How to defend a drag flick

The latest issue of Planet Hockey (issue 3, see link below to download) is well worth a look and has an interesting feature on defending a drag flick.

It suggests…

#1 Prepare early and decide on a defensive set up. Many teams have set running patterns for a penalty corner. For example first runner pressures drag flicker, second and third runners defend the possible lay offs and deflectors and post defenders cover post.

#2 Point at pressure target (ie drag flicker at top of D) with hips and shoulders. Only turn your head towards the injector.

#3 Adopt a relaxed stance.

#4 Offsetting. This technique that some teams use to defend flicks sees goal keeper covering one side and runner and post defender attempting to channel flicker in the direction GK is covering.



Defending penalty short corners

Tips and information on how to defend a penalty corner…

This is Dutch international Tjerk’s powerpoint on offensive and defensive corners

This post has a great video with captions about defending a short corners

This is a short but easy follow video that looks a bit more like club hockey might. In the higher level Olympic clips the left post player starts the corner second from left, the left player runs out and the post player slips across to cover left post. There’s a little slip across but this doesn’t happen in this club level video where the left post player just starts the corner standing by the left post and there they stay. Wondering why the higher level teams set up slightly differently?


Harvard field hockey on short corners. At 1:05 in this video there’s a really good close up of the foot, ball and stick position of the injector.


Goalkeeping tips from England’s George Pinner – plus a slow motion drag flick save

England Hockey’s official magazine, called (ahem) ‘Hockey’ (Winter 2013 issue) has tips from Beeston and England’s number one George Pinner. I’ve summarised them here – and posted a video of George in action. For the anorak drag flickers among you, there’s some quite good slow motion action here too. The shot looks positioned to just tuck in the top left corner but George gets there first. Impressive hockey skills!

  • The secret to a consistently good clearance to your block saves is, he says, using your weight correctly. Get into position with small, fast steps rather than big strides. Lead with your head and keep it in line with the ball at all times. Rotate your hips to maximise the force you impart to the ball.
  • Stay balanced – avoid letting your hands or head lag behind your body as you move towards the ball. You need all your weight – ALL your weight! – moving forwards to generate maximum power in your kicks.
  • Don’t drop your trailing knee to the ground as you make contact. This makes it tricky to reset yourself quickly if the ball comes back into the D fast.
  • Keep the front of your trailing foot on the ground as you strike the ball.
  • Send the ball to the sidelines not back where it came from – a disaster.
  • You can practise kicking enough. Take an old pair of boots and highlight your instep with a marker pen. Get someone to film you in training and look at whether the ball is making contact on this sweet spot.
  • Drill penalty corners but vary who takes the shot so you avoid getting stuck in predictable routines.  Get them to take close range shots to hone your reactions.
  • Unless you play at a high level remain standing for a penalty corner – you need to quickly realign yourself for a rebound shot.
  • Choose a good post player  – they need to be brave with excellent trapping skills and good reactions.

For more information about England Hockey see or or

The magazine is produced by TriNorth Communications, email

England Hockey also sell a goalkeeping DVD you may find useful.