How to score a goal in field hockey

Goal scoring in hockey

It’s just about all in this England Hockey video clip. Deflections, rebounds, sweeps, chip hits, reverse deflections…every kind of goal scoring possibility is covered here. Not sure whether you could translate these from this clip to your own play – but it’s good as a catalogue of all the possible shots available to you. My favourite is the left deflection and most of my goals this season have come from these. However, they are made easier because I have a strong centre forward with a whacking hit and I can mop up some of her wide shots and net some of her strong passes – always helps. The chip hit looks particularly useful though, so I’m going to drill that shot when we return to league games after the Christmas break.

Goal shooting skills in field hockey

This is the first of a series of three long video clips coaching goal shooting skills. Not many people have looked at these on youtube but I think they are excellent. Coach Trini Powell explains the skills easily and slowly – taking time to walk and talk players through everything. This was filmed on a hockey summer camp and although it’s long I think it’s well worth studying carefully. She is particularly good on showing you how to commit the goal keeper to a movement – only to change your own direction and fire off a shot.

Receiving the ball

This is a comprehensive video clip from the excellent England Hockey coaching series about how to receive the ball.

This is one of the key skills for beginner and learning players. When you first start on the pitch one of the biggest fears is messing up on a pass from a team mate – and this clip shows the skills you’ll need to work on to receive it perfectly, however it arrives!

Also what advanced players and coaches often don’t tell beginners – because it seems so obvious – is to watch that ball as it approaches. Watch it as if your life depended on it – and so that you can almost see the dimples on the ball. Watch it onto your stick – having pre scanned for where to make your next pass.

When you are more advanced scanning and receiving will come more easily, but for beginners the best tip is watching that ball closely on to your stick.

Receive with soft hands. Again another novice mistake is to grip the stick for dear life, which makes the ball bounce off your stick as you touch it. Instead, keep hands soft rather than gripping and tense.

What field hockey defenders hate…

I figured that to one of the best ways to improve attack skills might be to work out exactly what field hockey defenders hate you doing. It’s their job to stop you doing what you want to do – get past them and score. So what exactly happens when it all goes wrong for them? What do they really hate? I suggest you start by asking a few defenders their views on this – and I’d love some defenders out there to add their comments to this post (anonymously if it helps because you don’t want attackers in your rival teams reading this precious information).

Well, firstly I gather that one of the things defenders really hate is when you attack them non-stick side. They are weaker there, it’s harder for them to move and they would much rather channel you round to their strong stick side. So rule number one has to be aim for their non-stick side.

Or even better, make as if you are going to get round them on their strong stick side and then change direction quickly and head round them on their weak non-stick side.

Secondly, defenders hate it when they go in for a tackle and you make a nifty little square pass to a teammate – then back again if they go for this team mate. Working that defender as a pair – or even a threesome. So they are left like piggy in the middle looking foolish and not getting the ball. Attack result! (Yes, it’s obvious I ┬áplay in attack? Pesky defenders.)

That’s for starters, but there must be a lot more? Can any defenders out there add to this list?

How to eliminate a defender with left dribbling

My personal goal for this season is to improve my ability to eliminate defenders. As a left wing I dream of being able to do the nifty move shown in this clip from Lee Bodimeade, head coach for the US field hockey team. It’s about dribbling on the left, one handed and jinking the ball over the defenders stick – followed up ideally by a lovely shot on goal.Very advanced – but I can dream! It’s also great to know what the experts can do to get past those annoying hefty defenders when they are coming at you. Click on this link below to see Lee Bodimeade’s video clip. I particularly like the way this clip uses illustrations over the top of the film to show you precise positioning.

Click here to link to video: left dribbling to eliminate defender