10 Skills Goalies Learn at Field Hockey Camp
While most field hockey camps are not designed just for goalies – because if they were, who would the goalies be able to scrimmage against? – most, if not all, field hockey camps are going to have the goalies, or wannabe goalies, set apart from the rest of the group in order to have their own special lessons.
If you attend these sessions, you will learn all of the skills that you need to be a great goalie. While many people will tell you that the goalie is the most important position on the field, do not let that fool you into thinking you can just go out and take it if you want it. Playing goalie is important, and it is also very hard. If you want to be a goalie, you need to be willing to put in a lot of work and lessons. Field hockey camp is a great way to start accomplishing this.
10 Skills a Field Hockey Camp Teaches Goalies
There are a lot of skills necessary to learn if you want to be a goalie. Here are ten of them.
As a goalie, you are going to be wearing special gear. One of the pieces you will wear is called a kicker. It is a foot pad that goes over your shoe for protection when you are kicking. Kicking is an important part of the goalie job. You can kick the ball away from the goal as a way to clear the ball – which is a skill we will discuss a little later.
This sounds like something that you would not need to learn. You just kick the ball, right? Actually, wrong. There are certain skills you need to learn in order to kick better. For example, if you kick the ball in the right part of your kicker, you will have more power and accuracy.
Jabbing is not only the goalie’s terrain. In fact, it is more common outside of the goalie position. However, it is important for goalies to learn it too.
Most of the time, you will probably use your feet to keep the ball out of the goal. However, sometimes you might want to jab at the ball with your stick. This is actually a good technique for distracting the opponent.
At camp, you will learn how to correctly perform this skill.
Glove and Pad Work
Goalies have to wear a lot of padding. It can be burdensome to wear all of this when you are not used to it. At field hockey camp, you will not only get comfortable wearing all of your gear, you will learn how to use it to your advantage and the purpose of wearing it at all. Hint: a big part of its purpose is to protect you when you are hit by the ball. Because you will get hit by the ball.
Field hockey goalies need cat like reflexes. You have to be able to dive and turn and block seemingly all at once. At field hockey camp, you will learn a lot of the skills that make you an agile player. You are going to learn to be fast on your feet and able to spot and stop the ball when it is coming towards the goal – no matter how often it is coming.
Blocking Penalty Strokes
If you play goalie long enough, you are going to end up in a situation where you have to block a penalty stroke. It probably will not be your fault. You weren’t even involved in whatever your team did to get a penalty. However, none of that matters. It is you that will have to be standing there alone, no other defense, making sure the other team does not score. How do you do this?
At camp, they will teach you how.
Clearing the Ball
Stopping the ball from entering the goal is not enough. If you keep it in your general vicinity, the other team is just going to keep on shooting. What you need to do is get the ball as far away from you as you can, preferably into the hands of your team. At camp, you will also learn the art of clearing the ball from your area.
As goalie, you are going to have to communicate with your teammates. Where is the ball going? What angle do you need to be? Is someone coming towards the goal? It might seem like an easy thing to do, but it is actually a pretty important skill that actually requires training and practice.
Diving to Stop the Ball
When you want to stop the ball from reaching the goal, you will often have to dive for it. One of the skills you will work on at camp is how to dive to stop the ball and to avoid hurting yourself.
Where you stand and how you block the goal depends a lot on where the other team is standing. Learning angles is an important way to make sure you are protecting the goal correctly.
One of the ways to perform a lot of the skills discussed above is through proper footwork. You will learn lots of drills that will teach you what to do with your feet and will teach you to be quick and mobile.
Being a Goalie
Being the goalie for your team is no easy feat. It takes a lot of hard work, hits, practice, and dedication in order to be successful. But if you work hard and earn the position, you have the honor of being what many people think of as the most important position on the field. With that type of prestige, all that hard work becomes worth it.
If you are a goalie and you want to practice or you want to become a goalies, think about going to field hockey camp this summer and learning the skills you need to be successful.