Talking Hockey With The Top End’s Top Striker – Jamie Hullick

FN: Hi Jamie!
So you have just be dubbed the “Incredible Hullick” in the Darwin Newspaper’s and selected to play in the Australian Hockey League for the Northern Territory as one of the states key forwards. How many years have you been playing hockey and what does it mean to you to play for your state?

JH: Oh god, I’m never gonna hear the end of that headline. I’ve been playing hockey bang on 20 years this year, with state representative teams for the most part of my teens and twenties. Being a Darwin boy born and bred has instilled a fierce pride in alot of the boys that have grown up playing for the NT and I’m certainly no exception. I love hockey and I love the Northern Territory so the chance to represent both of those passions in one of the best hockey competitions in the world is just perfect.

FN; The last couple of years have been quite hectic for you, you returned to NT from Melbourne to attend University studying Medicine no less and still stay very active within the sporting community how did you manage to juggle study and sport so successfully?

JH: Juggling sport and study is never easy, I’ve had to battle with university administrations on a few occasions for my right to represent my state in sport but for the most part have come out on top. I think you need to pick your battles though, I unfortunately had to take the year off representative hockey last year due to my final barrier exams being just 2 weeks after the tournament. It was a short term pain for a long term gain though and this year I’m back into it and feeling as good if not better than years previously. Time management is key also, which I will admit is not my forte, and when all else fails you end up putting in the hard yards: late nights and long days.

FN: Despite its official stance of being a non-contact sport hockey can be a pretty rough sport, with many of the injuries associated with a direct blow from stick or ball. Have you had many injuries through your time as a hockey player? What were they and what kind of practitioners did you see to have this rehabilitated?

JH: Most of my hockey injuries have thankfully been fairly minor. A few broken fingers and your general bumps and bruises. The three more major things I’ve had to deal with are a shoulder reconstruction, a fairly unstable ankle and more recently 2 hamstring tears. The shoulder thankfully has been surgically fixed, a process that was made very straightforward by a GP referral to an orthopaedic surgeon. My ankle has (touch wood) been dealing well with the training loads so far and has mainly been managed by our team physiotherapist who is very involved in representative hockey at a number of levels. Hamstrings are an ongoing battle and again being managed by our team physio as well as my own research into rehab.

FN: Your shoulder injury seems to have been a big issue throughout your career so far. The ankles also see to have taken a battering have you found you have needed to rehab them at any stage or has the direct trauma not seemed to impact the strength and control needed to produce your fantastic speed and agility?

JH: As I mentioned earlier the ankles seem to be holding up fairly well at this stage. I’ve got no doubt the constant clicking noise coming from one of them is a bad sign and I’ll be a sucker for osteoarthritis in the years to come!

FN: In the upcoming series who do you see to be your strongest opponent and why?

JH: Queensland and New South Wales are the obvious threats as they are most years. The Queensland team is made up of many of the Kookaburra’s and New South Wales’ midfield would be up there with the best in the world. I don’t think anyone should write of Tasmania though as they are the defending champs and have more than shown what they can do on a number of occasions.

FN: What are your primary runners and shoes that you wear? What is it about them that you like and are they associated with a sponsorship deal?

JH: I’m an Asics man myself, they make good hockey shoes and cross trainers. In a hockey shoe I mainly look for something lightweight and flexible with enough grip to turn on a dime and enough durability to put up with the same torture I put my ankles through. In a cross trainer I’m looking for lightweight, comfortable and supportive as most of my cardio is done on a mixture of concrete and grass. I don’t currently have a sponsorship deal but if you know anyone I’ll be a poor uni student for at least the next 3 months!

FN: Run us through your training schedule, do you participate in much strength and conditioning work within the gym or are you specific to the skills needed on the pitch?

JH: At full tilt my training schedule is gym three times a week mainly focussing on power exercises (squats and deadlifts) with more general strength done after the important stuff is out the way. One cardio/agility/sprint session a week to try and keep some kilometers in the legs throughout the year. Finally 3-4 sessions on the turf per week depending on availability of varying intensity to work those hockey specific skills.

FN:What are the next big goals for yourself Jamie?

JH: I begin my career as a doctor (pending this year’s results) starting on the 5th of January so that will certainly occupy a large proportion of my time. It’s certainly in the works for some of my ongoing medical training to be in Melbourne but I am looking at establishing myself in the Top End medical community.

I will certainly remain an active member of the hockey community and do my best to continue to represent the territory at the top level in Australia. Physical fitness is something that I place great importance on and take great pride in, maintaining the current level that I have and building on that will certainly be on the agenda in the coming years.

Jackson McCosker
Director /Chief Editor

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