For those that do not know me my name is Anna Flanagan and I have been a member of the Hockeyroos for seven years now! I am so stoked to have signed with Ritual this year leading into the Rio Olympics and beyond. Although I have already been to the London Olympics my dream is to win a gold medal in Rio as well as Tokyo and whatever comes next. As part of team Ritual I am going to be providing some weekly insight into what it is like being an elite hockey player as well as discussing topics from sticks, to clothing, to rules.. and the list goes on.
I just got back from New Zealand where we had an eight nations tournament leading into the selection period for Rio. We were unhappy with our result, but without showing to much before the Olympics we are happy with where the team is at leading into the main event. The turf in New Zealand was made by Polygras who also supply the Rio turf. It became quite slow in the rain of New Zealand so the power in my new Ritual stick really helped. Because of the rain we needed to capitalise on overheads and getting a bit of lift on the ball. Polygras make some awesome turfs around the world and it always brings back memories of London when we play on a blue turf.
Being back in Australia we now have a six week training block before a team will head to Darwin for more international games. This will lead straight into Champions Trophy in London and will give a really good indicator of where the teams are at in their preparation for Rio. We have fitness testing next week so I will discuss the importance of that for hockey players in my next blog. In the mean time I want to thank all the people at Ritual for taking me onboard and I hope you enjoy reading my stories and opinions as much as I like writing them!