How to Encourage Field Hockey Teamwork
As much as field hockey is focused on an individual, that particular player’s performance won’t mean much by the end of a game unless they’re working successfully with the rest of their teammates. Everyone needs to be working in unison with one another in order to advance toward that singular goal in their sight on the horizon.
There are certain instances where creating team chemistry and cultivating an environment of selfless teamwork is easier than other times, but it’s not always something that comes naturally. So how can field hockey coaches help make this happen throughout the course of a season?
Set Measurable Goals
In the world we currently live in, having individual statistics and any kind of training progress tracked for each player throughout any given season(s) isn’t out of the ordinary. In fact, it’s weird if it’s not tracked. What’s less normal is setting group- or position-based goals in order to force players to work together to achieve a certain outcome.
And we’re not just talking about winning field hockey games. Assign certain game-based goals to both the offense and defense. If they achieve them, it means they’ve done their job, and the rewards – like winning the game – will likely be a product of it.
Give Ownership to the Players
As the coach, you’re in charge of what happens on the field, but it’s also important to let the players feel as if it’s their team, too. Everybody wants to have a feeling that their contributions are valued and heard.
Coaches need to be in control of the “important” stuff, but they also need to know the time and place for when they need to be leading the way. They don’t have to control every little movement from start to finish. Let the players show some of their personalities to and with one another.
Don’t Just Talk…Listen
The foundation of solid teamwork is great communication, whether it’s between teammates or players and their coaches. A field hockey team can feel more like a family by the end of a season, but not everyone is going to be best friends. However, just because you don’t get along with someone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still learn how to effectively communicate or work with them on the field. And for coaches, you preach communication between players, so make sure you do the same thing – if players always feel like they’re being talked at and not heard, it’ll be hard for them to buy in when the time is right.
Make Everyone Feel Important
It takes a full roster of field hockey players to field a successful team. The best way to work as a unit is for everyone to have an idea of what their specific role is. That’ll allow them to work with one another because they won’t need to wonder as to whether or not they need to be competing with another teammate for any kind of responsibility.
This lets all players on a team work together seamlessly because everyone is aware of how their role impacts the greater good.