Club field hockey is different from school field hockey in a variety of ways. Practices are weekly rather than daily, and year-round rather than just one season. We have practice groups rather than set teams. Competition occurs at optional tournaments lasting 1-3 days, rather than mandatory games a couple of times a week. And that's before you get into Focus' unique multi-city model, where we bring together athletes from across Virginia to play together! We know it can be a little overwhelming to begin with, so we are here to help.
If you have just joined the club, please follow these steps to help speed up your onboarding into the club.
Step 1: Download the SportsEngine app (iOS/Android) - we recommend your child does the same if they have a smartphone - and log in using the account you set up when registering. This will allow you to view your assigned practice group, keep up to date with the club calendar of events and to RSVP for them.
Step 2: If you are a new member in Williamsburg or Virginia Beach (annual), please visit the registration page to start paying your membership fees. If you are a new member in Richmond or Charlottesville (seasonal), you will have already paid your fees as part of your registration, so no further action is required here!
Step 3: To purchase your Focus practice pinnie ($20), please visit our online uniform store. Orders are currently taken in the first half of a month and processed in bulk in the second half, so it may be a couple of weeks before you receive your pinnie.
Step 4: Should you wish to participate in major showcase or performance tournaments with Focus in the near future, please request a uniform number assignment by emailing the relevant site director (contacts listed below).
Whether you're a new member or have been with the club for years, we know that you will sometimes have questions! The guide below aims to answer as many of those as possible but if you need more assistance, this should help you direct your query to the right place.
Club Director / Philadelphia Site Director
Phone: (757) 831-6350
Virginia Beach Site Director
Phone: (717) 919-3235
Williamsburg Site Director
Phone: (757) 510-1263
Club Director / Recruiting & Tournament Director
Phone: (757) 869-1986
Richmond & Charlottesville Site Director
Phone: (540) 845-5549
Focus uses SportsEngine to track athlete attendance at practices and sign up for tournaments. You will have created a SportsEngine account when registering online to join the club; please ensure the account is created by the parent using the primary email address supplied to Focus, but with the player’s name on the account.
Once we have agreed which practice group - we name them after stick brands - your child will participate in, we will roster her to that group. Both player and parent should then download the SportsEngine app (iOS/Android) and login using the family’s account. Under the "Teams" tab you should automatically see your practice group(s) and be able to RSVP to practices and events under the "Schedule" tab. This ensures both parents and players are up to date regarding the club schedule. If you are unable to RSVP, or are having any other issues with your account, please contact SportsEngine.
A separate SportsEngine account is required for each player (for example, if two sisters are both playing with the club). This is a SportsEngine requirement and is beyond our control.
Focus splits the club into multiple practice groups. These tend to stay together for anything from 3-6 months in duration, and change to reflect seasons (e.g. outdoor v indoor), preparation for upcoming tournaments or administrative changes in membership volume such as new signups or graduation of seniors.
We take a number of factors into consideration when deciding which practice group to place a player in and ensure appropriate challenge for everyone. Individually these include - but are not limited to - a player's ability, relative physical and emotional maturity, age and experience with field hockey. While we also consider the player's social enjoyment of the sport and desire to be with their friends, we ultimately reserve the right to refuse requests to move groups if we do not feel it is in everyone's best interest.
We believe that an important part of a player's development is learning to deal with the obstacles posed by different environments. Therefore, players may be grouped outside their comfort zone for a period of time. For example, a player grouped with more skilled players may fail more often than they are used to, but will learn faster and develop resilience. By contrast, being grouped with those less experienced allows the player to achieve more success, while also testing their ability to lead and set standards around effort and intensity for others. We may also move players around during a given practice for similar purposes and to see how they handle adversity.
Focus runs four different club sites - Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Charlottesville and Richmond - and players have weekly club practice, mostly at their home site but occasionally involving travel depending on the tournaments they may be preparing for. Spring, summer and fall practices are all outdoors, while winter practices (December to February) are a mixture of indoor and outdoor depending on the athlete's tournament and recruiting needs. Practices times change depending on the season and facility availability.
Tournaments are optional extras which come at additional cost, which varies greatly depending on the preparation involved. Players will typically spend a few months bedding into the club and learning our principles and tactics prior to participating in tournaments, with some exceptions made for those with immediate recruiting needs.
Tournaments vary greatly in what they cost, depending on the preparation involved. We generally participate in three types of tournaments: learning, showcase and performance.
Learning tournaments are single-day events and 50% playing time is guaranteed for each player. Tournaments that fall into this category include 7 v 7 playdays on college/high school campuses in the spring and one-day indoor tournaments in the winter. The price for one day tournaments usually tends to be between $65-$115, depending on travel. Some longer, more expensive tournaments for younger players (U10, U12, occasionally U14) are also treated as learning tournaments, such as Summer Bash at the Beach.
Showcase tournaments usually take place over 2-3 days and involve a longer build-up, with extra practices and prep playdays added to ensure the athletes are ready to compete and perform to their potential in front of college coaches. For those who may not wish to attempt to get recruited to play in college, or for younger players who are not yet PSAs (prospective student athletes), these can also be used as learning tournaments, but with a more intensive build-up. 30% playing time is guaranteed at these tournaments, but we aim to do better and usually do. Examples include Shooting Star in Midlothian (November) and Delaware (April), Winter Escape in Florida (January), Spring Fling in Midlothian (May) and Focus Showcase in Williamsburg (June). Prices vary, but for a 3-day recruiting tournament with a large buildup the price could be anywhere between $250-450.
Performance tournaments are tournaments which take place on the national stage, or act as qualifiers for national tournaments run by USA Field Hockey. These tournaments usually take place over 2-3 days and involve a longer build-up, with extra practices and prep playdays added to ensure the athletes are ready to compete. No playing time is guaranteed at these tournaments - athletes must earn their spot both on the roster and on the field during the tournament. Prices vary but could be anywhere between $150-$300. Examples include the National Indoor Tournament (NITs) and Regional Club Championships (RCCs). For RCCs, the club is only allowed enter a single team at each grade, so tryouts are held with players from all our club sites across Virginia.
Focus follows a two-step tournament registration process, outlined below.
Step 1: Register your interest in participating in a given tournament by paying a $50 deposit via links on each club site's registration page. These will have a clearly-marked deadline; once this deadline has passed, additions to rosters will only be made by invitation. For cheaper one-day tournaments, we ask for the total cost to be paid up front.
Step 2: The club will either confirm your roster spot, or refund your deposit if, for whatever reason, we are unable to place your athlete on a roster. You will then be invited to pay the balance of the tournament cost by a certain date; your roster spot may be forfeited if you do not pay on time. Final rosters will be communicated in as timely a manner as possible by the club; you will be added to a SportsEngine group for your team at this point.
Occasionally, we are unable to fit an athlete in for a certain tournament, or an athlete might want to participate in a tournament we are not doing. We have no problem with athletes playing on a house team or with another club if we are unable to accommodate their request. However, we ask that you discuss this with us first before committing to anything, in case of clashes with other tournament preparations or club events. If Focus is playing in the tournament and can get the athlete on a team, the club policy is that the athlete plays with Focus.
If you have any queries regarding tournaments, please contact Quan Nim Anderson / quan(at)focusfieldhockey.com.
Members who wish to participate in showcase or performance tournaments will need to purchase a full Focus uniform.
The primary uniform item required by all members, which can be ordered online from our suppliers Colonial Sports, is the club pinnie, which is worn to practices and can also be used for one-day tournaments, both indoor and outdoor.
If you intend on participating in major recruiting or performance tournaments, which run over 2-3 days (see tournament guide above), you will need to purchase a full club uniform. Before doing this, please request a uniform number from your site director. The uniform comprises five items: black jersey, white jersey, black skirt, black socks, white socks. Your jerseys should be personalized with your child's last name and assigned uniform number. Your skirt can be customized with your graduation year if you wish.
The bag featured on the uniform page is also an optional item, and there are several other optional items including spirit wear in the full club shop.
Here are Colonial Sports' ordering guidelines. If you have any queries regarding uniforms, please contact Quan Nim Anderson / quan(at)focusfieldhockey.com.
Focus is a year-round club and athletes are expected to attend weekly practices during their time as members, with exceptions being made for emergencies, serious injury and certain other situations. Regular, consistent training with high-level coaches is crucial to the club's ability to help each athlete reach their goals.
Monthly fees can be paid online via the fees/pricing page for Virginia Beach / Williamsburg. Members have the option of single payments to cover one month's membership at a time, or by signing up for automatic monthly payments. Please note that SportsEngine processing fees of 3% + $0.50 per transaction will be charged for online payments, although fees are only charged for the first month of automatic payments. If you would prefer to pay by check, you can do so to Focus Field Hockey and mailed to 133 Little John Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
Seasonal fees can be paid via the fees/pricing pages for Richmond / Charlottesville. These can either be paid in full at the time of registration, or you can sign up to a payment plan to spread the cost over a couple of payments for longer seasons.
If there is dissatisfaction from a player around issues such as tournament rosters, playing time, playing position, conflict with a particular coach, coaching styles etc, Focus takes such matters seriously and has a procedure in place to address these. Players and parents are asked to wait until at least 24 hours after an issue arises to initiate any complaints via phone or email. Should the initial discussion with a club director not resolve the matter, we will arrange a meeting between the parent, player, relevant coach(es) and one other Focus club director.
Severe weather or facilities issues that are out of our control occasionally affect our club. Whenever practice or game times have to be changed, the practice group affected will be messaged via SportsEngine, which sends an email to each account holder, and a smartphone notification to those with the SportsEngine app.
We do not typically cancel practices for hot or cold weather, although we do follow suggested guidelines for water breaks once a certain heat index is met. It is the athlete's responsibility to prepare for and dress appropriately for all sessions, and to bring appropriate amounts of water to the session.
We do cancel/reschedule practices for dangerous weather such as lightning within mileage deemed dangerous by the facility, ice on the roads, etc. Every effort is made to make changes as far in advance as possible, but sometimes this can be tricky, as we don't want to cancel unnecessarily. For lightning that pops up unexpectedly, we require that all athletes report back to a car or the closest shelter for 20 minutes (or time required by the facility) and we resume once it is clear.
Focus reserves the right to refuse service to athletes based on poor attendance, negative disruption to the other athletes, or for behaviors or actions that counteract the spirit and goals of the club.
If you are an annual member and at any time you choose to leave Focus, 30 days' notice is required for planning purposes. We stop charging you for practices and services 30 days after we receive written or email notice.