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 and when to use the hockey ‘squeeze shot’

The squeeze shot is an effective shot to employ when you are in a crowded D. This video shows how and where it works well.

  • Bring hands together further down the stick or up high. Higher gives more power.
  • Place the ball near right/back foot
  • Weight on their right/back foot
  • Hit down on to the ball, which squeezes the ball into the astro and lifts it.
  • It’s harder on sand than water surfaces.

Hockeyroo Ashleigh Nelson says it allows you to get a quick shot away, high into the net over the goalkeeper – especially from in close in the back space available when defenders behind you.

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.

 

 

Jamie Dwyer elimination trick

A great hockey tip from Jamie Dwyer, one of the world’s best Australian hockey players. This is such a good way to eliminate an opposition player in the D, but you’d need to keep your calm to do it. This can help unbalance a defender, leaving them wrong footed and leaving you vital space to shoot – and hopefully score.

What’s not to like!

Hockey stick review: Grays GX8000 Midbow

GRAYS GX 8000 Mid Bow Hockey Stick

2014_Grays_GX8000_MidBow_HS_Micro_Composite_Hockey_Stick

I wanted to try a heavier, straighter stick so I thought I’d test out the GX8000 Mid Bow from Grays in a medium weight. I’m a devoted Grays stick fan so decided to choose from their range.

Yes it makes a massive difference compared to my previous light Grays Dynabow and Jumbow sticks. My hit is much, much more powerful, presumably because there’s more weight behind the hit. However, I feel this is at the expense of ease of stick skills, 3D and backstick shots.

The spec actually says this stick is good for these but I have to disagree and I prefer the lighter sticks for the 3D and the Jumbow for tomahawk shots.

Unfortunately, you have to buy a stick before you can really find out whether it works for you or not. No stick can do everything so it’s always a compromise between bow shape and weight and so far I haven’t found the perfect answer.

Crucially, what’s also not evident until you get this stick in your hand is that it has a ridge effect on the shaft which I loathe – and wouldn’t have chosen if I’d seen it in the flesh. If you are thinking of buying I advise you to enlarge the sales image and take a close look at the shaft of this stick. In the hand I found it  uncomfortable and more difficult to turn in your lower hand to do stick work with.

This Grays GX8000 Midbow also seems to slap hit better – with more power. Again maybe it’s having more weight behind the impact. The spec does say it’s good for slapping.

Update: Spotted a team mate using this same stick on Saturday. She agreed it was less easy to turn the stick in your hand with the ridges. However, she felt it had dramatically improved her jinking and lifting off the ball (she is a defender) and agreed it was fantastic for hard hitting.

My verdict: Uncomfortable to handle, really hate the wide ridged feel, and not the best for nippy stick skills in my opinion because the stick feels harder to turn in your hand. Amazing for supercharging your hits and slap hits.  

Here’s what they say about it on the Barrington Sports website…

GX 8000 Mid-Bow HS
New Mid-Bow HS model for 2013
Featuring new Tri-Tec carbon construction
New IFA on the surface of the head to improve control
New Energy Reduction Handle construction
Featuring new Abrasion Resistant heel protection and PP Enhanced Low Backhand Zone

MICRO Headshape
Excellent head profile for both drag flicking and 3 D skills.
Ideal head thickness for hitting, combined with thinner toe profile ideal for skills of lifting the ball using 3D one handed skills.

MID-BOW
The Mid-Bow blade profile shape has been repositioned more in the mid section of the blade at 30cm from the base of the head. The curve height is 24.75mm. The uniform bow is shaped and contoured continuously along the handle to the head and is especially contoured to improve the angle at which the stick head comes into contact with the ball – it will help give players the technical edge in performing todays 3D hockey skills. Easily identifiable by its own unique new graphical design, the Mid – Bow blade profile continues to become increasingly popular amongst a new generation of players who have learned their skills exclusively on synthetic pitches.
– Help control flat, sweep and slap hitting techniques.
– Help extend the reach zone over which you can dribble the ball freely using both forehand and backhand.
– Improve the first touch control when stopping the ball at full stretch.