Coaching Spotlight: Performance Coach George Lovegrove

How did you get involved in Hockey? 

I was introduced to hockey in primary school. Shortly after joining the school club I tried out for a position in goal and fell in love with the sport from that point. I was fortunate to have teachers and coaches around me who helped me develop a genuine passion for the game at a young age. 


How long have you been coaching for? 

I’ve been coaching since I was 14. My dad has been the biggest inspiration to me on my coaching journey, he took the EH course to better support my sisters and I as players and then quickly fell into the hockey coaching world. I was able to coach alongside him from a young age which has shaped the coach I’ve become today.


What are your coaching credentials? 

I’ve tried to continually get involved with as much learning over the years. In 2020 I graduated from the Great Britain Advanced Coaching Programme (ACP). It was a two-year course that really helped me to develop as a coach and I took a lot away from it, especially in areas such as sports psychology and building team culture. 


Any coaching philosophy/mantra that you live by? 

Keep things simple! The importance of getting the basics right and building from that point has been front and centre of my coaching philosophy. Keeping the players at the heart of the game is also very important to me.


What is your role at THD? 

I’ve been with the club since 2018 and I’m currently the W1s and M1s coach. 


Favourite memory at THD? 

I have many fond memories from my time at THD. Receiving special news from players has to be among the highlights - whether it’s experiences within the hockey environment or achievements away from hockey. Being a part of THD is like being connected as a family and sharing those highs as a team is awesome. 


How was the 23/24 season? 

We were in a rebuilding phase across both teams this year - mainly due to a large number of players joining the performance teams in pre-season. The priority was building team culture, player connections and paving a way forward with regard to our playing principles. We were pleased with the player buy-in across the season, both teams worked hard to push standards and play solid hockey. 


Aims for next season and beyond for the performance teams? 

Now we have strong foundations across both the W1s and M1s the aim is to build with consistency at the heart. We want to continue to play fast and exciting hockey but coupled with robust core principles. Our aim is not just to be the best team in the league but the team that players want to be a part of.  


What is it about THD? Why should people join the club? 

THD offers something for every player with a club structure that empowers players and gives everyone a voice. This creates a brilliant environment where players can pick and choose what suits their needs, whether it is social, development or performance hockey.

The club fields 14-19 adult teams every weekend and runs a thriving junior section (aged 6-18). A competitive club at the heart of the local community, with teams playing over a range of levels from beginners to the London Premier Division. If you are keen to coach or play for south London's friendliest club then register your interest here.