Field Hockey is played in 112 countries around the world. There is some evidence that the sport began as long as 4,000 years ago. Field hockey was first offered as a clinic at Sunny Isles Beach in 2014. When it caught on with young athletes, it evolved into a regular program.
The continued interest for the sport is due, in large part, to the enthusiasm of field hockey coach, Juan Heredia.
Juan grew up in Mendoza, Argentina and began playing field hockey as an eightyear- old. He continued to play as he matured through his teenage years and into adulthood. As he became more experienced, he began to coach the sport. Juan has been coaching now for 25 years. He likes to work in Sunny Isles Beach because the student athletes here are easy to get along with and enjoyable to coach. Additionally, the City’s support for his proposal of having a field hockey team was well received, “Sunny Isles Beach is a good place to coach; the city gave me a lot of support to start this project.”
When Juan speaks of the benefits of playing field hockey, he mentions the obvious, that players get exercise and have a good time. He says that while it is important to win, teaching the sport is a process and he knows that the athletes will get better as time goes on. His practices begin with a warmup, then the kids move on to specific training for that particular day. Skills that often need to be refined during practice include; dribbling, learning to push, passing and getting into the practical positions. He ends practice with a short match or match setting drills. The drills are timed and each athlete strives for individual improvement.
Juan believes that participation in the field hockey program will help teach the athletes discipline, on and off the field. The team is co-ed, with boys and girls playing on the same team. The spring session is well underway two days a week for eight weeks. The program will take a summer break and be offered again in the fall of 2015.
View Juan’s complete interview on the SIB Vimeo Channel via the SIB Media link on the right side of the home page at sibfl.net. For information or questions regarding field hockey or any other program offered by the City, please refer to the Living magazine each season, the website at sibfl.net or call Cultural and Community Services at 305-792-1706.