Maddie Hinch: Cover star

Maddie Hinch takes a drink

Maddie Hinch, England and Great Britain's goalkeeper features on the front cover and in an interview in the latest Functional Sport Nutrition Magazine. Read the full interview below:

Maddie Hinch was part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, England Silver medal winning team. She has won 66* caps for England and GB in both indoor and outdoor hockey, and is currently playing club hockey for Holcombe Hockey Club. We asked her a few questions:

Question: Maddie, thanks for your time. What was it like making your debut for England against Germany back in 2008?

Maddie Hinch: It was incredible – a very special moment for me. I was only 19 at the time, and I can remember so vividly when I got to the ground for the game. Heading into the changing rooms, Natasha Keller (one of Germany’s greatest ever players) walked past me and said “hi” …I was so star-struck, having spent that summer watching the Beijing Olympics and Natasha playing for Germany, I didn’t even manage to say hi back!

Q: Are there any intrinsic differences between your training and the training that the outfield players would undertake?

MH: My training is very different to the outfield players, and this applies not only to the work we do out on the pitch, but also to our sessions in the gym and the work we do with the squad psychologist. Goalkeeping is a unique position, and although we are part of a wider team, we tend to spend a lot of time away from the rest of the group working on specific elements of our training. We are fortunate to have John Hurst working with all the goalkeepers in the squad, and this allows us time to drill specific goalkeeping techniques; diving and footwork etc. Goalkeepers should be the most explosive and powerful athletes in the team, and in the gym our programmes are designed around this. So while it may be very true that the goalkeepers get to do a lot less running than the outfielders, when it comes to lifting, we have a much heavier programme.

Q: We’re only 19 months away from the Rio Olympics; are you and the rest of Team GB training with this in mind, or is it all about the next match and next tournament?

MH: As a squad, we will always set out our goals, and winning Gold at Rio is the ultimate goal for us. However, on our journey, there are lots of big medals up for grabs, and although we have tasted a lot of success as a group, that Gold medal still eludes us. So while the ultimate goal is Gold in Rio, we approach every next match/tournament with the upmost desire to win, and if we don’t win, we reflect and learn from it to make sure we win the next one.

Hinch cover

Q: Could you give us an example of your diet while you’re training for a match; how does your diet change on match days?

MH: On match days, I avoid sugary foods, as I find they make me feel sluggish. When and what I eat is dependent on what time pushback is. For morning games, I eat porridge with honey, sultanas and chopped up bananas, as I find it filling and a good slow energy release. If it’s a lunchtime game, I would have the same, but I would also have a small snack (cereal bar/fruit) about 90 minutes before. With evening games, I like to have a big lunch and then just a snack around dinner-time. Lunch would normally consist of some sort of protein (ie chicken) and steamed veg. Regardless of game time, I will always have a protein shake first thing and a cup of tea.

Q: Do you have any advice for our readers regarding their nutrition for maximum benefit to their training?

MH: Nutrition is all about getting into good habits: knowing your body and the types of foods you require for the types of training session you are doing. Adequate levels of carbs and proteins pre-session to fuel you through training, and a high dose of protein after to aid recovery, are principles I try to stick to. Getting a good balance of carbs, proteins and green vegetables in and around your training is essential, and will help you avoid niggles and coughs and colds.

Q: During your time away from hockey, what is your favourite food on ‘cheat’ days?

MH: I have a real weakness for chocolate and a good curry!

Q: You’ve attained a degree from Loughborough in sport and exercise science; how has this affected the way you personally train and also how you coach others?

MH: My degree has helped me have a better understanding of the effects of training on my body, as well as the current literature around training principles, diet and psychology. Having a more in-depth knowledge of these areas means I can really apply myself fully with a solid foundation of knowledge.

Q: Can you give us an example of some of the training scenarios you use to get ready for a big game?

MH: As a goalkeeper, you are in a unique position of not always being directly involved in the game. Having ways to cope with staying mentally alert is key to my performance. Positive mental imagery before the game of times I have done certain skills well, as well as thinking about the way opposition players will play, help me feel prepared for the game.

*Current at time of interview.

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