Olympic hockey players reveal their secrets

Olympic hockey secrets
Alex Danson 

England Hockey’s magazine ‘The Clubhouse’ is a handy resource that’s designed to pass on useful tips, tactic and advice to players, coaches and club officials. For more info see England Hockey website

In the latest issue some of England’s biggest names have shared some handy skills tips. Here’s a few of the best…

Alex Danson: To get the ball in the air with more control, try bending your knees and lowering your knuckles towards the ground. This allows your stick to slip under the ball more easily and get it airborne. See the excellent Sportsister website for more about Alex Danson.

Henry Weir: For a more consistent ball-stopping technique, trap the ball inside your right foot while keeping it in line with your head. This makes co-ordinating your hands and eyes much easier.

Mark Gleghorne: When trapping a ball in the air, or bouncing ball, keep head as still as possible and cushion the ball with your stick. Don’t snatch at it because you won’t make as good contact.

Shona McCallin: When eliminating a player think about what you do with your body rather than just thinking about what you do with the ball. Use movement to fool your marker by shifting weight and faking to move the opposite way to where you want to go. It’s easier to control your body than the ball anyway.

Helen Richardson-Walsh: When making a dummy look in a different direction to where you want to go to convince a defender to sell themselves early.

Sally Walton: Work hard early it will pay dividends. Get yourself into position early to receive the ball so you can take it under less pressure and have a better idea of what’s around you.

Kate Richardson-Walsh: When making a one v one tackle on the run don’t get square on to the attacker. Instead, get your feet going in the direction you want the attacker to go as early as possible and shepherd them away from the danger area.

Simon Mantell: In deflection shots on goal, keep your feet facing towards the target to be able to extend and dive if the ball ends up being played in front of you. Also when shooting on reverse stick, make sure the face of the stick is facing directly up. This means you can get a clean connection with the leading edge and generate more power.




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