Field Hockey: Q&A with Head Coach Lee Bodimeade Ten days after winning the gold medal at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Head Coach Lee Bodimeade spoke to usafieldhockey.com to talk about the final 4-2 victory.
Photo Courtesy: usafieldhockey.com - Head Coach Lee Bodimeade
Ten days after winning the gold medal at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Head Coach Lee Bodimeade spoke to usafieldhockey.com to talk about the final 4-2 victory over the world’s No. 1 ranked team Argentina, what Team USA has to look forward to in the coming year and what the Olympic Games experience has been like for him as a player and a coach.
Q: What was the key to beating Argentina?
A: The key was being able to perform with what we identified in the game plan. Obviously, the Argentinians are very quick and like to attack and we needed to be able to capitalize on the possession that we had. Fortunately, we were able to do that.
Q: What did it mean to not only beat the world’s No. 1 ranked team but also claim gold at the Pan American Games for the first time in US history?
To play the best in the world and have the opportunity to win the tournament is something we wanted to take full advantage of. Being on the podium with the gold medal is a victory not only for the team but for everyone that has been involved in the development of the sport in the USA.
Q: What was the difference in the team this year than past years? USA has five silver medals and one bronze in the Pan American Games, but never a gold. How did it happen in 2011?
A: The previous results are not relevant to this team. They are simply outcomes of those previous games. We only had four returning Pan American players, which really means there is not much relevance to our previous outcomes. We knew we needed to play well and the final was the game that we focused on.
Q: Over the last three years, what changes have you seen in field hockey in the USA?
A: There is definitely an elevated level of skill on the team and we have further depth in the squad than ever before. We are all about having the ability to perform in big games and under significant pressure and we are getting a lot closer to achieving that.
Q: How comforting is it to know that you have great depth on your team? Losing veteran key players like Kayla Bashore Smedley and Amy Tran Swensen before the start of the tournament and still pulling off five victories and a huge upset in the finals certainly displays the strength within the team.
A: It would be very easy to look at the reasons for not being able to perform at the tournament with Smedley and Swensen left off of the roster at the last minute. However, it was never mentioned and it was never an issue for the team. We adjusted to what we had. Given the greater amount of depth currently on the team, we had the players that were able to pull off