Champion’s Edge Field Hockey News
Some teach, we innovate.


December 18, 2013

Oh Come All Ye Hockey Players


February 27, 2013

“In Scientia Opportunitas”


Let’s take a page out of law enforcement’s book and apply it to hockey. All good players do it. It informs their initial touch and first step with the ball. It allows them the space, vision and speed required to eliminate defenders. What we’re talking about is INFORMATION COLLECTION.

Coaches talk all the time about spacing. Good spacing or structure is the result of players taking an active role in their play off the ball. In order to be effective off the ball, players must collect information in real time, and then use that information to define their next movement in the context of the team’s game plan. For example, a key element of off-ball movement requires you to read the line of your attacking teammate who has the ball and position yourself in such a way so as to isolate defenders in numbers-up scenarios (2v1’s, 3v2’s). Another type of off-ball movement may require you to lead (move) out of certain spaces (away from the ball) to draw defenders away from your team’s intended line of attack.

The important point to take away from the act of information collection in off-ball movement, is that it ultimately occurs before your next touch on the ball. The more information you have prior to receiving the ball, the better off you will be in terms making your first step with the ball meaningful- whether that implies eliminating a defender, immediately passing or defining a new space for your teammates in transition down the field. The space around you after a reception will close down very quickly if you’re spending time tying to locate teammates after the fact.

Check out the video clips below of information collection in action. Again, pay special attention to  hard work being done off the ball. The players are highly aware of where their teammates are positioned, they’re comfortable in open space and the result is a succession of possession passes and eventual scoring opportunities.

February 26, 2013

CE Profile: Michael Pallister

Michael Pallister’s affiliation with Champion’s Edge dates back to 2009. He has served as a head camp coach and now more recently contributes in a Director capacity, in addition to his duties as an Assistant Coach at Princeton University. At 6’9, Pallister is probably the tallest field hockey player/coach in the world. Routinely a camp favorite, the nimble-footed Australian is more than just a circus attraction on the field; he also knows a ton about the game.

Prior to joining the Princeton coaching staff in 2011, Pallister spent three seasons with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Field Hockey program as graduate assistant while pursuing a Master of Business Administration. He also served a head coach with the Cape Ann Coalition club team in Massachusetts. Pallister spent the spring of 2012 in Vancouver, Canada, working as a coach with the largest club in North America, the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club. Through the WVFHC he was also involved with the high performance ADANAC program and assisted the Canadian U21 Junior National Team in their buildup for a European tour and World Cup qualifying.

A native of Canberra, Australia, Pallister represented the Australian Capital Territory in the National Championships as a junior before playing in the Men’s State League One competition for St. Patrick’s Hockey Club. He completed an undergraduate degree in finance and accounting from the Australian National University in 2004, before finishing an MBA at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2010.

Vitals – in his own words.

Stick: 37.5″ TK Synergy 1 double shammied

Hockey Shoes: Asics Gel Fuji Racers

International Side: In the men, Australia, and for the women….. Australia (sorry USA)

Discovery Channel TV Show: My one addiction! Moonshiners, How its Made, Gold Rush, Swords, Swamp Loggers, Alaska, The Turtle Man “LIVE ACTION!” , Container Wars, and of course the grand daddy of them all… Shark Week!

Q: Australia has been massively successful on the international hockey stage for the past 15 years. What stands out to you as the biggest difference between the US and Australia in terms of youth development?

I started playing hockey when I was five in ‘Minkey’, the Australian version of mini hockey, which has organized leagues for under 7’s and under 9’s. From an early age you are taught the basics and simple tactical and technical progressions. By the time you are in the under 13 age group you are playing on artificial turf every game with access to both a youth league and also the mens grade hockey as well as high performance centres in most metropolitan centres. There are talent identification programs that pull in gifted athletes into government sponsored training programs. This is all before you turn 15! Growing up, one of the best things for me as a player was being able to play in the men’s grade with my dad. I was 14 or 15 and playing in the men’s competition with guys who have 30 plus years of experience.

The majority of girls I’ve talked to here in the US only started playing at middle or high school (12-14 years old) and are forced to try and catch up whilst playing in a shortened season, often on grass, with state modified rules (e.g. vision reducing goggles). Its tough!  There are a lot of clubs that are now offering juniors the opportunity to train and receive quality coaching which is really positive and a step in the right direction. These clubs that offer training outside of the 3 month school season are crucial for youth development. With the absence of any leagues it is these programs that drive youth development.

Q: As a strong proponent of year-round play, where do you see summer camps fitting into player development?

I love summer camps! I wish we had them in Australia. Summer camps give athletes the chance to be coached by some of the best coaches from within the country and also internationally. The good camps will provide a balance between being fun and relaxed while also really attacking the technical and tactical side of the game. You get to practice and play with players from all over the country and make a ton of new friends. You can scrimmage with college players and coaches and it just mixes up the monotony of club and high school hockey. We squeeze in 6-7.5 hours of hockey per day for three and a half days. Each day you get to watch film of the professionals executing the same skills as you are learning, train new skills, play small games, and finally full field games. You wont find another product that gives you exposure to all facets of the game like a well run summer camp. The overnight camps are like a working vacation and can really jump start your fall season. I know I personally enjoy every minute at camp, the kids are always keen to learn and have a laugh, and we have never lost a staff vs. camp all star match. Maybe 2013 will be different but judging by the quality of our staff I wouldn’t bet on it.

January 23, 2013

CE Coaching Profile: Homero Pardi

Hailing from Caracas, Venezuela, Homero Pardi’s affiliation with Champion’s Edge dates back to 2003 where he has fulfilled roles as both a Head Coach and Head Director of Camps. Athletes are quick to recognize him in his standard issued Oakley’s, a sun tan that can only be achieved through avoiding contact with sunscreen and his trademarked, bowling pin-shaped calves.Homero.2

Pardi currently serves as an assistant coach at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. His cache of collegiate coaching experience includes Princeton University (2008-2011), Georgetown University (2003-2007) and Kent St. University (2002-2003). Pardi has also spent time as an assistant coach with the Venezuelan National Team (2001-2002), as well as director of the Venezuelan Indoor/Outdoor Hockey League (2001-2003).

As member of several Venezuelan indoor & outdoor national teams, Pardi’s international playing career from 1996-2004 includes participation in the Jr. Pan Am Championships (2), the Central American & Caribbean Games and the Pan-America Cup.

When he’s not busy coaching summer camps and college hockey in the fall, Pardi dedicates his winter and spring months coaching several high school indoor teams with Mystx Field Hockey Club (PA).

Vitals- in his own words.

Stick: TK Platinum 36.5 chamois grip double tapped

Hockey Shoes: Adidas

International Side: Gotta stick with my South American peeps… Argentina

Will Ferrell movie: Too many to just pick one favorite… but I guess I’ll go with Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. “If you ain’t first, you’re last!”

Q: Indoor season is in full swing these days… How’s the level of play? What do you see as something in general that all high school athletes should be focused on improving?

The level of play is decent and the effort is there. I just wish clubs would put the same effort into outdoor hockey in the spring as they do for indoor hockey in the winter. The execution of basic skills (passing and receiving) remains a constant area of focus; once these skills are improved, athletes will be able to play a more creative style, i.e. recognize passing lanes and play a faster more competitive and enjoyable game.

Q: You’ve coached over 700 camps in the US in the past 10 years (or so it seems). What are some of the things you see as difference-makers in determining a good camp from a bad one?

Wow, 700 camps? 10 years? I guess I just realized I’m getting old!

The main difference is the coaching staff. Coaches should be knowledgeable and fun at the same time. This balance is important because if the coach is “too much fun” the athlete will not learn as much; on the other hand, if the coach is too “serious” the athlete most likely will not enjoy her camp experience as much.

Another important aspect of differentiating a good camp from a bad one is the facility. An Astroturf or Field-Turf surface plays a big role in the overall progression of a camp. The camp coach will be able to demonstrate, teach, execute and evaluate proper skills; the athlete can later take these improved skills and apply them on any surface without sacrificing technique. Running a camp on a proper surface will also make it easier to help the athlete to get rid of bad habits acquired from learning incorrect skills or playing on substandard grass fields.

I would also like to mention field space. I have seen camps that pack a field with over 100 athletes in a given session. This creates a problem when trying to work on things like outletting, small games to goal, hitting, flicking, etc. A well run camp will allocate the right number of players in one session (max 75). I can proudly say that over my time as a camp coach at Champion’s Edge we have worked diligently in taking care of these details (and more) to ensure the best learning experience for our athletes.

Summer School: AP Field Hockey

You’ll struggle to find a camp these days that’s not ‘Elite’. This self-designated moniker knows no bounds across the sporting camp landscape, and field chalkboardMathhockey is particularly guilty in this realm (us included!). The term ‘Elite’ is thrown around so loosely these days, its continued casual usage is sure to render brand dilution by association.

Rather than simply label ourselves as ‘Elite’ and assume that alone is going to resonate with athletes, parents and coaches, we’re going to take a moment in this post to lay our cards on the table. Below you’ll find an outline of our camp curriculum in all its glory. We’re not reinventing the wheel; you can only drill so deep in a 3-4 day camp. Our intent here is to give you something substantive to chew on while you sift through a myriad of camp options for this coming summer. With that in mind, our focus in 2013 will be in the execution of ‘Elite’ behavior, minus the need to tell you about it. That is to say, you’ll know it when you see it.

Camp Focus: 3 Elements

Our goal at camp is to introduce you to a style of hockey that is fluid, fast and fun. To achieve this style, there are three areas that will be addressed in complimentary ways over the course of camp:

1.  Ball Control

2.  Information collection in transition and while on attack or defense

3.  Physiology

Ball control enables information collection and the ability to make aggressive decisions under pressure. Fluidity comes from training skills in a dynamic fashion, while intentionally infusing pressure as confidence grows. Playing “fast” means that we have the information necessary to make the most aggressive decision while retaining possession; or if on the defensive side of the ball, minimizing space, time and vision of the opposition. The game of field hockey requires a high level of fitness, so our training will be geared in such a way that athletes recognize effective practice work rates.

Technical Concepts

Ball control / ball position (use of peripheral vision when under pressure & pre-vision   prior to reception)

Changing angle & direction with the ball (both under and not under pressure)

Dynamic push passing from frontal position

Sweeping skills

Receiving closed & open

1v1 Individual defense

Perimeter defense (marking & intercepting)

Small Game Concepts

Holding possession (Information collection: pre-scanning/pre-vision)

2v1, 2v2, 3v2, 3v3

Tactical Concepts

Basic outletting shape

Basic pressing shape

Counter defense structure

Set Pieces

Basic penalty corner

Free hits

January 15, 2013

2013 Registration Open

The following events are OPEN for registration:

June 24-27: Lake Forest Academy; Lake Forest, IL

July 18-21: The University of Scranton; Scranton, PA

July 24-27: Mercersburg Academy; Mercersburg, PA

July 29 – Aug. 1: Monmouth University; West Long Branch, NJ

Aug. 1-3: Charlotte Country Day School; Charlotte, NC

Aug. 3-6: Babson College; Wellesley, MA

Aug. 20-22: Riverdale Country School; Riverdale (New York), NY

Teams are recommended to make a reservation. Find out how, HERE >.

January 18, 2012

CE Director Kristen Winn Heads USA U19 Training

Kristen.1.18.12Champion’s Edge Camp Director and Princeton University Head Coach, Kristen Winn will be at the US Olympic Field Hockey Training Center in Chula Vista, California for a U19 training camp this week. Coach Winn is the current USA U19 Head Coach and is assisted by current CE coach, Ryan Langford (U. Michigan) and former CE coach, Carla Tagliente (U. Massachusetts).

The U19 squad is training in preparation for an upcoming test series versus Canada in Vancouver, April 1-8.

December 2, 2011

2012 Summer Camps: Registration is Open!

The following lists our current 2012 schedule. All camps listed are open for registration. Click on a specific location for more details.

Resident/Day (accommodates residents and commuters)

July 28-July 1: The University of Scranton; Scranton, PA – ELITE

July 5-8: Monmouth University; West Long Branch, NJ – TEAM

July 12-15: The University of Scranton; Scranton, PA – TEAM

July 19-22: Monmouth University; West Long Branch, NJ – ELITE

July 25-28: Mercersburg Academy; Mercersburg, PA

August 4-7: Babson College, Wellesley, MA

Day Camps (Commuters only)

August 2-4: Charlotte Country Day School; Charlotte, NC

August 9-11: Princeton Day School; Princeton, NJ

August 21-23: Riverdale Country School; Riverdale (New York), NY

April 6, 2011




Online Fitness, Nutrition and Mental Planning System Prepares Players for Camps/Clinics;

Company Founders Are US National Women’s Field Hockey Team and University of Iowa Teammates

DENVER CO and PRINCETON NJ, – April 6.  Every1Fit (hereafter E1Fit) and Champion’s Edge Field Hockey Camps and Clinics (hereafter Champion’s Edge) signed a distributor agreement on March 31, 2011, offering Champion’s Edge players registering for camps, clinics and mini-camps, access to FieldHockey1Fitâ„ , the premier  online fitness, nutrition, and mental planning system.

E1Fit developed FieldHockey1Fit℠, one of its field sport specific programs, for youth as well as adult players and for the sport’s referees. FieldHockey1Fit℠ is being offered by Champion’s Edge as a pre-camp or pre-clinic training program with the goal of having players arrive at the camp better prepared to enjoy a better overall camp experience.

The distributor agreement represents a commitment by both companies to the field hockey player’s growth and development. Uniquely, the respective company founders, Dr. Andrea Wieland (E1Fit) and Kristen Holmes-Winn (Champion’s Edge) were teammates on the US Women’s National Field Hockey Team and at The University of Iowa.

Both companies expect players using the FieldHockey1Fit℠ program of online fitness, nutritional and mental training plans to be more focused, more fit, and more confident. “By being better prepared and focused for their camp/clinic experience,” states Champion’s Edge Business Director Matt Winn, “we expect our players will have an enhanced camp experience. It’s not enough to be choosing a camp, enrolling and showing up. There’s a preparation factor that is easily overlooked. We feel this may be one of the more critical factors in creating an optimum camper’s experience. E1Fit fills the need for preparation. Through the online program, the players will come to us better prepared and will get more out of their camp experience.”

“Traditionally campers do not prepare themselves in two vital areas: nutrition and mental readiness. We don’t view fitness as a stand-alone factor in the success of a player. By incorporating nutritional planning and mental preparation with fitness training, the Champion’s Edge players will gain an even greater edge to their performance, “ states Dr. Andrea Wieland, Chief Enthusiasm Officer of E1Fit, Olympian (1996 US Olympian, Field Hockey) and psychological performance coach.

“The goal of enabling all Champion’s Edge players to experience the benefits of the FieldHockey1Fit℠ Plan is a key to player development. We are focused on assisting developing field hockey players in achieving a higher level of success both during camp and in season,” notes Wieland. “We are excited to be a part of Champion’s Edge vision for the emerging player and look forward to a long and successful working relationship with their outstanding coaching staff.”  The E1Fit tagline sums up the cohesive efforts of both companies in signing the distributor agreement; to “Prepare for Amazing.”

About Every1Fit

Every1Fit (E1Fit for short) is a leader in providing online fitness, nutrition and mental plans to athletes, teams, referees, organizations, corporations, first responders, and individuals. Formed in 2009, it is the premier provider of sport specific programs (Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Tennis) for youth, adults and referees for use in pre-season, off-season or pre-tournament preparation. E1Fit’s corporate-based programs, Corporate1Fit for Busy Travelers Plans and for Employees, and its General Health & Wellness Programs are recognized for complimenting a company’s existing fitness/wellness employee programs and serving as a key employee health and wellness benefit.

For more information, visit or contact Dr. Andrea Wieland at

Phone: 1-877-E1FIT-ON or 904.460.9577

Electronic logo and banner and all other media requests:

March 14, 2011

CE Director Holmes-Winn Assisting in U19 US-Canada Series

Kristen Holmes-Winn

Kristen Holmes-Winn

CE Director and Princeton University Head Coach Kristen Holmes-Winn is spending the week in Chula Vista coaching the U.S. U19 National Team. Get the scoop at

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