One of the best ways to score goals in hockey is through short corners, used well they can be incredibly difficult to stop and regularly scoring them creates pressure on the opposition defence who know that any foul in the D is likely to cost a goal. This often means that more space and clearer chances occur in open play.
Regardless of the routines that each team has they will always be reliant on 2 skills.
The short corner injection and subsequent stop.
With the Injection it is important that the ball is both fast and accurate to allow a stick stop to take place with the defensive runner as far away as possible. Equally important is that the ball out is kept along the ground to make it as easy as possible to stop.
Without the 2 skills above it will be almost impossible for any short corner routines to be run successfully
Although you can use any outfield skill for the injection the method shown below is generally the best option. This gives some deception as to when the ball will take place as well as being both quick and accurate as well as near impossible to lift.
Although not mentioned in the video, extra power can and should be gained by also driving the right foot towards the target.
The 2nd skill is often known as either the stop or trap.
There are multiple methods for the trap but the 2 most common are shown on the video below, a successfully stopped ball can be rolled into the D for a 1st time hit or left stationery for a drag flick. Often this choice is down to player who is looking to take the straight strike.
This is a skill that we have been doing a fair bit of recently in training sessions although it is not that easy to find a video of.
This one below shows the basics of how to perform the skill. As mentioned previously this technique is best used if you have you back to goal under pressure. It can be a very useful technique if you are not far out from goal for a few reasons
The 1st is that it is a surprise and keepers are not likely to be expecting a shot to be hit in this way when it looks like the defender has the situation under control. The 2nd main benefit is that with the defender in the way the keeper is likely to be unsighted this means that they have far less time to react. The 3rd main benefit is that it is very tough for a defender to prevent the shot, it can force a defender to change their natural game.
The video below is a summary of the 1st 50 women's goals at this years Hockey World Cup.
Of particular interest in this video is the volume of goals that are scored either through a deflection or rebound by a player closer in than the Penalty Spot. It is also very noticeable that for almost all goals scored there is an attacker player 1 if not both posts.
This is a vital way of scoring goals even up to elite level and if the team reaches a point where there is always a player in those places you are largely increasing the chance of a goal coming from a strike. This doesn't even take into account an intentional pass to the back post.
Today's basic skill is the hit, as can be seen on the video below with a consistent technique this can be used to move the ball accurately at pace.
Hitting tends to be the technique that varies most from player to player and if you are in a position where you can consistently hit it where you want it is often better to make minor changes than to completely change to reflect the video technique.
Although not mentioned in the videos the most important step to improving the various skills is to give yourself a target. Particularly during shooting drills you will see a lot of players aimlessly swinging, this leads to celebrating when a goal is scored or disappointment when not. However this is only useful if you gave yourself a particular area to aim at, if you aim at the right side and consistently miss the left post you at least can see that happening and we can work at adjusting technique where needed.
This is a skill most often used on a bouncing ball on the reverse side as it is generally easier and more powerful to use the standard reverse stick technique.
Although not a skill that is required too often it is certainly something worth knowing for attacking players, it is especially effective if hit with a short and fast swing due to the surprise element
With hockey relying on a touch in the attacking D for a goal it is vital to create space to allow time for a shot or to be an option to receive a pass.
The 3D skills shown in the previous blog will help you to create that space, but there may be situations where there is not space for that. The ability to hit the ball on the turn can really help as well as make it incredibly hard for the defender.
It is important to note that the squeeze shot in the demo works best on Waterbased pitches and would not be recommended on Claremont.
Although not specific to the D the video below shows an example of the different skills International players use to create space and beat a player.
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