This week Adele chats to the Head Coach of Westville Gryphons Mini Hockey Club, Daniel Crouch. Daniel participated in a variety of sport including softball and ice hockey, but it was the love for field hockey that has brought him to where he is today. He was just one of two Grade 10’s that were selected to play for the Glenwood 1st team and since leaving school has been playing club hockey. Daniel plays for the Varsity College Men’s 2nd Team and was a part of the team who won the 1st Division Indoor league in 2018. He started coaching for Manor Gardens and found it so fulfilling watching the little ones develop into such talented players. In 2018, he joined the Madsen Hockey Academy and has made a great impact not only on the kids, but also on the coaches around him. Daniel has a true passion for the sport and coaching.
Adele: Describe your hockey playing career.
Daniel: My hockey career started from a young age. I remember still playing on the grass fields of my pre-primary school with my wooden Gray’s hockey stick. From then I knew I had a passion for the sport, I moved to Penzance Primary the year the 3 schools Astro was opened and I was fortunate enough to be able to start enjoying my hockey from a young age on astroturf. I played throughout my whole primary school years, playing first team in my senior years and being made the Boys 1st team hockey captain. I then went on to play at Glenwood High school from grade 8 up until matric. I played in the U14A, U16A and 1st team. I was lucky enough to be 1 of 2 grade 10’s included in the 1st team squad at Glenwood. After school I decided to finally play club hockey, and while studying at Varsity College, I played for the Varsity College Men’s 2nd team for indoor and outdoor.
Adele: What was your most memorable moment in your career to date?
Daniel: My most memorable moment in my career was my first 1st team cap as the only grade 10 in the team. Another memorable moment for me was winning the 1st club division indoor league.
Adele: Describe your coaching career and when you started coaching for Madsen Hockey Academy.
Daniel: I first started coaching right after I left school. I was the 1st team boys coach for Manor Gardens in 2017. I then decided to start working with littlees to develop hockey from the grassroots. I coached 4-9 year olds, and for me it was honestly so fulfilling watching these little ones grow from year to year and develop into future hockey stars. I started working for the Madsen Hockey Academy in 2018, for the Westville Gryphons mini hockey as a coach.
Adele: In what area of the coaching do you operate in for Madsen Hockey Academy?
Daniel: Currently I am coaching for the Madsen hockey academy at the Westville Gryphons mini hockey club where I am the head coach.
Adele: What would you say three qualities of a hockey coach are?
Adele: Who are your playing and coaching role models?
Daniel: For coaching, my role model would be the ex SA men’s hockey coach, Fabian Gregory. I had first met him at a High Performance Camp, and he then become my first team coach at Glenwood.
My role model as a player is Tom Boon from the Belgium men’s National Hockey team
Adele: Describe something that we don’t know about you.
Daniel: I have received my National colours for Softball and represented South Africa at the Junior-Mens World Champion in Michigan, USA
Adele: How did you get started in hockey?
Daniel: I first got started in hockey because of my older brother. He had started to play hockey in school and then he and I would spend afternoons playing outside.
Adele: How do you see Madsen Hockey Academy moving in to the “new normal” when we get started again?
Daniel: I believe one of the best things about Madsen Hockey Academy is it’s adaptability and commitment. I am of the view that when we get started in the “new normal”, Madsen Hockey Academy will follow all of the guidelines and safety protocols that are necessary for the safety of our players and coaches; but this will not hinder our coaching or reduce the enjoyment of anyone coming to our sessions. Madsen Hockey Academy will still be bringing enjoyment and fun to our sessions, in ways that will enhance the individual and team skills so that once the pandemic is over we have made sure that our players are still in top form.
Adele: How do you stay up to date with the latest coaching trends and ideas?
Daniel: In order to stay up to date I am always constantly on the look out for new coaching ideas to pop up in different chat forums and webinars; as well as collaborating with other coaches to brainstorm ideas.