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.

Hockey tomahawk strike – technique

Watching live feed of the India Hockey League it’s clear that the reverse hit is crucial for these high-powered teams.

The reverse hit, backstick shot or tomahawk – whatever you want to call it – is a useful striking move for a left wing.

So how on earth do you perfect this nifty move? In the following video, coach Tim Collier at Ryde Hockey Club, in Australia, walking you through the exact technique.

I also think the following video clips are helpful too…

Finally, there’s a great video clip from my favourite coach, Tjerk Van Herwaarden. It’s teaching reverse hit, but you wouldn’t know it from the title. Can’t seem to embed a link to this in my post – just keep saying ‘video does not exist’. But it does exist. I’ve watched it and if you look for the following on youtube, you will find it.

Tjerk Van Herwaarden: Coaching Technical Skills for Field Hockey

Hockey drag flick – technique

The drag flick is particularly useful in two circumstances in field hockey. Firstly, to score in a penalty corner when there is foot movement stepping into it (penalty corner drag flick). Secondly, when your team is awarded a penalty strike from the penalty spot and it’s a one on one between attacker and goalie.

. I’ve looked at a lot of technique-videos for drag flicking and this clip (click on this link to view Drag flick)  is one of the best for penalty corner drag flicks. This one is really quite good too and walks it through in slow motion…

And for the real drag flick hockey anorak I’ve just stumbled on this academic analysis of the move. Only for the serious minded player with time on their hands I think! Drag flick video analysis paper

And being the hockey anorak that I am, I spent a while slowing this other short clip of Ashleigh Jackson (link below) doing a superb penalty strike. Ashleigh Jackson penalty flick

Was interested to note that for this penalty strike, which obviously doesn’t have a run up, he starts feet apart – ball, I think, in line with his left foot. He doesn’t start with his stick touching the ball, rather there’s a slight lift of his stick backwards before he drags the ball forwards – and scores!

I gather the rules on this Ashleigh Jackson penalty strike are that the taker has to be within touching distance of the ball and must start behind the ball. One umpire stands near the goal the other near the taker. The taker must then push or flick at goal – not hit or drag the ball. No dummy shots or faking are allowed and no playing the ball and running in for a rebound after you have hit it.

Tips (I’ll keep adding to this – so please help me by adding your comments).

For a penalty corner strike…

  • Whatever your feet movement is as you approach the ball – do the same every time, so you know where you are going to end up. 
  • Keep ball on the hook of the stick for as long as possible.
  • Don’t hit the ball instead – you shouldn’t hear a hitting sound with the stick, just a smooth movement with constant contact with the ball.
  • No backswing
  • Good flickers practise on one knee – up to 100 times
  • Here’s another ‘how to’ piece from isport that’s worth a read. How to drag flick

How to score a goal in field hockey

Goal scoring in hockey

It’s just about all in this England Hockey video clip. Deflections, rebounds, sweeps, chip hits, reverse deflections…every kind of goal scoring possibility is covered here. Not sure whether you could translate these from this clip to your own play – but it’s good as a catalogue of all the possible shots available to you. My favourite is the left deflection and most of my goals this season have come from these. However, they are made easier because I have a strong centre forward with a whacking hit and I can mop up some of her wide shots and net some of her strong passes – always helps. The chip hit looks particularly useful though, so I’m going to drill that shot when we return to league games after the Christmas break.

Goal shooting skills in field hockey

This is the first of a series of three long video clips coaching goal shooting skills. Not many people have looked at these on youtube but I think they are excellent. Coach Trini Powell explains the skills easily and slowly – taking time to walk and talk players through everything. This was filmed on a hockey summer camp and although it’s long I think it’s well worth studying carefully. She is particularly good on showing you how to commit the goal keeper to a movement – only to change your own direction and fire off a shot.