Drag flick – Canadian national team captain shares his tips


Canadian national team captain Scott Tupper shares a few tips on how he executes a winning drag flick…

# Start moving towards the ball when it has half way across the D after the injector has released it.

# Carry the ball as long as possible

# Really release through to the goal with all your body weight and momentum

# Get a footwork routine that you can just repeat each time so you don’t have to think about it.

# There is no one correct way to do a drag flick. Just find the way that suits you best and keep rehearsing it over and over



The deceptive sweep in field hockey


The sweep is a useful hockey move and this builds on that. This video shows how by opening up your shoulder and getting low, you can fake as if to pass one way and then sweep the ball in another direction. Tricky to defend! The brilliant slow motion footage as 48 seconds shows exactly how it’s done. Go forth and deceive…

How to score a deflection goal

Deflections and tip-ins are one of the most common ways to score a goal – redirecting the course of a ball hit by a team mate into the goal. Become skilled at it and you’ll be popular with your team.

Deflections are unpredictable for goalies. They pop up, fly wide, spin sideways and are difficult to defend.

Here’s a video with some international goals scored in this way.

Here are some tips to help you score goals by deflecting…

Stick angle: if the goalie is close to you, tilt the head of your stick backwards and this will lift the ball. Impossible to stop. If you’re further away from the goalie be more careful with tilt as it is unpredictable and might make the ball miss the goal. A flat stick might work better as it’s more precise.

Body position: Hands away from body. Hands and eye very close to the ball. Move towards the ball.

In her excellent technical book Field Hockey: Steps to success Elizabeth Anders recommends watching the bottom of the ball rolling towards you. Here’s her advice on how to do a diving deflection.

Field hockey steps to success

In the following video clip, the deflection player tucks himself in behind the goalie. The goalie is watching the original player hit and can’t turn round quick enough to stop the deflection that slips in behind him.



It is important to keep the stick on or near the ground at all time

Move the stick head towards the ball, in line with the path of the ball.Players should not look at the goal during the skill this makes the stick turn and the ball is not likely to be deflected.

It is important that the player deflecting the ball is not standing too wide of the goal (the ball will be deflected over the back line instead).

Just get a stick on it: however which way you do it, the aim is to touch a hard ball that’s coming in just wide of the goal. If you touch it, you stand a chance of scoring.

This England Hockey has some deflection tips at 4:00 minutes in that might help you.

Jink steal – nifty elimination move to take the hockey ball before a defender even gets to it!

Watch out defenders  – be very afraid! Here’s an effective, new elimination move for a skilled attacker.

This is a handy little move if you want to take the ball off a defender, jinking it over their stick and into the space behind them.

The coach in this clip is Redcliffe Leagues Hockey women’s coach Sophie Nottle.

Your stick needs to be placed over the defenders so you can steal the ball from them – their stick doesn’t even get a touch. The stick position is shown below.

jink steal

if you’re not careful the ball can apparently jink up and into your own feet. The coach explains that to play it into space instead, you need to angle the stick handle into your body. With the handle pointing towards you, the ball will land in the space between the sticks and you can head off towards the goal. Note the feet position – the front foot faces towards goal so you can be ready to explode forward when you’ve stolen the ball!

‘Let the ball do the work,’ says Nottle.

It’s a bit of a tricky move and most likely one for the advanced players among you – but have fun trying. If it works it would be a fantastic, impressive steal – and really annoying for those pesky defenders.

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!

Drag flick body position secret – why you have to get back and chest low

This video from Reds Hockey Club, Perth, Australia is helpful for learning to dragflick because it slows the clip and directs you to focus on one aspect of the shot.

The coach is Nico Resta from Argentina.

He says there are 15 or 16 points to think about when learning to dragflick and this video looks mostly at three – footwork, body and finishing position.

Coaching points:

Grip: Start with your bottom hand in the middle of the stick. You can move it higher as you become more adept.

Feet: Left starts level with the ball.

Back: Chest and back have to be ‘really low’. This is because hand and stick have to parallel with the floor. ‘Always low until you release the ball’.

Here’s another clip of Nico showing off his stick and ball trick skills.

And another of him in action. I love the ball played ahead into space at 6:44 in this clip.