Interview with Shawn Hindy, US player of the year 2000 x15|
January 29, 2001
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In November last year, Shawn Hindy was named US Field Hockey's player of the year for 2000.
It was the individual high point of his career so far, for a player who is still improving.
US national coach Shiv Jagday describes Hindy, who is only 25, as "A dedicated and committed hockey player, who loves the game very much."
Hindy has left his home in California for Spain to play for Alicante, the club where Spanish striker Juan Escarre is player/coach.
Planetfieldhockey's Andrew Griffiths spoke to Hindy in Alicante.
Hometown: Westlake Village, California, USA
Bulldogs, Moorpark, California
Junior National Team 1993-97
Senior National Team since 1995.
National Team: Currently Midfield, but has played defence also played centre-forward at '99 Pan-ams.
Club: Right back, in a 3-3-3-1 system. ("I get to attack quite a bit, so it is a fun position")
Honours with US team and Major Events
USFHA Field Hockey player of the Year 2000
1996 WCQQ, Italy (first international tournament)
Pan AM games 1999
Americas Cup 2000
Andrew Griffiths: When did you begin playing hockey?
Shawn Hindy: I started playing when I was 12 years old after seeing a demostraion at my school. I had played all sports and was sick of baseball, so decided to give hockey a chance.
Life in Alicante, Spain
AG: How and why did you end up there?
SH: I ended up playing here in Alicante for a couple of reasons. I
found an offer through the internet and starting writing emails to Juan Escarreīs brother Roberto, who works for the University and also plays hockey. I had never been to Spain and thought it would be a great experince to play top hockey and check out a new country. Also, I was very interested in learning Spanish and hopefully, becoming fluent. And, of course, playing hockey with Juan Escarre and meeting new people and friends.
AG: What is the place like? How does it compare to home for you?
SH: Spain is very different from where I live. I have to say that I am probably spoiled so anything will be different. There are many differences - some that I like,
and others I donīt like. The time schedule during the day is very different in Spain. You have a siesta in the middle of the day from about 2-5pm. All the stores are closed and you are supposed to sleep and rest.
Also, eating dinner at 9:30 or 10:30pm is very weird. And people go out until 6 or 7am on the weekends. Everything just takes getting used to.
AG: What were your first impressions when you got there?
SH: First impressions were that it was very dry and hot. It has about the same climate as Southern CA, so its not too bad.
AG: What is the hockey standard like?
SH: The standard is pretty good. Though the league where I played in
Australia was a lot better. It is still better than the league in Moorpark.
AG: How do you fit into the team?
SH: I think I fit well into my team. I am playing right back, and also am the first option for short corners. I would say that I am a key part of my team.
AG: Do you think you have improved your game since you've been there?
SH: Yes, I have improved my game. When you play and practice with good players and work hard and want to improve, you can.
AG: Have you scored some goals?
SH: Yes, I scored 6 goals in the first 9 games, most from short corners.
AG: How would you describe the Spanish style of play?
SH: The Spanish style of play, on our team, is very fun. Juan tells us to just get it and go. If I have the oppurtunity to team up with a midfielder or a forward and attack, he tells us to do so. There is sometimes not a lot of defense which kinda sucks becuase I am a defender.
AG: Are there any other foreign players in the Spanish league?
SH: Yes, there are 3 dutch players on our team. One, Brendon Koolen, also
played in Australia last year, in Adelaide, and has played in the Dutch
Premier League for 4 years with HDM. Also, a Dutch U-18 forward and a
Dutch goalie. There are a couple of Dutch players in the league and a
Pakistani, and a Portuguese, I believe.
AG: What is the club atmosphere like there?
SH: Well, there really is no club atmosphere, which is not that good. The Spanish do things differently
remember. We do however, have some team functions and also travel throughout Spain together and talk and interact. I do hang out with some of the players, but it is a little hard with the language barrier.
AG: Have you learned Spanish yet?
SH: My spanish is pretty good. I can say almost anything and just have trouble listening, but it improves little by little each day. I am taking classes everyday at the University, which the team pays for.
AG: What do you think makes a good hockey player?
SH: To play hockey you have to think and be a smart player. You can all the skill in the world, but if you donīt think, you wonīt go anywhere. You also have to have self motivation and the drive to be the best you can be, which means being coachable and a good team player.
AG: What do you think makes a good coach?
SH: I believe that a good coach has to have many qualities. Number one, you have to know your stuff, and not pretend to. Also, you must be willing to hear others' opinions, but always have your own standard and values that you believe in. Communication is a must as well.
AG: What are your goals as a player and how long do you plan on playing?
SH: My primary goal, right now, is to help the USA qualify for the World Cup in Malaysia in 2002. I plan on playing hockey as long as I am having fun and enjoy playing. I want to play everyday and I love playing. When that leaves, then I will stop.
AG: What are your career/work plans outside hockey?
SH: I have about 1 to 1.5 years of University left. I am majoring in business and would love to do something with international business with all of my experience overseas. My motto is that work and school will always be there and I will not be able to play hockey forever, so now, hockey is my priority.
AG: What is the outlook for the US team this year? How strong will you be?
SH: The US team is again a very young team. However, with the experience of a big tournament like the Americas Cup under our belts, who knows how far we can go. Shiv is a fearless leader and truly believes we can achieve our goals. With him leading us and the self motivation of the entire team growing, I also truly believe we can qualify. I believe we can work a lot harder and must to achieve our goals.
AG: What are your goals as a team, short term, and long term?
SH: Our short term goal is obviously, to qualify for the World Cup in 2002. I feel as though we have a second chance, after believing we did not make the WCQ, and I want to do all I can do to not let this chance slip through our fingers. Also, long term, we want to achieve the highest rank of any US team and Qualify for the Olympics of 2004.
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