Anna Flanagan Australian Hockey Star Reveals Her Secrets To Success

It was very interesting interviewing Hockeyroo Anna Flanagan, one of the best and most popular field hockey players in the world, commonly known as Flanno by her team mates.

Two of the key takeaways for me after talking to the Australian Hockey Player comes from some of the things that I am constantly teaching:

1. Setbacks and injury have helped Anna to become the player that she is today. Just because you have had some challenges or setbacks, it doesn’t mean you should give up on your dreams but rather use it as motivation to come back stronger, fitter, faster and better than before! When you aren’t playing or getting selected, use your time wisely to keep improving (it doesn’t always have to be physical training).

2. Spend time on things that other’s don’t – stop trying to be like everyone else and instead develop all area’s of your game to stand out and be different. Don’t just focus on your skills but also develop other parts of your game too (i.e. mindset, physical, nutrition/recovery, etc).

Anna Flanagan’s Hockey Highlights:

Below are Anna’s answers and words of advice in response to my questions:

Q1. What do you feel makes you a great hockey player?

I think my passion for the game. I did a lot of sports growing up and this has helped with my athleticism and work ethic. But I believe I have to work that much harder if I want to improve, it will not just happen.

Q2. What do you think sets you apart from most players?

I have worked on becoming an all round player. As a defender I want to be dangerous going forward from a run and pass, as well as be able to utilize my corner ability.

Q3. What achievements in hockey are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the achievements I have made with the team. The Hockeyroos have gone from 7th in the world to 2nd in a 2 year time period and we have had some outstanding results. Individually being voted young world player of the year and along with equal best Hockeyroo at the World Cup was just icing on the cake.

Q4. What has been your most challenging experience and what was your turning point in your hockey journey? 

As an elite athlete there are many highs and lows. I have not always been selected in teams and this has helped to build a greater resilience. In 2011 I broke my finger and was out for 3 months. Hockey wise this was the turning point in my career as before this time I was in and out of the team, and had to find ways to really cement my spot- this was to work on my game ‘off-field’ in the gym.

Anna Flanagan weights

Anna training as hard off the field in the gym

Q5. How did you overcome this and what kept you pushing to stay motivated?

I overcame the injury by improving the other parts of my game, such as speed and strength. Although I couldn’t play hockey I was still able to improve myself physically. I was only 18 and had a lot of support from Hockey Australia staff who had an amazing rehab program set out that had me come back a better athlete than before I got injured.

Q6. What advice do you have for any hockey players who want to improve their game and reach a higher level than where they are right now?

If you work hard anything is possible. Look at what you can do different to the players around you, is it learn a new skill, get a corner talent, hit an upright backstick or overhead on the run. Always look to challenge yourself and then you can set yourself apart.

Q7. What is your favourite quote?

“A win without risk is a win without glory”

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About The Author

Lauren Penny

Lauren is a former International Hockey Player, Performance Coach & Mentor specialising in helping hockey players to be more confident, improve their fitness and perform more consistently to get noticed and reach higher teams.