This video from The Hockey Performance Academy is worth a look if you want to perfect the spin – turning the ball in a circular movement to escape a defender. It’s demonstrated here by Ryan Julius from South Africa U21. He says …
# It’s particularly useful for left-side players
# You need to stay low and keep your stick angled low to the ground.
# Keep weight on left foot and pivot off this foot.
Positioning yourself available for a pass on the baseline is a great way to make space. Defenders hate it. Look at what the player in white does around nine seconds into this clip of Bowdon Hightown v University of Birmingham. She heads for the baseline giving the player who has moved the ball wide a neat passing option with an angle that eliminates the defender on her non-stick side. The first player then cuts into the D for a pass which leads to a shot on goal. Didn’t work this time, but a great routine.
In another match (watch at about 1 minute in) here’s another great example of the base line being used on the left. It led to an attack on goal then a penalty flick.
This drill with coach Steve Lancaster shows a tactic for creating space behind a defender. He asks the players to run in an arc. When they just run straight across to receive the ball he explains that the defender can just easily move with them and get the ball in front of them.
When they run in an arc it brings the defender with them and they then run back quickly in the gap created behind to receive the ball.
“Make the defender come with you and it creates space behind you,” says Lancaster.