,” Stephenson said. “It’s really the first of its kind with the caliber of coaches coming here. This is going to be really beneficial for girls that want to play in college, because they will be evaluated by these coaches and for anyone looking to get better or learn the game.”

The clinic is three parts rolled into one.

There’s a developmental clinic for fourth to eighth graders July 17-18, which is $195 to attend, and a coach’s clinic, where coaches will learn strategies from the clinic instructors July 17-18, at a cost of $75. If five players from the coach’s team sign up for the clinic, the coach’s clinic is free to attend.

The uniqueness comes in the third part, which is the first of its kind for field hockey for the Future College Athlete organization. It’s all three days and is for eighth to 12th graders. It’s $450 to attend.

More information on each clinic and how to register can be found at www.prfieldhockey.com.

It’s the first time Future College Athlete has done an evaluation clinic.

“The evaluations can be used during the recruiting process and for them to work on skills, but it’s also for girls that are looking to get better in high school and learn where they excel and where they need to spend a little more time to refine their game,” Future College Athlete coordinator Riki-Ann Serrins said.

Serrins said that Future College Athlete has conducted field hockey clinics for eight years, but in the past they focused primarily on College ID clinics.

Written evaluations were suggested by parents and players at past clinics, so they decided to organize an evaluation clinic.

The evaluation process is broken down into six parts: technique, offensive and defensive tactics, game play, physicality and athleticism.

“Every single coach will congregate at the end of each and discuss each player and what they thought, so the evaluations at the end of the clinic are going to be from the entire staff,” Serrins said. “It’s not going to be just one coach filling out an evaluation for one player. There’s a lot put into it from the coaches. All of these coaches are well known and respected throughout the country, so the girls can take the written evaluation with them to almost any college coach and they will recognize the evaluators and take it to heart.”

Stephenson is from the same hometown in New York as Reeve and has kept in contact with her for years, which led to Pine-Richland hosting the event. She said some of her players at Pine-Richland will be attending the clinic and that players from all over the area will do so as well.

“This is open to all players in the area, and we’ll probably have players in the surrounding areas like Ohio, Western New York and Central Pennsylvania as well,” Stephenson said. “We’re trying to cast a wide net for these girls to get an opportunity to benefit from what these coaches have to offer.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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