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Field Hockey as a sport revolves around skills, techniques, fitness and true sportsman spirit. Whether you’re a beginner or a trained player, the game has several exciting as well as overwhelming turns. However, a right and experienced coach can definitely make you ready for every situation on the field. Also, the coach provides useful tips on field hockey to build your techniques and improve your game.

Here we’ll decode the top 5 tips for coaching field hockey, which we’ve collected from some of the well-experienced hockey coaches.

So, let’s take a look at these tips:

Tip #1 – Build Proper Communication:

Whether you’re a novice player or an experienced one, without communication among the teammates the game can turn out quite difficult and mismanaged. Be it a defender or striker or goal-keeper, the communication with other co-players can increase the chances of winning the game. However, if you’re a goalkeeper, this tip is most crucial for you. Since the goal-keeper is the last player on the defensive line, the communication with the other defensive players will help him/her to tackle the attacks or the one-on-one situations.

Besides, field hockey is certainly a complex game, so understanding the rules and techniques is important. But in case you’re unsure about the techniques and forms of the game, you must communicate it to the coach without any hesitation. In these cases, transparent communication between the players and the coach is needful.

So, the next time you’re out on practice, do keep in mind this tip for paving way for an ultimate win. The best way to practice this is remind your players to do it during the game and when you guys are on the practice runs together.

Tip #2 – Leading, Passing and Hitting:

In case you’re a complete beginner to field hockey, this tip will help to understand the basics of the game. This tip focuses on the three significant skills of hockey- leading, passing and the hit. On the field, understanding how the player will take the ball through and make a strike is important to observe. And the skill of leading will help you to position yourself on the field precisely, which allows you to observe the ball and also build a space between you and the nearest defender. Well leading requires an understanding of the field and the positioning of the other players as well.

Apart from the position, what makes the game move on is the calculated passing of the ball forward. According to coaches, it is advisable to take notice of the competitive team player’s positions on the field to ensure a successful pass. For defenders, they can perform fake slapping or overheads, but a striker will always prefer one-touch passing to minimize the other team from taking the ball.

With leading and passing tips, the player can surely take the ball to the goal post. But the most critical part of the game is the hit. As per the tips given by several coaches, considering the head, body, foot and ball position is helpful for a powerful hit. Hitting as a skill is quite difficult to master, so these tips will help you understand the techniques of a perfect hit. Also, some coaches advise that during a hit, the hip must rotate and the body must transfer weight forward while you position your head on the top side of the ball.

This tip is geared towards getting your beginner players into the intermediate skill level as fast as possible. Depending upon your position, and how you much you run you might want to shoot the correct field hockey shoes to ensure you don’t end up with bruising on your feet.

Tip #3 – Tackling the ball (Flat Stick Tackle):

This tip is crucial for the beginner, as tackling the ball on the field needs proper practice, knowledge of rules, and the right skills. As many of you know, their are rules and restrictions on the use of sticks for controlling the tackle, so here a skill that will help is Flat Stick Tackle. This skill helps to play fair and opt for a clean tackle with the opposition as well.On this pretext, the coaches’ point out that coming out early to tackle and having a flat foot can turn the tackle into a foul . Also, there are possibilities of injury. So, it is best to play patiently and wait for the right moment for a clean flat stick tackle for a fair game. With this tip, you can bring really increase your tackling skills and practice the timing of when to use this move.

Tip #4 – Positioning of Hand:

If you’re playing the position of goal-keeping, then there are a couple of crucial points. These are keeping the body weight forward, watching the ball, maintaining hand positions and proper communication. However, out of all these, the hand position is at times difficult to master. The experienced coaches suggest that the keepers focus on a comfortable hand position. To do this, the keeper can simply raise their hand above the body torso, above shoulder level and check whether they are comfortable with the position or not. This will help them to tackle high as well as low shots when the time is right.

For a goalkeeper, this is undoubtedly a tip worth considering and is one of the most helpful ways to coach this player during this time.

Tip 5 – Develop a range of shooting styles:

For offensive players, shooting is your most practiced skill. It determines the scoring of goals and ultimately the end result of the game. However, at times it is confusing to understand how to shoot to score a goal. And for this reason, it is important to develop a range of shooting styles. If it’s a long-range shot, then either you can go tomahawk or a direct hit. And for a short-range shot, even a strong push or just a flick is enough. Moreover, nothing is better than regular practice for developing this skill which includes practicing each shot at least 4 to 5 times a practice session, practicing with a defender, and having the proper conditioning to continuously shoot for an entire game!

With these 5 tips on what to coach for field hockey, you can truly help your players master the game and enhance your skills to a great extent. However, you must also practice as these tips with them so they can truly reap the best results and you can surely chase the game.

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