Interview with the Gaffer

By Reading Hockey Club • Nov 10th, 2012 • Category: M1, News

We took the opportunity to sit down with the Men’s Head Coach Charlie Seccombe and dig a little deeper. As we approach the half-way point of the season he gives us an insight into life as a coach who has to hold down a full time job and is arguably the second most successful half of his marriage!

You have had a considerable amount of success since joining the club, first as assistant coach and now head coach. What’s the secret?
I don’t think that there is any secret, I have been very fortunate to work with a great group of players. It is very easy when everybody is working hard to achieve the same results, and as the whole group want to win trophies both domestically and in Europe it makes my job a lot easier.

Do you have a “Seccombe model” for coaching?
I am not sure I would call it a model as such but I do believe that it is important to give people clear roles and responsibilities and then put a structure in place to help them achieve these.

How difficult is it to juggle coaching at the top of the domestic game and holding down a full-time job?
This year has probably been the hardest so far as with my full time job I am looking after a larger area than before, so it’s important that I manage my time effectively so that I can do both jobs to the best of my ability.

What has been your most satisfying moment to date as a coach?
That is a hard question. Obviously winning a European medal a couple of years ago was a highlight, however, I would have to say winning the Championship final last year is the most satisfying. We had a tough season last year but battled hard throughout and put ourselves in a great position at the business end of the season. The team played incredibly well through the play offs and we pulled off a great win against EG in the final.

How has this season been with introducing so many new faces into the 1st XI group?
This has been a challenging season so far as there are lots of new people to integrate but its a good challenge to have, as I believe we have a strong squad this year.

Are their challenges around keeping such a big group happy?
There are always challenges when the competition for places is so high. This can only be good for the club as players are pushing each other to achieve the highest standards possible.

Hockey has changed a lot since the advent of the EHL five years ago. Do you think that change has been a good thing?
I think the introduction of the EHL has been brilliant. It’s been really good to try some of the new rules before they get implemented into the game, obviously not all of them have been good but its a great competition to be involved with.

What do you think we can learn from the EHL to encourage more people to watch hockey?
Obviously the number of people who watch the EHL is great but that is built from the EHL being a strong brand with sponsors on board who promote it. So I think this is important for us to continue developing, so we can raise awareness of the game to a larger audience.

What are your future coaching ambitions?
To continue winning trophies with Reading.

What are your targets for the rest of the season?
The same as they were at the beginning and that is to retain our title which we won last year and to make the semi-finals of the EHL. We know if we get to the semi finals then we have a good chance of winning medals.

Do you have any pre-game superstitions?
None at all, I don’t believe in superstitions. All you can do is control the controllables and not worry about anything else.

And finally … what is it like being the second-best sportsperson in your marriage?!
It depends how you define best? If you define it as having an Olympic medal then yes I am the second best sportsperson in my marriage. If however you define it by winning the England Hockey Championship (which I do), then this makes me the best sportsperson within my marriage!!

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