Avoid later 'shock': Easts coach kids now for future
EASTS Hockey Club president Paul Malcolm shared why five junior teams impressed in the latest Ipswich competition junior grand finals.
"We try to coach our kids the same way we coach our A-Grade side,'' he said.
"So if you come out to one of my under-11 sessions and then come to one of my A-Grade sessions, there isn't a whole lot of difference. There's just a little bit more skill with the A-Graders.
"But it's all about running structures the same way, teaching the kids to play hockey from a young age so when they move up through the ranks, they are still playing those same structures, and it's not a shock to their system.''
Malcolm shared in a number of Easts' A-Grade and Reserve Grade premiership successes between 1990 and 2011.
He also played some R2 Grade hockey to work specifically with the kids in recent seasons.
"I was part of that A-Grade side that won four in a row and that was the highlight of my hockey career,'' he said.
That's why he was so thrilled to see his sons Cooper and Thomas play for Easts Black in Saturday's E-Grade grand final.
"I want to give them the same opportunity (to share in future success),'' he said.
"They (the Easts Black boys) didn't get up today but they came from last position to make the GF so the under 11s was a win-win situation.
"I love the kids and I love the fact that we've got the (E-Grade) girls team that went undefeated for the whole IHA (Ipswich Hockey Association) season.
"From a bunch of girls that three years ago couldn't win a game and they were like negative 98 (conceding goals). To come out and score 111 goals or whatever they did (this season) is unbelievable.''
He said the latest Tigers junior success was due to current coach Leanne Savage and former Easts mentors like Tracey Doyle showing faith in the kids.
"It's just been a long slog,'' Malcolm said.
"We could see it (progress) coming but all of a sudden it (the tough period) would come to the end . . . and what everyone has put in is starting to pay off.''