Performance Centre Handbook

Performance Centre Handbook

England Hockey have produced a Performance Centre Handbook. Some parts of it, for example the dates, are elsewhere on this site with greater detail. The complete handbook can be downloaded by clicking the link above, other sections in it are reproduced below.


There are 17 England Hockey Performance Centres across the country providing frequent, high quality training with the best coaches and utilising best versus best competition to support the development of young players.

Performance Centre Training

Training evenings will run for two hours on selected Mondays throughout the Performance Centre cycle. These will normally involve a two hour pitch session.

Training days will run on selected half term dates and Sundays throughout the Performance Centre cycle. Training days will normally take the following format:

  • Two hour pitch session
  • Lunch Break
  • Classroom Session – Delivery of the Performance Centre Education Programme
  • Two hour pitch session

Performance Centre Competition

There are three Cluster Competition dates during the Performance Centre cycle where centres compete against each other. Matches will be 11 a-side and adapted rules may be implemented by the coaches in order to manipulate desired talent and skill development outcomes. Cluster Competitions will normally take the following format:

  • One (4x15min) match
  • Lunch Break
  • One (4x15min) match

There is one Training Competition date during the Performance Centre cycle where two centres train together and then compete in an 11 a-side match. Training Competition days will normally take the following format:

  • Two hour pitch session
  • Lunch Break
  • A series of training matches

Coaching Teams

The coaching team at each Performance Centre is directed by a Head Coach who will be your first point of contact for any hockey related questions. Please direct any administrative questions (e.g. attendance, finance, postponed sessions) to your Performance Centre Contact.


Outfield players are required to purchase the following items of kit:

  • Playing shirt
  • Shorts (boys) or skort (girls)
  • Navy socks
  • White socks

Goalkeepers are required to purchase the GK smock. They may purchase any items available to the outfield players as optional items.

Players may also purchase the following optional items of kit:

  • Sweatshirt
  • Sweatpants

Kit can be purchased here. Please make sure you have been given a shirt number before purchasing kit. If you do not have a shirt number, please ask your Performance Centre Contact.

Mouth guards and Shin pads

It is England Hockey policy that all players wear a mouth guard and shin pads at Performance Centre training and competition. Please ensure you bring these with you as you will be unable to take part without them. Players over the age of 18 may choose not to wear a mouth guard, but England Hockey strongly recommends that they do so.

Left-hand Glove

England Hockey advise all players wear a suitable and robust left hand glove during training and matches to protect them from injury.

Selection and Transition in the Player Pathway

The first Player Pathway cycle begins in January 2017 where players will first enter Performance Centres. In every following cycle, players will enter Performance Centres in September.

There will be two transition points during the cycle where players may move from Academy Centres to Performance Centres or from Performance Centres to Academy Centres, if the coaches feel it is appropriate for their development. In a full annual cycle (not in 2017) there will be two transition points, one before and one after Christmas.

At the end of the Performance Centre cycle players may be selected to take part in the Futures Cup and will be notified in July. Players not selected for Futures Cup will be assessed by their coaches for re-entry into their Performance Centre for the start of the next cycle in September. To be eligible for Futures Cup selection players must hold a UK Passport.

If a player is too old at the end of a Performance Centre Cycle and is not selected for Futures Cup and the U18 National Age Group Squad (NAGS), they should continue their hockey development in their club and/or school environment. Players can be selected to the England and Great Britain U21 programme from their National League Club. 

NAGS Selection

NAGS selectors may attend any Performance Centre activity to observe players. Performance Centre Players may be invited to train with the NAGS if the coaches feel it is good for their development. NAGS selectors will be present throughout the Futures Cup, where formal selection of the NAGS will take place. To be eligible for NAGS selection players must hold a UK Passport.

Schools Letter

Virtually all Performance Centre contact time occurs outside school hours but, on occasion, we are required to hold training days during term time. This is only likely to occur where there are differences in half-term dates across the country.

Please click here to download a letter which may be used to support an application for your child’s absence from school.


There are risks involved in playing hockey which from time to time result in injury. Unless caused by negligence on behalf of the organisers or the coaches, players are liable for personal injury and are recommended to have their own personal injury insurance.


There will be a fee of £200 for players taking part in the Performance Centre programme, payable online. If you have any questions about making this payment, you should ask your Regional Contact in the first instance.

There will be an additional fee for players taking part in the Futures Cup. Details on making this payment will be forwarded to selected players in due course.


Performance Centres are committed to ensure that players are given every opportunity to develop and progress whilst being aware of the additional pressures an athlete is under in a talent environment. Every athlete is different and must be treated as an individual as young people learn how to deal with these pressures.

The Performance Centre Welfare Plan is underpinned by the following values and principles:

  • The welfare of all the young people is paramount.
  • All young people have equal rights to safety and protection against harm, whatever their age, gender, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs, sexual identity or disability.

All suspicions, concerns or allegations of harm will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

How To Raise A Welfare Concern

Each Performance Centre should have a welfare contact. Individuals should raise the concern, in the first instance, with this contact. Your Centre Manager or Regional Contact will be able to let you know who your contact is.

Alternatively concerns can be raised with the England Hockey Ethics and Compliance Manager on 01628 897500 or by post to England Hockey, Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 1RR (you should mark the envelope ‘private & confidential’); or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information on England Hockey’s policies on safeguarding and protecting young people please click here.

Expected Standards of Behaviour

When registering for a Performance Centre, players agreed to the following expected standards of behaviour.

Respect for the game

We expect all players to participate in hockey with a positive attitude and with the right spirit

  • Be on time for training
  • Give maximum effort and strive for the best possible performance
  • Always thank your opposition, coaches, umpires and officials after every game or training session
  • Accept success and failure, with pride, a positive attitude and set a positive example to others

Respect for others

Everyone involved should be valued whether they are a player, official, umpire, coach, opponent or spectator

  • Respect the decisions of umpires and officials
  • Protect others involved in the game from verbal or physical abuse and from other forms of threatening or intimidating behaviour such as bullying
  • Leave all rooms clean and tidy and all playing areas free from litter at all times.

Self respect

Young people should take responsibility for their actions on and off the pitch:

  • Do not smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs of any kind (other than prescription)
  • Never use inappropriate langue, signs or gestures
  • Wear suitable clothing for the activity in which you are taking part
  • Respect the facilities where you play and the equipment that you use
  • Tell someone you trust if the behaviour of other makes you feel uncomfortable in any way
  • Do not engage in sexual behaviour
  • Do not leave the site for any reason unless you are accompanied by a member of staff

Further Information

If you would like further information about Performance Centres or the Player Pathway, please visit ther EH website here.

Or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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