He made his international goalkeeping debut for Ireland in 2006 and by 2015, David Harte was already one of the best in the world, certainly in the Irish hockey history. The 29-year-old native of Cork won the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award this year for the second consecutive time — beating Juan Vivaldi (Argentina), Jaap Stockmann (Netherlands), Vincent Vanasch (Belgium) and Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh (India) for the coveted prize.

As part of Dragflickworld’s exciting new series of interviews titled Ctrl+Alt+Hockey, Nimisha Jagasia caught up with FIH Star Goalkeeper David Harte to discuss about his pre-game rituals, his indulgence in technology to track fitness, his choice of fitness apps and gadget as well as his other sporting interest.

David went on to disclose how he loves a whole range of sports, but limits his gadget/app use to bare minimum and works out diligently to ensure he can dig into his Mars bar every now and then.

Excerpts:

You play hockey but you must be following other sports. Isn’t it?

Yes, I am a huge Manchester United supporter and have been all my life. Then there’s golf, naturally as Ireland has produced some of the world’s finest golfers. I also follow native Irish sports like hurling and Gaelic football, as well as tennis and rugby. I am a lover of an entire range of different sports.

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David Harte on field for Dabang Mumbai H.C. Picture Credit @DavidHarte

Do you use any wearable tech and fitness gadgets to help reach you health and wellness goals. What are they?

I do not wear any tech and fitness gadgets, I must admit. As being a goalkeeper it could be dangerous to myself and more importantly the opposition.

Any fitness apps on your mobile phone?

On my Samsung smartphone I have a step counter. Though I don’t pay too much attention to it, I would like to average around 8-10k steps per day. Living in Holland doesn’t help it but I cycle a lot each day too.

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David Harte loves to Cycle! Picture Credit @DavidHarte

What do you think of fitness gadgets and apps? Do you think a fitness tracker can really help you achieve your fitness goals? 

They can be good but I have heard how they do take over certain people’s lives as they become obsessed with them. That’s my excuse anyway for not using them 😉

What all can one find inside your gym bag?

Most likely in my Player Layer gym, you will find my training shoes, protein shaker/water bottle, small towel, protein bar, training clothing, gym program, headphones and a ‘suck it up’ pill in case I am struggling for motivation on that given day 🙂

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Gadget Free but Fitness Freak. Picture Credit @DavidHarte

Do you spend a lot of time in the gym?

On average, I go to the gym 2 or 3 days a weak and work out with set sessions given to me by our Irish team’s strength and conditioning coach. I always aim for quality over quantity to get the best out of workout.

How do you recover physically for your next game during a tournament?

We all know hockey tournaments can be some of the most intense in world sport, so recovery is key, especially when you play back-to-back matches. Ice baths along with compression tights are something of a normality for me, as well as eating well. At times with all the science behind icy water submersion and compression clothing, we forget the value of hydration, nutrition and good sleep.

Surely you are very careful about your diet. Is there anything you miss eating?

I must admit I am addicted to chocolate. I also enjoy having a cold can of Coke/Pepsi. But I try to limit my consumption as best as I can.

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David Harte believes in the value of good hydration, nutrition and sleep.

Finally, are you superstitious and do you have any pre-game rituals?

I don’t think I am superstitious (as far as I know). I quite like a short enough warm-up on the pitch, usually around <20 minutes, and generally try not to overthink too many things before the game.

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