Performance Changes

FAQ

Why are these changes happening?

World hockey is changing, with more professional high performance environments, higher quality opposition and more demanding challenges on our participants. We don’t want to just keep up, we want to win on the world stage.

We need to find ways to bridge the gap between our national competition and the international game.

We need to better connect community hockey and high performance hockey, so that players, coaches and umpires can aspire to be the best they can be.

How will these changes better develop our talent?
We want to add to our traditional focus of developing teams by focusing on developing talented individuals to compete at the highest level.

We must have quality coaching with the right players at the right time in the right environments underpinned by quality domestic competitions.

Emerging players will be provided with a personalised development programme over a minimum of two years.  These programmes will be run through a decentralised Performance Network, delivered in partnership with Associations across the country.

These changes will also allow young players to play for their local association and stay at home longer. Travel and costs will be reduced. 

You may have heard the phrase Performance Network used. What is it?

The Performance Network will be the connector between community hockey and high performance hockey, where players, coaches and umpires learn to be the best they can be.

Essentially, we need to shift our focus from developing teams to developing individuals.

Hockey NZ will begin by appointing a Performance Manager and a group of coaches to deliver the new Performance Network.

Will all the better players need to be based in Auckland?

No, players will be able to decide where to base themselves based on their priorities.

The strategy will cluster players together when needed allowing the number of players identified to create meaningful training groups for core hockey skills such as technique, decision-making, game understanding and positional play.  

There will also be specialist camps for players, as well as options to join the training groups for weekend or short-term camps when required.

Will there still be an Under-18 academy programme? 
Hockey NZ will still provide an Under-18 national programme and this will be based on identifying players and supporting them in camps. Associations will continue to lead the development programmes for players under 18 as well as older players not identified as part of the Performance Network.  This development is still a critical part of the pathway for young players.

What if some Associations don’t have the resources to deliver these changes?
Hockey NZ will partner with Associations and agree what can be offered. They acknowledge the considerable level of care needed in supporting Associations and regions through the transition.


Will people lose their jobs because of these changes?
Hockey NZ is working with regions to discuss the transition and what this means for their employees.  Our intention is to increase the level of support for players, coaches and umpires at all levels, and we are very keen not to lose good people through this process.

How will the new coaches be recruited?
In line with the principle of being participant-focused, we need to appoint the best coaches. These positions will be advertised and a transparent appointment process will be followed.

Are people being put first with these changes?
People are at the centre of your sport and Hockey NZ is recognising that by investing more time and money into a people-focused Performance Network. This will shift the focus to the individual, providing tailored development programmes to meet their needs. Hockey NZ will lead the Network, with Associations driving local delivery.

Is Hockey NZ sure this new structure will work?
Hockey NZ is really proud of what we have achieved with the Ford NHL, the support it has provided to the Vantage Black Sticks, and the way it has connected with our communities.

But it’s now time to change.

We won’t stay at the top by doing what we’ve always done as the international game is advancing every year. We need to find ways to bridge the gap between our national league and the international game.

We must have quality coaching with the right players at the right time in the right environments underpinned by quality domestic competitions.

This is our opportunity to keep the player base wider, work together and help the Vantage Black Sticks succeed.


Did you seek input on these changes from the hockey community?
Hockey NZ completed a robust research phase, including a National Survey, Social Media campaign 15 National roadshows with over 250 hockey leaders. We surveyed Black Sticks and development players, former Black Sticks, coaches and High Performance staff as well as seeking input from an advisory board.

Hockey NZ has worked alongside our Association leaders in presenting changes and will continue to do so to deliver a cohesive performance hockey pathway for all participants.


What happens now?
Hockey NZ will begin to roll out these changes by appointing a Performance Manager and a group of coaches to deliver the new Performance Network.

We are actively working on a new concept for the High Performance Series.

We know there’s still plenty of work to be done and details to finalise. We appreciate your support as we work through these changes.

How do I give feedback?
There’s lots more information to be shared with our hockey community, but if you have any questions or comments please get in touch