By Liz Hollis, journalist
This is my tips-and-techniques hockey blog. It curates the latest advice and information from experts across the world of hockey.
I am a trained journalist and digital content consultant by trade, see my Liz Hollis website, with a special interest in writing about sport, fitness, health and psychology. In my spare time I am keen club hockey player at Norwich City Hockey Club constantly working to build my skills and fitness. I have been called a hockey nerd!
I don’t profess to be an expert myself. Instead, I approach this website journalistically, using expert comment, advice and information from those that do know – and reporting it on here. I would really welcome any feedback or comment on the posts – as experts often have different opinions on best practice.
Play better, faster, stronger…
This blog is aimed predominantly at new and improving players who are hungry for information about how they can play a better game.
However, it also has information for more advanced players about techniques such as drag flicking and backstick shots.
In recent months, I have also started to add coaching content which is increasingly of interest to me. I am a level one coach and assist with the under-12 club hockey on a Sunday morning.
The site is designed to pull together anything and everything that can help you improve. It draws on the Aggregation of Marginal Gains philosophy of Team GB cycling and their consultant psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters. The theory is any improvement you can make, no matter how miniscule, will aggregate into a constant total improvement. It is the most optimistic and inspiring philosophy for any sport and translates well into field hockey.
On the Team Sky website http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,17547_5792058,00.html British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford explains the theory: “We’ve got this saying, ‘performance by the aggregation of marginal gains. It means taking the 1% from everything you do; finding a 1% margin for improvement in everything you do. That’s what we try to do from the mechanics upwards.
“If a mechanic sticks a tyre on, and someone comes along and says it could be done better, it’s not an insult – it’s because we are always striving for improvement, for those 1% gains, in absolutely every single thing we do.”
So this blog will bring you anything I can source that will help you make improvements to your hockey. Whether it’s how you hold the stick, exactly where to place the ball or what type of kit you should use…this is where you’ll find information on the best way to make improvements.
I hated netball and rounders at school. But I always loved hockey – it suits my competitive and secretly rather combative nature – but didn’t pick up a stick again until years later.
I was encouraged back into the game by another mum at my daughter’s school. We were watching an under-11 match and she suggested that I go along to her adult hockey team training.
I was pretty fit already from running and gym work and thought hockey might be an extra exercise boost. I borrowed an old wooden stick and we began by moving the ball between me and another player – it was the first time I had drilled a hockey ball for years. Soon I was hooked.
Season two was better. I learned to hit and position myself a little better – and trap and pass the ball. But with such a huge squad competing to get in the team I was lucky if I got more than 15 minutes to half a game on the pitch a week. But I persisted with training – training at any opportunity, studying clips on youtube, scouring the internet for tips and techniques and clocking up one of the highest attendance rates in the club. I think you could safely call it a hockey obsession – actually that probably understates it. Thankfully I began to improve. I was ecstatic to be awarded the club’s ‘most improved player’ cup at the end of the second season.
I have since moved club and now play at Norwich City Hockey Club.
I am now in my eighth season playing and I’m still on the hunt for tips and advice that will help me improve – and getting skilled at picking out which information will really help. I have set up this blog to bring together anything I can find that will help me play better. It’s a way of recording all the things I learn at training, from other players and from other resources. I’d also welcome your comments if you think I’ve got something wrong or it needs explaining a little better.
I am a journalist and media/content consultant by trade see…
Hockey is my great passion – playing, watching and writing about it. This blog gives me the chance to pull together all the information and coaching points that have helped me – and I hope will help other novice and improver players too.