2024 High Performance Summit Concludes After Two Days of Invaluable Insight

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Only on rare occasions do teams give an inside look into their program two months before they compete in the Olympic Games. U.S. Women’s National Team staff did just that for those in attendance at the 2024 High Performance Summit from May 6 to 7, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C.

The two-day event was facilitated by Craig Parnham, USA Field Hockey’s  Director of High Performance. Parnham conducted on-field interviews with the athletes, mediated discussion panels and Q and A sessions, and served as a valuable connector between the USWNT staff and the summit participants. Throughout the event, participants attended both on-field and classroom seminars led by USWNT coaches and staff, Junior USWNT coaches, and multiple members of USA Field Hockey’s Junior High Performance, High Performance, and Umpiring departments. At no other time has such insider access been granted so close to arguably the most important months for the program in recent years. Invaluable insight like this is not taken for granted, so a big thank you is extended to the USWNT coaches and staff for welcoming the High Performance Summit participants into their coaching circle.

A big thank you as well to USA Field Hockey’s sponsors who generously donated raffle prizes that were given away throughout the High Performance Summit. Coaches won incredible gifts, such as grips for their team from Wrappit Wrappit, umpiring materials from Hagan Hockey, a cooler full of coaching supplies from AstroTurf, and more! The Path2Paris Fundraiser to support the USWNT also ran alongside the High Performance Summit. Supporters can still donate by clicking here.

Both days began with access to a USWNT training session, otherwise closed to the public. As the team prepped for both upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League games and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, attendees watched and listened to both head coach David Passmore and assistant coach Javier Telechea narrate the “why” behind what they were focusing on that day and explain their methods and goals.

Passmore and Telechea also contributed to classroom sessions, giving details about their team’s culture building process and the importance of defensive tactical understanding and execution. Passmore’s extensive experience in coaching science lends him a great knack for developing an unbreakable team culture – a difficult task, especially amid critical on-field moments. Passmore’s culture building principles and Telechea’s emphasis on coaching defensive units carry value across all age groups and teams. Negating the opposition’s attack and executing their own defensive structures were key elements the USWNT focused on leading up to Olympic Qualification.

Also leading on-field demonstrations were Maddie Hinch, USWNT Goalkeeper Coach, and Allan Law, U-21 USWNT Head Coach. Hinch, a world-renowned goalkeeper herself, showed examples of optimal practice design to maximize time with goalkeepers and how to incorporate modern goalkeeping techniques. Law put sticks in participants’ hands when teaching on-field attack principles to emphasize the importance of a coach’s comprehensive understanding of the principles they are teaching.

Coaches in attendance for sessions on the first day also heard from Chris Fry, USWNT Performance Analyst, and Hannah Jaussen, USWNT Head Athletic Trainer. Both are leaders in their fields on how to maximize performance at an elite level, and emphasized the importance of trusting the statistics, utilizing all available technology, and maintaining proper physical development of athletes. If you’ve ever wondered how technology played a role in the USWNT’s Paris 2024 Olympic Qualification, this inside information was shared during these two captivating presentations.

It wouldn’t be a USA Field Hockey High Performance Summit without an incredible social event, generously put on by the USA Field Hockey Foundation! The days were packed full of learning, so ending the day with good food and fun conversation was necessary.

If you didn’t attend the 2024 High Performance Summit, you missed quite the inside look into the USWNT. Be sure to keep an eye out for the 2025 High Performance Summit, you won’t want to miss it!