The perfect drag flick
The reference when it comes to the drag flicks nowadays, is undeniably
Interview: Muriël Kuypers Photography: Ed Mohogany
The exciting carreer of Loïck Luypaert
The reference when it comes to the drag flicks nowadays, is undeniably – Red Lion and Captain of the Honour Division Braxgata – Loïck Luypaert. We meet this passionate athlete in Antwerp for a nice chat and reveal all his hockey and dragflick secrets.
Young Force / violence
For Loïck, the hockey career started very early. Because his energy level was far above average - and his mother didn't know what to do with it- they were looking for an active sport for mini Luypaert in which he could use all this energy.
"My cousins used to play at Brax. (Braxgate in Boom, MK) and that is how I ended up with Under 6 around the age of four. "Luypaert laughs while he continues:" My mother in particular was very happy with that. She was able to drop me off and enjoy the peace while I took my first steps on the hockey field.
Soccer was not an option for Luypaert because he suffered from allergies, especially for grasses. Artificial grass was ideal and the hockey microbe caught him very quickly. Soon he was no longer able to leave the field. And as the real athlete he is, Luypaert also played tennis after the hockey season to stay busy during summer. Add to that two more hockey camps during the holidays and about three ski trips per year and you can already guess it. Sport was, and has remained his great passion.
Luypaert: "I did not hit the slopes for eight years now. That is the compromise that you have to make in top sport. The risk is just a bit too high. I already have one lesser knee and then you really can't do that. A pity, but It’s just how it works "
"Recently I have the feeling that the puzzle pieces are finally falling into place."
Whether there are any compromises that he sometimes has difficulties with?
Luypaert: "There is no longer a compromise that I do not make automatically and without thinking. It has become normal to always pay attention to rest, nutrition and sleep. Holidays are already determined by the Lions program for years and obtaining a degree took nine years instead of five years. But that too is part of it! "He says it with a smile on his face:" Sitting on the sofa at home on Saturday evenings remains a difficult task, especially since everyone has dinners and parties around you at that time. Friday we train at 7 pm and of course in the summer that is exactly the time when friends go out and enjoy a cozy terrace. Well, you miss a lot but you get more back than you can dream. The experiences I have in my pocket are countless, just like the travels, the experiences that you share with your team!"
His social life may be on its way, but he almost has a Master’s degree in Sport Management in his pocket (if all goes well in June 2019) and that on the side. Because top sport, you can't really combine that with anything. "
Not hanging out is also part of it
Luypaert: "It is really a misconception that you can combine sport at this level with a job or, for example, a medical study. Everything is possible, but then compromises will have to be made that are more at the expense of hockey. If you want to play at the highest level and keep challenging yourself ... Then you just have to focus. Keep your goals in mind. Hockey is my passion. It became my passion early on and it stayed that way. Lately, I often have the feeling that the hard work is finally paying off, that the puzzle pieces will finally end up in the right place. Nothing better than that! "
Whether he sometimes feels the fear that he would have missed many things in life by the time he was finished?
Luypaert: "If you want to get there, you need two things. Or you are extremely talented with real sports genes such as Arthur Van Doren (Best Player of the World, 2018, 2019MK) or you have to work hard for it. Every day! You can earn your living today with hockey, so money can no longer be the stumbling block. If you want to play hockey well, you have to go for it. No half work. Not a bit of this and a bit of that. The expectations of the team but also of our supporters and crew are sky high. It is all or nothing. Fully committed or not. There is no other way. "
Wow, this is a driven player, are your parents behind it, from whom did you get this drive?
Luypaert: "It really started around the age of fourteen. You end up in the Youth National selection. Then you have to go to Brussels on Monday evening for training. Do you skip this training? Then forget it. Of course you are very dependent on your parents at that moment. So they must also support it. Until the age of eighteen, everything depends on the goodwill of your parents. Then quickly get your driver's license and yes you are in the car a lot. They have always been my biggest supporters. They were there with my brother in Rio when we got silver. That was really a wonderful moment for us as a family and the nicest gift I could give them back after they supported me for twenty years in every step of my career. I cried like a little child of happiness after the semi-finals, especially when I saw my parents, that broke me, it meant so much that they were there.
When did you know that hockey is it for you? That you were really good, better than the others?
Luypaert: "Between the ages of sixteen and eighteen I realized that I could really become good. My final year of secondary education was therefore very special. I missed the final exams because they fell right during a World Cup for which I was selected. Together with parents and school we were creative at the time. Move exams, miss lessons. Fortunately, I always had good grades and despite all the hockey I got through.
How much stress do these selections give and how difficult is it to win a spot in such a top team?
Luypaert: "The younger you are, the harder. In the beginning it gives stress and uncertainty. Have I been selected? What about the competition? It is fighting for your place and it will stay that way. But you get calmer with it over the years. You have your experience and your regularity and for yourself you always have to keep looking for your own limits. Get better, get stronger.
'Get better, get stronger'
Get better, get stronger
Is that still possible? How much better can you get if you already are top scorer of the competition?
Luypaert: "This year is my best year ever. Investing for years, extra training and living with discipline, is really paying off. I know that many players stop around my age. It is another phase of life in which players want to live together, get married, and maybe have a baby. I strongly believe that my best years are yet to come. For me it is now a straight line to Tokyo and then continue. I have invested so much in myself and the team (Red Lions) and the sport. I now really want to reap the benefits. "
You sound very committed and driven? Are you also one of the pioneers in your team?
Luypaert: The whole team indeed knows that I want to win now. We missed gold a few times by an inch already. Silver is beautiful, but now we have to go for the main prize. In that respect, I am certainly a pioneer. Quotes like: Who are you when nobody is watching and Walk your talk are my showpieces. As one of the more experienced players, I also have an exemplary role. Work hard but then grab beers at home, you can do that, hey, nobody sees that. But that is not how it works. It is a group responsibility to be and become the best possible version of yourself and you have to work for that. Day in, day out. That is a way of life, of course that does not stop after the training!
date of birth: 19/08/1991 - 26 years old
-191 caps // 50 goals
top scorer Belgian competition 2018
gold at the World cup 2018
silver at the Rio 2016 Games
silver at the 2017 European Championships
-Red Lion since 2010
-Main class player and captain at Braxgata in Boom
Did you know?
Luypaert was the first ever sponsored athlete of the Osaka Hockey brand.
Luypaert: "At the time, (in 2011, MK) I was the first ever athlete to sign a contract with Osaka. Seven years later I never regretted it for a minute. (laughs) The stick I was playing with at that time, I still play with that. I'm pretty freaky about that. That must be correct! "
CHOICE OF STICK
Pro Tour Low Bow 37.5
Luypaert: "Another stick would not be an option for me. The Pro Tour Low Bow gives me everything I need. It is the perfect stick to drag flick that still gives sufficient control while playing. For me the stick that has the best of both worlds, there is no better compromise! "
SECRETS AND TIPS FROM A SLEEP SPECIALIST
The past year the statistics showed that Luypaert scores effectively 1 in 2 or 1 in 3 drag Flicks. That is a high ratio. Statistics are very important, Luypaert believes especially for yourself. To challenge yourself, improve yourself and stay sharp.
* never sit back, in order to keep on drag flicking, you have to keep pushing yourself to the limit, your discipline makes the difference
* stay longer each training, practice with the injector, stopper and goalie, drag flick and pick all the balls, go for the extra mile!
* find the perfect balance between technique, strength and mental stability and learn to perform under pressure
* the right drag flick goes 120 km / h (on training you get this maximum 1 time), (for ladies this is around 95 km / h, MK), flick very hard, and learn to place your drag flick.
* not practicing = decline
* practice aiming to the four corners and make yourself strong because drag flicking in one corner is not enough on an international level
* do as much scouting as possible, from the keeper as well as the defensive runners
* 1000 variations are possible, but drag flicks reduce difficulties
* your body must be strong but also flexible, look for the ideal balance
* you really have to practice, I have been practicing since I was twelve and only now I am really good at it, practicing is the secret!
Loïc often comes to clinics and camps to refine your drag flicking technique. From July 1-7, 2018, he will be a full day guest at the Osaka Hockey Camp in Brasschaat at KHC Dragons. www.osakacamps.com
Arthur Van Doren:
"Loick Luypaert is a born leader for me. Thanks to his charisma and intelligence, he takes on the role of leader in a very natural way. He has had some tough moments in his career, but he persevered, and that made him the player he is today. Loick has worked harder than anyone else to achieve his goals and is still burning with ambition. We have definitely not seen the best of him. "
Shane Mc Leod:
"Loïc success is a combination of a few personal qualities. High skill level, strong commitment to team and personal standards. A willingness to work hard at the small detail. This has been reflected in his success this season as a top goal scorer. He is a great asset to the Red Lions.