Field Hockey Warm Up Drills
Field hockey warm-up drills are essential in getting the team and players ready for a game. Warm up drills should be just that, to warm up the players not exhaust them. Warming up in field hockey will get the players' blood going, elevate the heart rate and get them prepared for game time movement. It will also help prevent unnecessary injuries due to a player not being warmed up and stretched out.
- Stretching Drills: This is very vital to the well-being of the player. Field hockey requires running, contact and several motions that use a wide platform of muscles. For this reason it is important to stretch out the muscles of the player. The muscle groups to target are legs, arms and back. During your pre-game warm-ups have the players perform leg stretches (bending at the waist, hurdles, leg pulls), arm stretches (arm pulls, across body extensions) and back stretches (hands on waist stretching side to side and forward to back).
- Running Drills: Doing mild jogging and then advancing to a few runs will get the adrenaline pumping in the player and keep the heart rate elevated. The running drills are meant only to loosen the player, not exhaust them. Remember, this drill is a great way to get the blood pumping. Utilize touchline jogging and the sprint backs at no more than three repetitions.
- Passing Drills: Have your players pair off and pass the field hockey ball back and forth. This simple warm-up drill will get the muscle groups loose for game time activities. The passing drill can be a simple five minute warm-up before you progress into a more defined routine.
- Defensive and Offensive Drills: Pair off your defense and have them run defense drills on one another: goals defense, hack drills and any other regiment you have for defense. Of course they are not at game speed but will be working the game routines. Do the same with the offense. Have them attack the goal (with goalie in place) and practice their passing runs.
- Team Field Drills: The final warm-up drill is a half field scrimmage. Not at game speed, of course, but have your offense pitted against the defense in a game type scenario. Let them scrimmage openly warming up their bodies in preparation for the game. Run plays as you like in this warm up or allow the players to run as they see fit. This is a great warm-up wrap up and will get the team game time ready.