Hey EDGE fans,
For those of you that don't know me my name is Kirsten Pearce and I'm a striker who plays for the New Zealand Black Sticks. I'm a relatively new squad member after being included at the start of last year. I debuted against Canada on the 5th of February 2015 and currently have 42 caps along with 16 goals to my name. Along with Edge Hockey NZ we thought it would be an interesting idea if I wrote a few blogs every now and then to give a bit of an insight into the life of a NZ Black Stick, so here it goes..
You may or may not know but I have just started back at training after injuring my right thumb in our first game at the 8 Nations tournament in Hawke's Bay in April. I had been told a number of times that I had done a really good job at fracturing my thumb and as such this saw myself sidelined for just over a month. For me it didn't matter whether I was injured or not I would try to do as much as I was allowed to do to get myself back onto the pitch and playing as soon as possible. Although this injury may seem like not such a big deal, when you're naturally a right-handed person and now have your right thumb in a splint you quickly realise how much you actually need it for basic everyday things like tying shoe laces, cutting up food etc.. I was lucky in the fact that I could easily slip into my Reebok Pump's so I didn't need to tie my shoelaces up too often ;). After winning the 8 Nations tournament we were able to head back to our "home" locations for a couple of days before heading back to Auckland to begin our Rio Centralisation training block. Since not everyone is centrally based together year in year out this training block brings together all 25 squad members to one location so that we can train as a unit for a few months on our #RoadToRio.
Once back in Auckland our Rio centralisation training block began which had to be modified for me to start off with for the first few weeks. Whilst I was injured although I wasn't able to do everything that all of the other girls would be doing at training I would still be there doing a bunch of cardio & agility sessions (... well mostly cardio sessions) in place of full on hockey sessions. I decided to use this time as an opportunity to work on my left handed skills/strength so you would usually see me working on one handed tomahawks, left handed jinking, left hand dominated hitting both backhand and forehand and attempting left-handed 3D skills. As frustrating as it was at the start it gave me something to focus on for the time being until I was able to get back to using both hands like a typical hockey player and it was also a nice change from running up and down a hockey pitch, being on a treadmill or a bike.
I've just been given the all clear to get back on the pitch and start training again with the girls after just over 4 weeks of being sidelined so to say that I'm excited to be back is an understatement! If you want to keep up to date with my journey with the NZ Black Sticks follow me on Facebook at KirstPearce18, Instagram @kirst_pearce18 or Twitter @kirstenpearce18.