We had the privilege of chatting to one of our coaches, sports psychologist and former SA hockey player, Louise de Jager. A well-known person in the sports arena, and a course captain for our Johannesburg courses, Louise shared with us her love and passion for hockey as well as her advice for aspiring players.
- When did you start playing hockey and why?
“I started playing hockey at the tender age of 5 years; it was love at first sight. I especially loved the team environment.”
- Where did your love/passion for sport (hockey) start?
“My passion for sport began at a young age, growing up with two brothers I had little to no choice in playing a wide variety of garden games. Through the pure enjoyment and zeal I experienced here, I developed a very strong passion for all sport.”
- Who was your hockey mentor?
“Lindsey Wright (nee Carlisle) without a doubt. She was my role model from a young age, and for years she invested valuable time and effort into my hockey career.”
- What have been your greatest hockey/sport achievements?
- representing SA at the Junior World Cup in the USA in 2009
- receiving senior SA Women’s caps from 2009-2013
- placing 14that the World Gymnastics Championship hosted In Germany in 2004
- receiving my Gauteng Provincial colours for Water Polo and Athletics
- What were you known for in the SA hockey team? Did you have any special skills/tricks?
“I was definitely known for my drag flick and overhead shots.”
- What is your favourite hockey memory?
“Scoring 2 goals in our final game of the Junior World Cup. The first was an incredible drag flick and in the second goal, I received the ball on our defensive 25 yard line, ran all the way up the field (dribbling players – which I am not very good at!) and then I magically found myself in the circle and took a reverse stick shot, which by some magical force, made it into the back of the net. I received man of the match award, it was a special moment.”
- You’ve accomplished so much, what do you think it takes to succeed?
“Perseverance, determination and a strong will to succeed. Maybe a more important characteristic than all of those is discipline, without discipline it’s hard to achieve anything.”
- What are your top tips/advice for young, aspiring hockey players today?
- “Persevere no matter what – if you love the sport, don’t quit playing.
- “Dream big – have dreams that both inspire and scare you, and then work every day to achieve them.
- “Champions aren’t born in gyms or on hockey astros, they are born out of their daily habits – if you want to be the best, you need to have champion daily habits that you strive for every single day. Becoming a champion is a journey of 1 million small steps.”