Lately, I have been looking at multiple different hockey camps in search of something that would improve/evolve my hockey game. That was when I discovered Evo hockey. A friend’s parent from Westbury got talking to my dad about how great this camp was! Naturally, I went home and followed Evo on all available social media. A couple of months after I found out about Evo, they revealed the next camp on the 31st of May to the 2nd of June. The main “selling point” for Evo is that they bring in world-class current and ex international standard players to coach! And it just so happened that this camp had a star-studded line up: Natascha Keller, Justin Reid-Ross and Chris Grassick to name a few. I took the opportunity and got my parents to sign me up!
The first impression you get walking into an Evo camp is incredible; I walked into a pavilion with speakers blaring out upbeat music and lots of blue shirted, friendly faced coaches welcoming all the players! I was almost instantly recognised by Omar Shibli (co-founder of Evo) as the “skills guy” because I had been sending ideas of freestyle tricks we could film on the camp. This lead to a brief introduction to all of the coaches. I signed in, got my Evo shirt and then my camp began!
Evo camps have three available days which you can book in any formation. Luckily we had booked all three days. The daily format works perfectly so us players don’t get too tired but still learn loooaads. From 10:30-11 was registration and sign up followed by a briefing and intro to all the coaches. Then we got out onto the pitch and did drills. During the camp, we were split into ability/age groups and we spent thirty minutes with each coach so we got to experience all the different styles of coaching from all the coaches. This made for an intense, learning filled environment. Then we got some well deserved lunch.
The next part of the day changed daily which really kept a feeling of variety with the camp. On day 1, we did hockey obstacles courses, day 2 was a Q&A with the coaches and afterwards there were drills. However, some of us got to do a drag flick clinic with the world’s fastest drag flicker: Justin Reid-Ross. It was an incredible experience and Justin gave us a great introduction into the right technique! Day 3 we did penalty shuffles which included trying to beat Harry Gibson -not likely!
Then at the end of each day, we got to play matches with the coaches so that we could put everything we learnt into practise. The, on the final day, prizes were given. An Evo hat signed by all the coaches was given to the player who had done best in each group! But there were two extra prizes: the camp trousers and two pairs of Justin Reid-Ross’ Delhi wave shorts… signed! The shorts were given to the two players who Justin was most impressed with over the whole camp. And amazingly he chose me! So I now have a pair of bright green and purple Delhi Wave shorts signed by Justin Reid Ross. Afterwards, the camp tradition of the giving of the trousers happened.
Overall, the camp was some of the best few days of my life so far. You can tell how hard Chris and Omar (the founders) have worked for this and I strongly recommend that every hockey player should go on at least one Evo camp in their life. You learn an incredible amount and have an insane amount of fun all at once. It was a truly five-star experience.