EP 66 – Greg Nicol – Talent Development in New Zealand Hockey


Today on the show I’m joined by Greg Nicol.

Greg has been the Athlete Pathway Manager for Hockey New Zealand for the past 12 years, where he headed up talent selection and development at the  U18, U21 and Development levels across both genders in the game.

Over this time, Greg has also coached in the game, including holding the Assistant Coach position for New Zealand National Men’s team at the Beijing and Rio Olympics and for the National Women’s side at the London Olympics in 2012.

Before his work helping players to be their best in the game, Greg spent 10 years playing at the highest level for South Africa, including representing his country at the 1996 and 2004 Summer Olympic Games.

In this episode, Greg discusses how youth players are selected into national programme, the importance of self-awareness in development and how to cultivate it, why interests outside of hockey are so important, player overload and how to deal with it, and much more.

You can find Greg @GregNicol13 on Twitter.

Highlights from the show:

  • Learning to mountain bike and how it is helping his work in hockey development
  • How Greg’s parents affected his development
  • Why Greg believes wholeheartedly in sport diversification
  • How Hockey has changed over the last 20 years and its effects on a players longevity
  • Greg’s advice for youth coaches to help facilitate player development
  • How Greg works with hockey parents to develop more independent players
  • How Greg thinks about the future of hockey and why players who can problem solve have the best chance of making it

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