Sally Rutherford

As a Goal Keeper, how do you react so fast?
In a game when the ball is coming at you, you aren’t thinking; you’re just reacting to the ball. You do your thinking before the ball is hit, with some of your best saves, you wonder how you pulled them off because you are just reacting to it. I've trained my muscles to react to the ball in certain situations, so that when I am in competition, I don’t have to think about my responses. Like any training, you need to start really basic and break down the movement patterns. You need to repeat them over and over again to get your muscles to move correctly and you need to go back to basics every now and again to make sure your technique is sound.
How do you cope with the pressure?
I love the pressure of goalkeeping. It’s a position where every moment is critical. You can spend 90 percent of a game standing around doing nothing, and then you have to save a shot in the dying minutes that makes you win 1-0. So every moment counts. You can see play developing; essentially you are the quarterback of the hockey team. Your defenders need to have confidence in the goalkeeper calling plays behind them.
Why do you love Hockey?
I’ve stuck with it because I love the game. I’m trying really hard to be a role model. In the heat of the game you try to keep your emotions in check, because eyes are on you. You think about inspiring people to take up hockey or do something that they are passionate about on the field or off. Seeing little kids, getting out there with hockey sticks, watching a game of hockey and being inspired by it, is really cool. Seeing their enthusiasm and drive to get better at it pushes you along too.
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