5 Mistakes Field Hockey Players Make

As a field hockey player, do you know exactly what you should be doing in order to find success on the pitch? It takes a lot of knowledge, discipline, and instincts to do so. Here are five mistakes you should try to avoid when you find yourself in that particular situation.

Watching the Ball

Whether you’re in possession of the ball or not, field hockey is a game of constant movement and focus. That means you can’t get caught daydreaming at any time! Knowing the location of the ball is important, but it’s more important to know what the player with the ball is doing. With that in mind, you should be positioning yourself to get a glimpse of what the player is doing while also having an idea of what else is happening in the game.

You don’t necessarily have to change your position on the field – it may be as simple as shifting your body 30 or 40 degrees to get a better vantage point.

Complaining About Umpires

Umpires are humans, which means they’re not perfect. That doesn’t mean you can’t get frustrated by some of their calls when a bad one happens (and they will), but how they call a game isn’t something you can control. It’s not worth wasting time and energy on, mostly because it takes you away from the moment, which is something you actually do have control of throughout any particular field hockey game.

Just as field hockey is a physical game, it’s also a mental game. Having a strong mind and not letting bad calls bother your on-field play is crucial toward reaching the next level in this sport.

Not Performing Well Under Pressure

Remember when I just said field hockey is as much mental as it is physical? That’s applies here, too. Being confident in yourself, your preparation, and your abilities is the best way to achieve on-field success in field hockey. Typically, ball-handlers panic when under pressure because self-doubt about what they’re doing starts to creep in. Letting outside variables turn your thoughts from positive to negative forces errors and poor decisions more than anything else.

Running in Straight Lines

Running in straight lines sounds like the most obvious thing to do in sports – after all, it’s the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B. The truth, though, is that running in straight lines makes it that much easier for a defender to take you out with a tackle.

Using angles while you run will help keep the ball out of reach for defenders, while also forcing them to think harder and make a decision on how to approach you.

Passing to Players Instead of Into Space

We see this a lot in football – a quarterback heaves a long pass down the field even though his receiver is nowhere near that area at the time. However, there’s built-up trust that he’ll get there in due time. It’s the same in field hockey – you need to be passing to where your teammates are going to be, not where they are. This will allow them to keep their momentum moving forward in order to continue pushing the ball down the field.