We are running a series of interviews with sportsmen and women hoping to be at the Rio Olympics in 2016. They are all current internationals and they will be answering questions about sport, fitness and staying motivated for At Home Fitness.
Our second athlete is England and Great Britain hockey player Harry Martin (http://www.harrymartin9.co.uk/). Harry plays for national hockey champions Beeston HC and was the youngest member of the GB hockey squad at London 2012. He was nominated for the FIH (international hockey federation) World Young Player of the Year in 2012.
1. How did you get into your sport?
I first picked up a hockey stick at school aged about 9 or 10.
2. Hockey requires a variety of skills. What is the split in your training between aerobic training, weight training, speed training and ball/team work?
The majority is pitch based technical and tactical stuff but we also train in the gym twice a week along with conditioning and speed work.
3. What keeps you motivated to train?
To be honest I’m motivated by the desire to be the best I can be and to keep improving, plus I want to win medals at major international events.
4. What’s your favourite exercise?
I really enjoy being out on the pitch and playing so my favourite exercise has to be game play exercises out on the pitch such as small possession games.
5. What’s your least favourite exercise?
Although I’m pretty fit I generally don’t enjoy the strength and conditioning aspect too much as I would much rather just play, but S&C is an essential part of my training, but if I had to pick an exercise I would have to say my least favourite exercise would probably be the front squat.
6. What makes a great hockey player?
I think the thing that separates great hockey players as in all sports is the ability to rise to the occasion in big games and make the difference.
7. If you could go back and tell your younger self to do something differently, what would it be?
I’d probably tell my younger self to move on from the disappointment of not medalling at the London Olympics quicker but I don’t really have any regrets as you do what you feel is the best thing at the time.
8. What was it like playing at London 2012?
Playing in London was incredible, the best experience of my life and I feel very privileged to have been a part of it.
9. What was you highlight of London 2012?
My highlight was the comeback against Australia in the group stages where the crowd played such a big part and then holding on against Spain to reach the semi final.
10. The semi-final loss to Holland must have been very difficult to deal with. With hindsight, do you feel there was anything the squad could have done differently?
It was very tough to deal with and there’s still some days where I feel a bit gutted and wonder what happened but less and less now. At the end of the day though we did everything we could to prepare and we all wanted it more than anything, they were just much better on the day and that’s sport.
11. The 1988 Seoul Olympics was GB men’s hockey pinnacle and afterwards it took a dip for a few years. However over the past few years you have been European champions, played in the top tier of international competitions and made numerous semi-finals, including the Olympics. What has changed to bring GB/England hockey success?
It’s hard to say as I’ve only been involved last couple of years but I think the funding has made a massive difference and enabled us to train on a more full-time basis.