One of the greatest field hockey players Canada's has ever produced now has a hand in developing this country's top upand-coming talent.
At the age of 40, Rob Short walked away from the game as a player in 2012 after nearly leading Canada to a third Olympic Games appearance during his decorated his career. He earned nearly 300 international caps, captained the Canadian team for much of that stretch and also played professionally for 14 seasons where he earned
European Hockey League MVP honours. The fact he was still a world class player in the twilight of his career was reflected in 2009 when he was named to the International Hockey Federation All-Star team after helping Canada win gold at the Pan Am Games.
It didn't take Short long to get involved in coaching - working with the junior and senior national women's teams. He was also actively involved in Field Hockey Canada's Centre of Excellence in Vancouver which was launched to provide additional training for top junior age players. However, when a shortage of federal funding forced the program to shutdown, Short was encouraged to run his own private sessions.
The Rob Short Coaching Academy was launched soon after and featured selected U18 athletes taking part in a nineweek intensive program based out of Rutledge Field in West Vancouver. The academy has now expanded to include U16 and U18 teams this fall. Short has attracted athletes from across the
Lower Mainland who are willing to make the trek to West Van and Eric Hamber in Vancouver.
"(In women's field hockey) Canada was ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in the late 1980s and now we are No. 24. Obviously we have been doing something wrong somewhere," said Short. "You see all the academies in other sports and there was a need and definitely the demand to have a high intensity program for these U18 players.
I hope we're doing our part to get Canada back up to where it belongs."
Short has put together an outstanding staff to work with him including former national teammates Mike Mahood and Peter Milkovich, along with one-time Canadian women's standouts Katie Baker and Tyla Flexman.
What also has players coming to Short's academy is the opportunity to earn scholarship opportunities south of the border.
U.S. schools have always been interested in B.C. talent and now many of the prize prospects are with the academy.
"I'm getting phone calls all the time about players," said Short who also has many contacts in the U.S. through his field hockey equipment business. "There's just so many opportunities for these girls. It's pretty cool."
For more information on the Rob Short Coaching Academy visit robshortcoaching.com
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