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In the world of sports, where the spotlight often favours those from well-known hubs of talent, Jacob “Boccy” Anderson’s journey from the modest beginnings to the international hockey stage is a narrative of relentless ambition and unwavering dedication.

“I picked the sport up at an early age and started making representative teams in primary school,” said Jacob.

“The turning point when hockey became more than just a game was when I was asked to play for the Mackay Division 2 team.”

Jacob’s career is filled with defining moments, from the difficult decision to focus solely on hockey over rugby to overcoming personal setbacks.

“When I was 18, I was stood down from a QLD team because of the friends I was hanging around. I had to make the choice for myself to go out less and rethink my social circle. Doing this gave me a kick to focus harder on making the Australian team.”

In one of the most pivotal points in his career, Jacob described a memorable goal that caught the attention of national coaches.

“I scored a goal where I eliminated 5-6 opponents, while running 3/4 of the field to score. It showed the junior Australian coaches my potential. I made the U21 Australian team and then the following year made my senior squad debut.”

Currently playing in the FIH Pro League in India, Jacob has been introduced to the intense passion for hockey on a global scale.

“Hockey in India is next level. The supporters go crazy, the stadiums are massive and loud, plus it’s one of the only countries we get the high-profile treatment with police escorts and reporters everywhere. It’s a great experience to play here.”

The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham remains a crowning achievement for Jacob, bringing home a gold medal.

“Growing up I wanted to play in all three major tournaments, the Commonwealth Games, the World Cup and the Olympics and ticking one off was awesome.

“Playing in front of my family in Birmingham then standing on the podium seeing them in the crowd and being able to celebrate with me afterwards, are all moments I’ll cherish.”

Jacob has a double degree in Exercise Science and Business and said that education has been crucial in shaping his approach to sport.

“Elite sport is very mental. Whether it is scouting opposition teams, finding ways to breakdown defenders, or solving problems during games. We get a lot during training, but when we play it’s on us to adapt and that’s where education helps. Training yourself how to deal with different problems without stressing about things you can’t control is huge, plus my degrees in exercise has grown my knowledge on my body and what I need to do to be my best.”

The support from his hometown of Mackay has been a constant source of pride and motivation and Jacob is passionate about mentoring young athletes through DUBBEL, which provides high-level coaching to those in rural areas.

“I want to work with rural coaches and associations to give these athletes coaching that will benefit them. I’m setting up an affordable subscription program where junior athletes of any age, level, sport and location can subscribe and get programs specific to their equipment, goals and sport. That way even if you live in remote areas, you can still get the same level of coaching as people living in cities.”

Jacob’s is also happy to share some advice with young athletes dreaming of reaching the top.

“The number one thing would be to get your body right. Get into the gym and do things that will prevent injuries when you’re younger and as you get older to stay resilient and build strength. The crucial years for development in any sport are between 16-19, so staying on the field, getting strong and performing during tournaments during those years will help set you up to be selected for the next level.”

Anyone wanting to reach out to Jacob can do so via his coaching Instagram handle @coachboccy

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