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Parent to Super Parent - The Animal Magic Phenomenon

By Andy Howell


Glorious weather met our four volunteers from the Chester Hockey Club Animal Magic team and other enthusiastic youth coaches at Lymm School this month to participate in an
England Hockey coaching session, aimed at introducing coaches to the preferred athlete
centred method of coaching.

Throughout the day Angharad Fletcher, Rachel Scoltock, Barry Standen and David Spender
were exposed to the Golden Thread of England Hockey coaching:

1. Fun
2. Something like the real game
3. Constant decisions
4. Frequent touches of the ball
5. Stretching players

...and quickly realised that Animal Magic was closely aligned to these concepts, contributing to the growth of the youth section, and raising the capabilities of the players.

Rachel, mum of three avid hockey players at Chester Hockey Club, and Animal Magic
Chimp Manager, was asked how it came about to give up a precious Sunday and attend the
course. “Animal Magic is hugely popular and I have the opportunity to help the club and be apart of my kids’ and friends’ progress”.

The day consisted of an assortment of coaching ideas allowing the participants to try each
one to get a feel of how they relate to the Golden Thread, followed by enthusiastic
discussions on how the activities felt, what could be added or changed. It was very much a
practical day, and enjoyed by everyone.

Animal Magic is an internal 7-a-side league for beginners of primary school age (usually
around School Year 3-6 / age 7-11), consisting of 6 teams competing through the Hockey
Season (September – March) on Saturdays 5pm - 6pm.

Its aims are to:
- Be fun
- Allow players to develop the skills and techniques taught at training
- Let players experience being part of a team sport
- Be fair, inclusive, safe, positive and competitive.

Animal Magic is governed by Chester Hockey Club and run, largely, by parents. If you would like to get involved, or find out more about Animal Magic, you can contact us via our website: or email

Updated 21:16 - 23 May 2018 by Andy Howell


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