How to score more goals in hockey

This video from Lauren Penny’s Field Hockey Performance Academy is worth a watch. She gives tips for when your team is dominating and you just can’t score…or for when you just want to score more goals. Who doesn’t?

Composure. Don’t panic or worry about missing. Focus on the technical aspects rather than scoring. Focus on staying low and watching the ball on to the stick.

Belief. Lauren thinks a large part of scoring is thinking you can and being confident mentally. Mindset is the most important part of goal scoring.

Deception. Don’t do the obvious. Try to use your body to add deception. Drop your shoulder to fake a move, for example. Don’t try to smack it through their pads but get them moving and go round them.

Avoid perfectionism. Doesn’t matter how you score. A goal is a goal even if it’s from a rumble around the goalkeeper. Just have as many attempts at possible on goal. Bobbly balls and miss hits are all goals they don’t have to be perfect shots.

Always be ready. If a team mate is taking a shot at goal get ready yourself. Get your body low and be ready for passes or rebounds.

While you’re at it, this goal scoring video from Ryde Hockey is also worth a look…

 

How to slap hit with added power and deception

The quality of this video isn’t that great – but it still makes some interesting points about how you might be able to make your slap hit a little more powerful. It’s also great on how to slap hit with deception.

Ryde Hockey Club high performance coach Larry McIntosh points out that hand and foot position can affect power. He suggests that hands together at the top of the stick might be the best – but it’s a matter of choice because some players say this feels odd. But with the hands together you can move the wrists more.

Foot position – a wide stance allows for movement through the slap shot and consequently more power.

Deception to the right. There’s also some valuable info in here about the best way to make a slap hit with deception – looking as if you are going to hit it straight but then sending the ball off to the right instead. Larry McIntosh suggests that it’s easier if you receive the ball higher on the stick when you want to make this move. It helps the ball accelerate down the stick and gives you more leeway with the movement. For a more direct hit without deception you would aim to receive the ball a little lower down the shaft of the stick.

Train your hockey gaze: shooting more goals on target with the ‘quiet eye’ technique

Sports psychologists are researching elite athletes’ vision on the ball. They are finding that apparently the better athletes are at making the ball go where they want it too, the better they are at something called ‘quiet eye’ tracking.

Scientists at Calgary University and Essex University are using eye trackers to establish the best place to look to make an athlete more effective. The idea is to give your eyes as much data as possible before you take a hit or a shot or a throw – and let your body follow.

“When your eyes provide the data, your motor system just knows what to do,” says lead scientists Joan Vickers, from Calgary University.

Much of the work has involved tracking pro golfers and basketball shooters. The findings showed that when golfers look at the back of the ball, then the hole, then the back of the ball again – holding their gaze there steadily, they will putt more balls.

They have also looked at ice hockey goalies and found that when they saved successfully, they had fixed on the ball earlier and left their gaze there longer.

The key to success, and you can be trained in the technique, is to reduce and still your eye movements. Look at the target (goal) then back to the ball and fix your gaze on the ball. The following video shows how gaze training might improve penalty kicks in football – so I assume the same technique would improve strike rate in hockey penalty flicks.

It’s more tricky when you are dealing with a moving ball. However, looking at the reports what might work is looking with a quiet eye at the point in the net where you would like the ball to go as you wait for an injection on a short corner. Then without too much eye movement waiting for the ball to come and keeping your gaze down on the ball as you strike, not wobbling the eyes around and looking quickly up at the net again. Presumably, as in golf, looking at the back of the ball is best.

The key is to stop your gaze tracking around all over the place and to keep it ‘quiet’ – with two seconds spent looking at the target.

The technique has been used in basket ball (see the above video). The players start b saying ‘nothing but net’ as they are preparing. Then look at the front of the hoop in the centre and say to themselves ‘sight focus’ which lasts two seconds – enough to lock the eye on the target point.

Another benefit of calming your gaze and not letting it dart everywhere is that, research shows, it can help with anxiety.

Here’s a link to a good article about all this which has deeper references to study papers and scientists.

The Quiet Eye and its application to skill acquisition and performance

 

 

 

How using SOB hockey technique can help you score more goals. Tips from an Australian coach

Coach Paul Gaudoin teaches some future team Australia players how to deal with some of the new tactics he has seen emerging in International hockey.

He’s noticed that players are physical and might barge in and dispossess you of the ball. To combat this he insists players must use SOB techniques – stick on ball.

He talks about this at 3:40 into the video – and shows how to get a ball away at the goal for a shot without taking your stick away. Hope it helps you score more goals.

 

 

Do you want to eliminate players? Try ‘the ramp’

 

Just spotted this new Youtube clip on the Grays twitter feed @GraysHockey. It shows a brilliant little stick work trick you can use to eliminate a defender and it’s called ‘the ramp’. A great skill to use as you are coming into the attacking D.

It involves a little twist of the stick to create a ramp that can lift the ball over an opponents stick. Fantastic. Give it a go…

It’s from Inside Hockey and presented by Shea McAleese.

How to use ‘the spin’ move to escape a defender

 

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.