How Former GB Hockey Player, Ed Horler, Found Success in Moving Out of his Comfort Zone
add-victor had the pleasure of speaking with recent alumni, Ed Horler, as he reflects on his final few years of playing professional hockey. As often the case with elite athletes, the defining aspects of their sports career, be it adversity, adaptability, or simple drive, they find a way to apply that to other areas of their life, particularly the workplace.
My passion for hockey began when I was six playing for my local club, Bath Buccaneers. I continued to be inspired at Millfield School and immersed myself in a number of sports; rugby, cricket and tennis. When I turned fifteen, I decided to specialise and focus on hockey.
Following my A-levels, I chose the equally competitive environment to study, Loughborough University, where I would complete my bachelor’s in parallel with my athletic career. After joining the Great Britain hockey programme and representing Wimbledon HC for three years, I decided to take a one-year opportunity playing for Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles, in one of the most competitive leagues in world hockey. This move proved to be incredibly important on multiple levels; most notably as it pushed me outside my comfort zone. I embraced the challenges of moving abroad, building relationships in a different language with a new team and coaching staff, all in the year of the global pandemic.
I arrived just in time for pre-season and had to quickly adapt to the surroundings. A new way to train and a different style of play was an initial shock but this was all alleviated by the bonds created and compassion shown from my teammates. This highlighted a new dynamic to teamwork for me, showing that the efforts and connectivity made off the pitch significantly translate to the playing field. I had often been familiar with a lot of the components regarding my education, hockey clubs, which perhaps created a level of complacency. But with the challenges of the unfamiliar I was able to try new strategies, shift my perspective so I could still be productive and effective on the field.
Their support enabled me space to develop new skills and approaches to the game that I hadn’t faced before. The challenge of playing abroad and breaking the social norms, allowed me to build new relationships but also to grow and live independently.
I am extremely excited about my transition away from professional sport and into asset management. I look forward to this new challenge and somewhere I can apply my performance mindset within a corporate environment. I certainly feel those experiences where I moved out my comfort zone will provide excellent foundation blocks to tackle any new and unfamiliar environments as I start my new career.