Great Britain goalkeeper Maddie Hinch says that her potential was spotted before she’d even picked up a hockey stick.
Hinch tells the Wellness That Works podcast by WW (Weight Watchers reimagined) that her rise to the top was also the result of a PE teacher’s hunch.
In the podcast, Hinch also reveals how the GB women’s team kept morale up during lockdown, how she has enjoyed being a homebody during the pandemic and why the pandemic has encouraged the Olympian to take a step back and make friends and family a top priority.
The 32-year-old said: “I was a good football player and when I started at this new school [aged 12], the PE teacher said ‘It is hockey next term Maddie and I think you should be goalkeeper.’
“I didn’t even know what hockey was and knew from football that goalies do a lot of standing around, but as the new kid I had no say. I was then handed this huge bag of kit that stank.”
It took years for Hinch to be seen as a star player. “I struggled to get picked for teams,” she adds.
“I was an athlete and used to running around, so I had my own style of goalkeeping, coming off the line a lot and diving around. That hadn’t been seen before and naturally worried selectors and coaches.
“I kept getting told I was too ‘small’ or ‘dynamic’.”
She got spotted while standing in for another goalkeeper and adds in the podcast: “I don’t think I would be the keeper I am or achieved what I have done if I hadn’t had quite such a tough start.”