Jinking the ball in field hockey

Another video from Ryde Hockey Club – must admit I find them among the best. This is showing a skill that will boost your performance dramatically if you can perfect it. Jinking the ball – or literally lifting it in a controlled way over a defenders stick.

I have mastered the first stage but am still struggling to keep the ball under tight control once I have ‘jinked it’.


Here’s a second clip showing jinking technique.

However, in this second clip from Hockey Australia on the reverse jink they show the stick turning a different way from the Ryde hockey club video – and this second version looks more tricky.

But, which one is most effective. Comments from anybody who knows most welcome!

Reverse tomahawk hit in action

Watch this clip at 6:58 mins to see a tomahawk reverse hit in action in the Field Hockey World Cup final between Germany and Australia. The German attacker runs the ball up the left side of the pitch then fires the ball across into the D with a reverse hit. It doesn’t result in a goal in this instance but it shows how useful this hit is when you have little time on the ball. The masters in action…

Hockey tomahawk strike – technique

Watching live feed of the India Hockey League it’s clear that the reverse hit is crucial for these high-powered teams.

The reverse hit, backstick shot or tomahawk – whatever you want to call it – is a useful striking move for a left wing.

So how on earth do you perfect this nifty move? In the following video, coach Tim Collier at Ryde Hockey Club, in Australia, walking you through the exact technique.

I also think the following video clips are helpful too…

Finally, there’s a great video clip from my favourite coach, Tjerk Van Herwaarden. It’s teaching reverse hit, but you wouldn’t know it from the title. Can’t seem to embed a link to this in my post – just keep saying ‘video does not exist’. But it does exist. I’ve watched it and if you look for the following on youtube, you will find it.

Tjerk Van Herwaarden: Coaching Technical Skills for Field Hockey

Hockey drag flick – how to improve technique

The drag flick is such a complex move it’s hard to know where to start with it. But many experts suggest that to begin with – and to improve your technique – you should start practising on one knee.

See this in action in the Ryde Hockey Club clip – flicking on one knee is at 3mins 26 seconds on the following video link (click here to view 

The expert here suggests you repeat this up to 100 times!

This allows you to get nice and low and really see how you can generate the power nice and low.

Hockey drag flick – technique

The drag flick is particularly useful in two circumstances in field hockey. Firstly, to score in a penalty corner when there is foot movement stepping into it (penalty corner drag flick). Secondly, when your team is awarded a penalty strike from the penalty spot and it’s a one on one between attacker and goalie.

. I’ve looked at a lot of technique-videos for drag flicking and this clip (click on this link to view Drag flick)  is one of the best for penalty corner drag flicks. This one is really quite good too and walks it through in slow motion…

And for the real drag flick hockey anorak I’ve just stumbled on this academic analysis of the move. Only for the serious minded player with time on their hands I think! Drag flick video analysis paper

And being the hockey anorak that I am, I spent a while slowing this other short clip of Ashleigh Jackson (link below) doing a superb penalty strike. Ashleigh Jackson penalty flick

Was interested to note that for this penalty strike, which obviously doesn’t have a run up, he starts feet apart – ball, I think, in line with his left foot. He doesn’t start with his stick touching the ball, rather there’s a slight lift of his stick backwards before he drags the ball forwards – and scores!

I gather the rules on this Ashleigh Jackson penalty strike are that the taker has to be within touching distance of the ball and must start behind the ball. One umpire stands near the goal the other near the taker. The taker must then push or flick at goal – not hit or drag the ball. No dummy shots or faking are allowed and no playing the ball and running in for a rebound after you have hit it.

Tips (I’ll keep adding to this – so please help me by adding your comments).

For a penalty corner strike…

  • Whatever your feet movement is as you approach the ball – do the same every time, so you know where you are going to end up. 
  • Keep ball on the hook of the stick for as long as possible.
  • Don’t hit the ball instead – you shouldn’t hear a hitting sound with the stick, just a smooth movement with constant contact with the ball.
  • No backswing
  • Good flickers practise on one knee – up to 100 times
  • Here’s another ‘how to’ piece from isport that’s worth a read. How to drag flick

GB star striker Alex Danson’s nutrition tips

This blog post from BBC Good Food interviews Team GB star striker Alex Danson about her diet. Apparently, it’s lentil burgers, veg stir fry and jacket potatoes and beans that fuel all those incredible goals!

Love her advice for amateur athletes.She says ‘train harder than you think possible and then make sure you refuel with foods high in protein and carbs.’ She insists recovery is important as is taking on board nutrients 20 mins after exercise (ideally a low-fat milk shake and a couple of pieces of fruit).

Alex Danson’s diet