2018 EuroHockey Indoor Championships with Samantha Economos
The EuroHockey Indoor Championships is an Indoor Hockey World Cup Event where the best teams from all over the world battle it out for the championship title.
Each country’s teams must first qualify via his or her respective tournaments that take place in their home country. Emma McColl recently sat down with ACT Indoor Hockey representative Samantha Economos, to discuss the tournament and her experiences representing Australia abroad.
What was this experience like for you?
It was pretty incredible. As indoor hockey isn’t as widely supported or known in Australia, it was amazing to see the overwhelming support and respect the supporters, teams and national bodies had for us overseas.
The crowds were huge and you honestly felt like a professional athlete. You also can’t beat playing against the best teams in the world. The game is so quick and you feel so accomplished when you compete with these world class players.
What did you have to go through to make the team?
A squad is selected each year at the Australian National Competition. This squad is then involved in a training camp for three days, before the final team gets selected.
Indoor is a pretty unique sport in which you have to be extremely adaptable and be able to play every position.
Indoor only has six players on the court at a time, including the goalkeeper, there are a lot of rotations and you need to have the knowledge and skill to play everywhere.
I played a fair bit of striker this tournament to gain more experience, however, I also played in the centre and at the back which is my usual position in indoor hockey.
What kind of preparation is required for such an event?
As indoor does not receive much support or funding from Hockey Australia it is especially difficult for us to consistently train and prepare as a team.
We have girls in the team from all over Australia and are all self-funded athletes who have to pay for everything other than our equipment, as most girls have individual brand sponsors.
Therefore, a lot of our preparation and training was left up to the individual. We were required to report to our coaches on what we were doing and working on.
What did your training schedule look like?
In terms of my own physicality and ensuring my body was fit and in the best shape possible, I was going to the gym six times a week, with a mixture of strength and cardio sessions.
I also completed two to three running sessions a week around my other sports and training sessions.
What is your competition history? Have you represented in any events similar to this one?
I have been to a few competitions similar, yet not at the same level as the World Cup.
In 2017 I went on the European tour with the Australia indoor team, where we played some of the best teams in Europe, as well as some equally as strong club teams.
This was undoubtedly one of the most successful tours where we drew with the number one team in the world!
How did you manage to balance training and working?
It is actually quite difficult trying to maintain a balance between work, training and other commitments.
During the season I am often training in Canberra four times a week and playing one day a week. This means I leave home to go to the gym at six in the morning, go to work all day, leave from work to go straight to training and not get home from training until ten at night.
By the end of the season it is pretty exhausting and tough to find motivation to continue to drive to Canberra after a long day at work. It’s also hard to maintain a good performance in all areas of life.
Often I feel when my training is going well and I’m really pushing myself to train harder and longer hours my work suffers and visa-versa, however, it’s just about finding balance and managing time.
What is your history with hockey?
I started playing hockey when I was eight years old, and made the switch over from soccer, which I had played for four years. This was purely because my friends were playing hockey and I was a pretty social kid.
I honestly still remember my first game. I was absolutely horrible. I could run, however, did not have much control of the foreign object in my hand.
However, for the past 5 years I have been selected in the Hockey ACT team of the year and finished 4th for the past 2 years in the McKay medal, which is awarded to the best female player in Canberra.
What advice can you give to younger athletes striving to accomplish similar goals to yours?
My advice for younger athletes is as follows:
1. Hard work will always beat natural ability. You need to make sure you work your butt off day in and day out. Make sure you have no “what if” regrets, about missing a training session.
2. Attitude is everything. You need to have a positive and hardworking attitude. Take advice from all the coaches you have and work hard to improve off this advice and feedback. Use tips from different people to shape you into the player you want to be.
Think about the qualities you want to define you as a player and athlete, i.e. hard-worker and humble. This will determine how you carry yourself on and off the field. Be humble and let your performance speak for itself.
3. Push through adversity and set high reachable goals. There are always going to be a million reasons why you shouldn’t or don’t want to do something, or a reason why you don’t want to train. Make sure you have clear goals and view setbacks as opportunities to improve, learn and be stronger and more resilient.
Push yourself to be better than you are. Use how good you were yesterday as the bench mark and try and improve upon yourself. Rate your successes around how far you have come and not on the people around you.
4. Remember to enjoy yourself and the company of those around you. Support your team mates, have a laugh and don’t take everything so seriously. If you’re enjoying what you are doing you will be more likely to maintain your work ethic. Love your sport and remember to have fun and enjoy the company of those around you.