What does it take to be a member of the Great Britain hockey team?
The Great Britain men’s and women’s squads are ‘centrally based’ at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in Buckinghamshire. This means that the vast majority of their training takes place here and most athletes live nearby.
Great Britain's athletes are up there with the fittest sportspeople around. Typically, members of both the men’s and women’s squads are put through their paces on the hockey pitch at Bisham Abbey for at least 12 hours a week. This is supported by a minimum of two gym sessions a week in the athletes’ gym, a top facility run by the English Institute of Sport (EIS) and accessible only to elite athletes. On top of these team training sessions, GB hockey athletes also undertake individual training on the hockey pitch and in the gym almost every day.
Every training session and international match is captured on video and the athletes can access the performance analysis suite to review video clips of themselves and the team whenever they want. It is thanks to investment from UK Sport that we have been able to implement this technology. Its support, and that of the EIS, whose sports science provision supports the teams with strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, nutrition, performance lifestyle and psychology, have been instrumental in helping our teams to climb the world rankings and win medals on the international stage.
The men’s and women’s Great Britain hockey teams train throughout the four year Olympic cycle as part of the centralised training programme at Bisham Abbey. The men’s and women’s teams also compete as Great Britain in training matches throughout the four year cycle (albeit not many matches in the first two years of the cycle). In addition Great Britain plays in some FIH World ranking competition in the final two years of the cycle including the World League, Champions Trophy / Challenge and of course the Olympic Games.
While the centralised programme for Great Britain takes place throughout the four years at certain points through the cycle players train with their home nations in preparation for other competitions that they compete in as England, Scotland and Wales including the World Cup, Commonwealth Games, EuroNations and in the first two years of the cycle the World League. See below for the latest fixtures.
Great Britain Hockey - the organisation - is responsible for the preparation, selection and performance of the men’s and women’s GB hockey squads and their participation in the Olympic Games and other competitions and tournaments. Ultimately, it is the body charged with delivering Olympic success for the sport of hockey.
For an Olympic Games, Great Britain Hockey nominates its squads to the British Olympic Association, the National Olympic Committee for Great Britain. Our athletes, coaches and support staff then compete at the Games for Great Britain under the banner of the wider Team GB, run by the BOA. At London 2012, the British hockey players were part of the largest ever British contingent of athletes at 550.
Great Britain's world ranking is that of the nominated country which, for the 2012-2016 Olympic cycle, is England.
Great Britain women: 3rd
Great Britain men: 4th
View the latest FIH international world rankings here.
Find out more about the history of Great Britain hockey on our history page.