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.

Leading in an arc – how to create space

This drill with coach Steve Lancaster shows a tactic for creating space behind a defender. He asks the players to run in an arc. When they just run straight across to receive the ball he explains that the defender can just easily move with them and get the ball in front of them.

When they run in an arc it brings the defender with them and they then run back quickly in the gap created behind to receive the ball.

“Make the defender come with you and it creates space behind you,” says Lancaster.

Drag flick masterclass with Kwan Browne and Sky Sports

A feature in the Telegraph (link at end of this blog post) talks about the importance of the drag flick – and why it’s lacking in Team GB women. It also hails Grace Balsdon as the next drag flick specialist.

The piece also links to a brilliant drag flick masterclass from Kwan Browne. Watch right to the end as he teaches the presenter the total beginner’s guide to drag flick footwork.

  • He approaches at a 45 degree angle for more power
  • Keep head low over the ball. Really important.
  • Pull from far behind body to get more power.
  • Last big step.
  • Follow through with where you’ve delivered the drag flick.
  • Left foot in line or in front of ball.

Kwan says he’s worked with javelin coach John Thrower (that name seems ridiculously apt) who suggested it’s important to break down every part of the drag flick to make sure each is contributing to maximum power. The angle of your feet and more hip rotation can apparently give you a more powerful flick.

Telegraph article