Playing hockey runs through the veins of Hayley Fischer, and her dedication to the sport is inspiring. Achieving amazing results in the sport at a young age, she has her sights firmly set on the future.
What do you love about playing hockey?
Hockey is a team sport where you get to play with your friends and have a lot of fun. It’s a fast sport, and you need to use your individual skills and work as a team. I play with lots of different people with different skill levels, and I have made heaps of new friends outside of school too. I can run pretty fast and I’m a bit competitive, which is why I love to play hockey.
I love playing representative hockey and travelling away. I’ve started to get to know people from all over NSW and seem to come across some of the same people, and we’ve become good friends. There is one girl from Cudgen that I played hockey against and I always seem to run into her at Nippers, athletics, cross country and swimming. She even looks a bit like me, and her name is Hayley too.
How old were you when you started playing?
Mum and Dad (Susan and Rick Fischer) have been taking me to hockey since I was a baby. I used to muck around on the sideline with my own little stick while Dad played and umpired in the senior comp. I started playing when I was four years old in mods, which is played on a smaller field with modified rules. My dad coached us, and Mum managed the team.
Recently you were selected to play in the NSW Representative side; can you tell us a bit about that?
In May I travelled up to Murwillumbah and represented North Coast at the NSW PSSA Hockey Championships in a three day competition. North Coast finished Runners Up to Polding at the tournament. I was so excited when my name was called out to represent NSW at the nationals in Perth in August. The nationals will be a week long tournament, and I can’t wait to play hockey at the next level – it’s going to be a great experience.
In preparation for the nationals, I get to travel to Newcastle for a two-day training camp, where I will get to know the coach and manager and the 13 other players who were selected on the team. I already know two of them though, because I’ve been playing hockey with my friend, Ashleigh Ensbey, since I was four years old. We’ve both played with Jasmin Morrisey from Tweed Heads with the North Coast team as well.
The coach will organise some set plays and work out positions, and we will do some team bonding activities. I think we’re going ten pin bowling. I’m also really excited about getting my NSW representative uniform at the training camp – I’m number 11. We’ll all meet at Sydney Airport and travel over as a team to Perth on the plane together; it should be fun.
How do you train specifically for hockey? How much hockey do you play each week?
I play two games of hockey each week in the local Saturday morning competition: one in the Under 12s and one in the Under 16s as well. I train with the Beaches Hockey Club seniors on Thursday nights, where we run through drills and set plays. The senior players really help me out and encourage me a lot. I also do stick skills with Dad on the tiled floor in my bedroom for about 20 minutes each night before I go to bed. It’s good to do the stick skills on the tiles or concrete, because the ball moves a lot quicker and you need to have more control of the ball.
Do you also undertake workouts and fitness training outside of hockey training?
You have to be really fit to play hockey. I’ll be playing six games over five days against the top players in Australia, and we play QLD in the last game on day five. From what I’ve heard, it’s a bit like a State of Origin match; QLD will do anything to beat NSW. So, I need to be really fit for that game. For endurance, I train with Jason at “Coffs Coast Flyers” on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. My little sister, Breah, also comes to Flyers; she’s been training for state cross country. It’s been a bit cold lately, but we still rug up, put our gloves on and just do it. For speed, I train with Selena at “Fast Track Feet” out at Toormina on Friday afternoons. You do a lot of short sprints in hockey, so Selena’s sessions are great. I also do swim squads with Dean at Coffs Olympic Pool on Monday afternoons. I’m very lucky to have great coaches like Jason, Selena and Dean. They all keep me motivated; I couldn’t do it without them.
You’re only 11 years old and already very successful in this sport. Have you set yourself goals to achieve that you are working towards?
My goal was to make it into a NSW representative team at a younger age than my dad (Rick) did. He was selected in the Under 13s NSW squad. Dad has coached and mentored me since I was four, so I can thank him for getting me to where I am now though. Thanks Dad! Next year I will trial at the Under 13s NSW State Championships, and my goal is to be selected into the NSW Under 13s team to play at the national championships. I would love to represent Australia with the Hockeyroos at the Olympics one day with my friend Ashleigh, but that’s a little way off just yet.
I’m also hoping that my achievements will get more kids on the Coffs Coast to come and give hockey a go, so they can learn the game and love it as much as I do. My dad didn’t actually start playing hockey until he was in high school and Mum only started playing a few years ago because the rest of the family were playing – so she thought she may as well play too. It’s never too late to start playing, so find a local club and have a go – it’s a lot of fun.