Chris Grassick interview

Chris Grassick is an EVO sponsored player and brand ambassador. He is captain of Scotland and plays his hockey in England with Surbiton HC.

Below, he is interviewed by an EVO Hockey fan and talented young player, Osian, who attended an EVO camp, being coached by Chris and others, earlier this year. 

You can see Osian's blog site on all things hockey here  (including his review of EVO Hockey's camp here) and follow him on Twitter @sport1d.

Follow Chris Grassick on Twitter @Grassick8.

What attracted you to hockey in the first place?

I actually always wanted to be a footballer until I was 13. Around that age, something changed and I switched my attention all to hockey. This was helped as both my Mum and Dad played hockey to international level. Mum representing GB and Dad played for Scotland. 

How do you spend your time away from hockey?

Time away from hockey is often spent resting or cooking. Nutrition and recovery are both equally important in our training weeks. Most importantly, there is always a free hour or two for a flat white! Normally with the other EVO guys, Aldo [Alan Forsyth] and Gooders [Dave Goodfield]. 

One of the best things about EVO is that kids (like me!) get to play with their heroes! When you were growing up, who was your hockey hero?

Growing up in Scotland, someone I looked up to was Graeme Moodie. At the time he was playing for GB and went to the Beijing Olympics. It was cool to see someone who lived near you achieve what you wanted to achieve. 

Then when I was 18, I moved to London and started playing in the English league. Barry Middleton was always amazing to watch and impossible to play against. 

What is the best hockey tip you've received? What difference did it make?

One of the best hockey tips I received was that in order to eliminate a defender, you don’t actually need to touch the ball. It is amazing what subtle movement of your shoulders or arms can do to beat an opponent. Sometimes less is more!

You've achieved so much in hockey, what are your proudest achievements?

Some of my proudest achievements include:

- Captain of Scotland and Surbiton

- Glasgow commonwealth games was unreal

- Being a full-time athlete with GB

- Coming back to the top level from an ACL rupture

Take us to the smelly side of the sport! What do you keep in your stick bag?

My stick bag is fairly boring. The only unusual things might be Epi-pens as I am heavily allergic to eggs. I will often carry some electrolyte gels for matches as sometimes they can really help with an extra bit of energy in the second half. 

Can you tell us your most embarrassing hockey moment?

Trying to do an ariel and scooping it sideways out of the pitch. I think most people have probably done this at some point too. 

How does it feel to play for both Scotland and GB?

I am incredibly proud to play for both Scotland and Great Britain. As you get older you realise that your career is not going to last forever and I think you really start to appreciate everything even more. However, my dream of the Olympics has not been achieved yet and I still have a lot of work to do.

If you could have anyone from any time to dinner, who would you invite and why?

I would 100% invite Andy Murray. I know some people will be unsure on that choice but he is my sporting idol. I think everything he has achieved in his career when under so much pressure is remarkable. 

And finally, what is your best piece of advice for all young players?

It is so important to remember that just because you are not the best player in your age group at u14 or u16 level that it does not mean you will never be the best. I was not the best player in my u16 Scotland team, however my parents always said don’t worry, keep enjoying your hockey and what will be will be.