Last night at training we did some work on penalty corners. To date they have been a little haphazard – usually involving everybody looking around last minute to decide who is going to take it. Now we are getting serious about sorting out some short corner drills. Some of our junior players tried out injecting, trapping and shooting for the first time – and showed fantastic potential. Very exciting for the club.
I was working on injecting and here’s what our coach told me…
– Ball starts in the hook of your stick, which lays almost flat.
– Right knee bent to start, moving to bent left knee as the injection unfolds.
– Crucially, the power comes from flicking the stick and to do this you need your hands quite close to the top of the stick.
Before you try and learn high-end skills or techniques in hockey (drag flicks, tomahawk hit,etc) you have to master the basics. If you are new to hockey, receiving the ball is the first skill to learn – and it’s helpful to revisit techniques too even if you’ve been playing for a while. Bad habits can creep in and it can be beneficial to remind yourself of how the ball should be received ideally for maximum speed and positioning ready for your next pass.
This youtube clip from England Hockey covers all the different types of ball receiving – from the left, right, reverse stick, etc… There’s some useful stuff in here, even for more advanced players.
For new and improving players the biggest lesson is to try and keep soft hands when you receive the ball. Also, rather than stopping the ball dead, to try and work with its momentum to move it to where you want it to be next.