This week on Hosting Hockey, Adele chats to Kelly Reed (née Madsen). Kelly has played for the South African Womens Outdoor and Indoor Hockey Teams where she has 132 caps and 53 caps respectively. She has competed in 2 Outdoor World Cups as well as a Commonwealth Games and an Indoor World Cup. Kelly currently plays for Kearsney Hockey Club and has played for the KZN Raiders since 2007. As well as being a great player, she has inspired many schoolgirls where she has coached at school provincial level and is currently the head coach of the 1st team at St Marys DSG Kloof.
Adele: Who are you currently playing club and provincial outdoor hockey for?
Kelly: Kearsney Hockey Club and the KZN RAIDERS
Adele: What impact has the Covid 19 virus lockdown had on the local club league and the provincial plans?
Kelly: At the moment, everything has gone very quiet. We have to wait to be told by government when sport can happen again. Everyone is dying to get out there again so I can’t wait to see the hockey vibe when we are finally allowed to play.
Adele: What effect do you think the lockdown and the Covid 19 virus will have on World hockey?
Kelly: It will have a huge effect in my opinion. Although certain countries may be able to play again, many international players in their teams returned home for the lockdown and possibly may not be allowed back into the country yet to join their teams again. Also, a massive event like the Olympics being postponed is huge for athletes that were on the fringe of retirement. Countries like South Africa, which are geographically far away from top hockey nations, struggle to travel to play the top teams and therefor events like the Olympics are even more important to us.
Adele: You are a “double South African Player” having played both outdoor hockey and indoor hockey for your country. How were you able to balance this and do you think the current players can easily play both of these sports at the highest level?
Kelly: If we look at a top hockey nation such as the Dutch or the Germans. Both world class teams in both indoor and outdoor hockey. I can only imagine that the outdoor and indoor coaches work very closely together to ensure that their players can manage both. I think this is huge as they have many players that overlap between the two teams. For example I am sure most of you have heard of Christopher RÜhr from the German outdoor men’s team, well do yourself a favour and google him on the indoor court.
Balancing the two can be difficult but with the help of coaches who see the value and importance of both games, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Adele: You have chosen to focus on indoor hockey now. What is it that you love about this game? How does it assist astroturf hockey?
Kelly: I love the fast pace of an indoor game. I love that everyone on the court has to be thinking as you are always involved in the play because of the size of the court and the number of players on the court. On the outdoor turf, this has helped me to be more dynamic as a player. To read defenders better and to play at a high intensity on the ball because I learn to make decisions quicker.
Adele: What is the next large upcoming event for the SA Ladies indoor team?
Kelly: The end of September is our African qualifier for the Indoor Hockey World Cup which is next year in February in Belgium.
Adele: What/Who got you in to hockey?
Kelly: I would say being surrounded by family who play hockey definitely got me into hockey early, but I believe I would have found this game even if I came from a household of musicians.
Adele: You are the 9th Madsen to represent South Africa at field hockey. How proud are you to be a part of this family’s legacy? Describe the legacy.
Kelly: It is something really special and rare. I love hearing stories of how my dad and my two uncles, Paddy and Mike all played in the SA team together and travelled to Germany to play them (the Germans were currently ranked 1st in the world). We beat them 9-1 or something ridiculous like that.
Adele: What has been your career highlight?
Kelly: I have 2. Being an indoor and outdoor player both teams have had amazing highlights for me.
Indoor – The Indoor Hockey World Cup in Germany (The home of indoor hockey)
Outdoor – The Outdoor Hockey World Cup in Holland (The home of Outdoor Hockey)
Adele: Who is the finest player (indoor and outdoor) that you have played against?
Indoor – Janne Muller-Wieland (Germany)
Outdoor – Luciana Aymar (Argentina)
Adele: You are the mother of a 9-month-old little girl, Tyla Grace. How do you manage to continue playing hockey at a top level with having a family now?
Kelly: I have a very supportive husband who knows how important playing still is for me and he is also very hands on with Tyla and is not afraid to get stuck in in that department. My mom is also an absolute angel and is more than happy to look after Tyla. She adores kids so that’s a bonus. Sport and hockey in particular are a big part of my life and I want Tyla to see that growing up, whether she decides to play or not doesn’t matter.
Adele: Share an unknown fact about yourself.
Kelly: In 2015 I tore 2 ligaments in my knee. My ACL and my MCL. This put me out of all sport for about a year.
Adele: Best piece of advice that you can give.
Kelly: Great athletes are great, not because they have brilliance, but because they are more self-accepting of their mistakes. They just know how to deal with it better. They are consistent in their habits and routines.
Adele: You have established yourself as a top coach at school’s level. What do you see as your greatest coaching achievement?
Kelly: Winning the St Mary’s Waverly Hockey tournament in 2018. When I was at St Mary’s we won the tournament in 2007 so to win it again as a coach was something very special.
Adele: What schoolgirl skills are associated with a top player?
Kelly: I would say the most important skill isn’t even one that can be physically trained. I feel that mental toughness is the most important. How they handle and play under pressure. Can they be a match winner, not when it’s easy but when your team is playing badly and struggling. How they deal with disappointments and how they deal with superior achievement (making SA teams ahead of their teammates.
Adele: You played and then coached at Madsen Hockey Academy. What did the academy give you A) as a player and B) as a coach. Name some of the coaches that coached alongside you at the academy.
Kelly: A) Basic skills and tactics were mastered and understood from a young age. School and club team practices are great, but the focus is on the team and not the individual. Private coaching gives attention to the individual, but you don’t have live people your age to practice against. MHA has the perfect combination of individual attention in small groups so you can practice against people your age.
B) I can clearly remember the first couple of times I coached at MHA. I was shy and unsure and struggled to articulate what naturally came to me, into explanations for kids. Young kids are the perfect way to start coaching because you learn to explain things at the simplest level and this helps you to break down what seems so simple to you. You also learn that explaining something a certain way to one child might not work with the next child and so you learn different ways to explain the same thing. Although teaching older age groups may be easier, I would advise all coaches to start off coaching young children because you learn so much that you wouldn’t with older age groups.