How to play left back defender in field hockey


It’s important to be versatile when you play club hockey and on Saturday an injury in the team meant I tried my hand at playing in defense in a friendly match.

I enjoyed it but am after more information about how to play this position well, so this post will be a work in progress as an when I find information on this.

A good place to start is the England Hockey youtube film that covers general tips on defending.


  • LB provides balance and cover when the ball is on the opposite side of the pitch. (Elizabeth Sanders from Field Hockey – Steps for Successs)
  • Takes most left side line hits
  • Assists or takes deep defensive hits
  • Must have good foot speed because the main assignment is to mark the right outside opposition forward.
  • Must mark tightly and tackle the ball with strength to prevent right side attacks
  • Pass accurately and safely when you win the ball
  • Don’t get square to the attacker. See Kate Richardson-Walsh’s tips on defending in another post Kate’s tips on defending
  • Defend a short corner.  

3 Replies to “How to play left back defender in field hockey”

  1. I’m doing Field hockey and I need to know to be a right back do you just stand there and don’t let them get in or can u run to get it into the goal of the other team


    1. To be a right back you control a lot of the game. You see the most out of any player apart from the keeper. You should be communicating with your midfield players about where the other team is. And when the other team starts to attack your job is to defend the circle and let the midfield players pick up the other players. As a defender you don’t do a lot of dribbling but being able to beat a player really helps when things get tight. If you can pass accurately and fast you won’t need to do a lot of running as the passes will eliminate the other teams players.


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