10 Tips For Coaching Field Hockey
When coaching field hockey, the 10 tips for coaching field hockey should be kept in mind by coaches so that they can protect their players, teach them about the game and put together a winning team. Field hockey follows the same rules as ice hockey, only it uses a ball on a field of grass and players have on shoes, as opposed to ice skates. However, players still have sticks and must pass and shoot using the same motions. They also have helmets and pads, allowing them to physically check other players and knock them to the ground. It is a field hockey coaches responsibility to prepare players for this type of play and these ten tips will help them do that.
- Teach proper swing. Field hockey coaching should cover how players should swing at the balls on the ground, in a sweeping motion. The better each player gets at doing this accurately, the better the team will play as a whole.
- Quiz players on rules. The better educated and aware all the players on the field are about the field hockey rules, the fewer penalties and more quickly they will be able to react in game situations. This tip is incredibly important for field hockey players and coaches working together as a team.
- Toughen players up. Have field hockey players try to shoot while being hit with foam bats or shoved. This coaching tip will help prepare them for playing in physical field hockey games.
- Scout opponents. Go to their games and watch them play, so that you can train your team for the way other field hockey teams play.
- Make sure equipment is safe. There's no point in field hockey players using pads if they don't fit, protect them or are broken. Coaches should make sure their safety equipment will properly protect their players.
- Create competition within the team. This is a tricky coaching tip, as it can cause people on the team to dislike each other as they compete in different games in practice or compete for playing time. But if done correctly, players on the team will be that much more aggressive against their opponents in a field hockey game.
- Protect the goalie. Coaches should make sure the goalie is the most protected player on the team, as the goalie protects the goal and the field hockey game. This tip should be a mentality the coach encourages in practice and in games.
- Listen to your players. During the game a field hockey coach should hear what the players on the field are saying and know how to make adjustments, to not only protect players but try and win the game.
- Limit the intensity of practice before games. These should rarely be full contact practices and while players should run to keep themselves in shape and keep up their stamina, it should not wear them down before they play.
- Apologize if you make a mistake. This tip shows your players that you can connect with them and helps them to trust you as a field hockey coach.