Indoor hockey tips and techniques

Last night was session one of a five-week Introduction to Hockey course at the University of East Anglia with DL Total Hockey.

Coaching points…

  • Receive a ball coming from the right near your back foot. Keep your feet facing forward in the direction you want to go for a faster movement when you’ve received the ball.
  • Angle the handle of the stick forward. This stops the ball bouncing up – a no no in indoor hockey.
  • Come out of contact. Don’t carry the ball into trouble. Instead, pull the ball backwards out of contact and move away from a defender.
  • You must move quickly to be support once you’ve passed the ball because there are so few players on an indoor pitch. Pass and move, pass and move.
  • Keep the stick in contact with the ball as much as possible.
  • Don’t force passes through a defender, pass around.
  • Use the width of the pitch. This stretches out the opposition and makes them easier to beat.
  • Pass, pass, pass and keep the ball away from defenders.
  • You can carry the ball hard in a right diagonal direction one-handed. But use your left hand on the stick. Outfield, you’d be inclined to carry to the right with your right hand on the stick but left hand works best indoors. It feels odd but it’s effective. Come out of contact, V drag then carry hard in a right diagonal direction with your left hand on the stick.

Indoor hockey

Update May 2015

New Introduction to Indoor classes just launched at DL Total Hockey. Click here for more info and bookings

Indoor hockey

It’s off season here in the UK. With no hockey from April to September many club players can find they haven’t had a touch on a hockey ball for months – not the best way to keep you performance as good as it could be.

Dain Lewis, a centrally contracted coach with England Hockey, who runs reckons heading indoors for your hockey is a great way to improve your skills ready for the next outdoor season.

According to Dain, The Netherlands and the German teams have high world rankings, so they should know a thing or two about how to be the best at hockey. These teams hone their hockey skills indoors because the game offers more touches on the ball, more stick discipline since you can’t raise or hit the ball and defending practice that forces you low and nimble.

Indoor, also helps you get faster footwork and more decision making since you’ll have far more touches on the ball with just five outfield players on the pitch.

“You’ll definitely improve if you take your game indoors. I can really boost your performance in the outdoor game,” says Dain, who coaches indoor hockey sessions in Norwich, in the UK.

I’ve been attending his Monday night sessions at the University of East Anglia sportspark and they are hugely enjoyable. A few of my team mates have started coming along too, although we’ve found that fellow outfield players take a little convincing about how enjoyable indoor is.

Their first reaction is to assume they wouldn’t like it in comparison. It takes them to try it and realise how many transferable skills you learn for the outdoor version, as well as how much fun it is, and they are usually hooked.

Indoor hockey moves

With only five people on the indoor pitch, passing and moving is key. The following clip at 3.25 minutes in shows a neat pass and move drill that resulted in a neat goal by the right post player. A player on the left midfield position moves it to a left baseline player who sends a tight cross to a player sitting on the right post – goal! Would be worth trying to set this up as a regular indoor set piece because here it works a treat.