Improve your penalty corner injections

In this Summer’s issue of England Hockey’s corporate magazine, there’s some useful tips of how to improve your injections…

  • Go for weight transfer over brute force
  • Ball in the hook of the stick
  • Elbow and hips drive the stroke
  • Set up – avoid giving away what you are going to do. Adopt a neutral stance to keep the defence guessing.
  • Maximise accuracy by developing a stance that helps you lead the injection with your front elbow. Your stance, most crucially, should also optimise weight transfer from your right leg to the stable ‘block’ of your bent left leg and lowered left shoulder. So as wide a stance as possible while staying well-balanced at the completion of the stroke.
  • Know ahead where you want the ball to go by having set routines that you and your teammates have prepared. Three well-rehearsed routines are better than six dodgy ones.
  • Work the near post. You have shortest distance to goal as injector, so run in for a deflection shot.

These extra points are from a Hockey Australia skills video…

  • Front foot pointing in direction you want the ball to go
  • Right hand third way down your stick, not too low down though. Finger out.
  • Left knee bent with weight on left foot.
  • Eyes looking at target after positioning ball
  • On release right foot moves forward

Hockey Performance Academy

I have just discovered the Hockey Performance Academy – which is worth checking out if you have’t heard of it before.

It’s run by international hockey player Lauren Penny and offers mentor and training programmes to hockey players at all levels, although she has particular expertise at helping elite juniors.

lauren penny

Lauren Penny, South African international hockey player

Lauren has developed a bespoke training system designed to help hockey players improve their performance so they can take their game to the next level. It covers the mental side of the game as well as fitness and can run alongside a players own training programme with their club or country.

I’ve recently been working with Lauren on some of the content marketing, blogging and copywriting and am picking up some fascinating insights as the project progresses.

She talks about failure and nerves on the pitch a lot – apparently one of the biggest blocks to high performance is what’s going on in your mind. She helps players quiet the negative thinking and move forward to another mental level.

One of her key messages is not getting too hung up when you mess up on the pitch. Rather than seeing a mess up as as disaster you need to reframe it and see it as a learning point for what you need to improve.

She works one-to-one with players through a module and mentor programme and it’s well worth checking out if you are looking to really improve your game.