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.
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.
The next video shows a good attacking option that can be used to steal the ball if a defender is making a stationery trap.
This can be very effective around the attacking D if the defender has managed to cut out a pass. It can also be slightly adapted to direct the ball towards a defensive foot if they have not managed to protect their feet.
The advanced skills for today relate again to what are known as 3D skills. In these particular examples it shows one of the options for lifting the ball over a flat defense stick.
One of the most important parts of this in a game situation is to not get too close to the defender before making this move as it will allow the defender the change to make the tackle before the lift has taken place.
Having worked on this in training today here is a quick recap on reverse edge passing. This is slightly different to the previous blog post on the reverse hit here. Over this season i will be looking for both 1st and 2nd team players to become comfortable using the reverse side.
In this particular video please play particular attention to her hands, as you will see she turns the stick 'inside' or 'underneath' this is different to the more standard indian dribble where you turn over the top of the ball.
Going this way allows for a far faster change of hand position.
Today's video is based on creating space, one of the main ways to do this is through lead runs. These can be used to create space either for yourself or a team mate.
One of the difficulties with this is often the best runs end up with a team mate receiving the ball in space. It is not always easy to see that it was your run that created that space which can lead to players being disappointed at not receiving the ball.
Performed well as an attacking group this will create lots of space and test how well the defense can communicate.
Although not often considered an advanced skill marking is an integral part of the game for both defenders and midfielders. Performed well it can be used to isolate an opposition player and to remove passing options from the player in possession.
The video below shows both an example of front marking and being tight to a player, these are 2 things often overlooked here where players will often look to allow the player to receive before making a tackle. This is a higher risk strategy than intercepting the ball before it reaches the opposition player
Today's basic skill is the V Drag, this is a fairly common skill but there are a few additional points in the video below which are worth mentioning.
Primarily these relate to the footwork and ball position, done as in the video below it becomes very tough for a defender to make a tackle
Today's advanced skill is based around defending and is known as the shave tackle. This is more often performed by an attacking player tracking back.
Due to it's difficulty often the main use after attempting it once is in channelling the attacking player as well as keeping their head down. As always it is also important to judge the match situation when using this style of challenge as it could end up in a Penalty Stroke and card if you are the last player.
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
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