Deflections and tip-ins are one of the most common ways to score a goal – redirecting the course of a ball hit by a team mate into the goal. Become skilled at it and you’ll be popular with your team.
Deflections are unpredictable for goalies. They pop up, fly wide, spin sideways and are difficult to defend.
Here’s a video with some international goals scored in this way.
Here are some tips to help you score goals by deflecting…
Stick angle: if the goalie is close to you, tilt the head of your stick backwards and this will lift the ball. Impossible to stop. If you’re further away from the goalie be more careful with tilt as it is unpredictable and might make the ball miss the goal. A flat stick might work better as it’s more precise.
Body position: Hands away from body. Hands and eye very close to the ball. Move towards the ball.
In her excellent technical book Field Hockey: Steps to success Elizabeth Anders recommends watching the bottom of the ball rolling towards you. Here’s her advice on how to do a diving deflection.
In the following video clip, the deflection player tucks himself in behind the goalie. The goalie is watching the original player hit and can’t turn round quick enough to stop the deflection that slips in behind him.
Move the stick head towards the ball, in line with the path of the ball.Players should not look at the goal during the skill this makes the stick turn and the ball is not likely to be deflected.
It is important that the player deflecting the ball is not standing too wide of the goal (the ball will be deflected over the back line instead).
Just get a stick on it: however which way you do it, the aim is to touch a hard ball that’s coming in just wide of the goal. If you touch it, you stand a chance of scoring.
This England Hockey has some deflection tips at 4:00 minutes in that might help you.