Qualities of Field Hockey Defenders
At Revolution Field Hockey Camps, our directors make sure to spend time developing the mental and physical side of each player to help them reach the next level the following season and beyond. This is accomplished by bringing in people within the sport who play for national teams, top college programs, and other highly rated educational institutions. What’s really helpful is that they don’t just see themselves as coaches – they’re role models representing the game they love, and they want to pass that love and passion down to the generations behind them.
Whether you’re participating in one of our Maryland Field Hockey camps or you’re planning to arrive at one of our many other locations across the country, there are certain aspects of the game all of our coaches work on with campers. When it comes to becoming a great field hockey defender, there are skills and qualities that all players need in order to be successful. Here are three that immediately come to mind when we think about this particular subject.
Ability to Read the Game
The old adage is that practice makes perfect, and that’s certainly the case here. As a field hockey player gains more experience by simply playing the game consistently, they’ll soon learn how to read certain game situations and possibly even anticipate what could happen depending on whatever situation they’re currently in.
Some of this can happen organically as a player matures, but if they’re looking for ways to accelerate this process, there are a couple things they can do. The first is looking at and analyzing video, which is helpful in having them articulate what they see and need to do in a situation. The second is the simply provide hypothetical scenarios for them to dissect.
Keeping Your Composure
Nobody likes having to make a decision while they’re feeling stressed or under pressure – regardless of whether we’re talking about field hockey, another sport, or something in every-day life that’s not related to sports at all. It’s easy for defenders to feel pressure during a game because they’re one of the last lines of defense to prevent opponents from scoring a goal. If they make a mistake and it results in a goal, that can change the entire complexion of a game.
Learning to visualize all situations and remain calm regardless of what’s happening on the field will allow defenders to make decisions their confident in rather than doing something in a state of panic or fear.
Adept at Passing
Knowing how to effectively pass is a vital skill for any field hockey player, but it’s especially important for defenders because they’re able to intercept the ball from their opponent, it’s necessary for them to clear the ball out of their area on the field so fellow attackers can take it the opposite direction and put pressure on the other end.
There are two elements of passing that are important to have. Passing skills are the ability to push, hit, slap, tomahawk, and overhead accurately to another teammate. Meanwhile, passing range is the ability to reach further distances and where pace of pass comes into play.