If you’re looking to get noticed on the field in your next competitive hockey game, then it’s time to incorporate some advanced striking techniques.
The Squeeze Shot
Try this one when you find yourself crowded out in a D. To do it, bring your hands together up high or move them further down your hockey stick. Remember that the higher your hands, the more power you will have. Then place the ball on your back foot or near right. Placing your weight on your back or right foot, hit the ball in a downward motion. This will squeeze the ball into the turn and lift it. It will be harder on sand surfaces! It’s well worth practising beforehand on the type of pitch you will be playing on, so you can anticipate the degree of ‘lift’ when you squeeze down.
The Quiet-Eye Technique
This technique is used by elite athletes to perfect their vision on the ball. Those with real control over the destination of the hockey ball are experts at so-called quiet-eye tracking. The idea is that you give your eyes the maximum amount of data before taking the shot, and then your body will follow. Research shows that your body knows exactly what to do when your eyes have taken in the information. To get the technique right, slow down your eye movements and reduce them before the shot.
Look at the goal, and then back at the ball – and keep your gaze fixed on it. This technique can improve the strike rate of your penalty flicks when you can master it. Try using your quiet eye on the area of the net where you want your ball to go as you wait on a short corner for an injection. The key lies in keeping your gaze focused rather than allowing it to flicker all over the place. You can find other field hockey drills like these at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/.
So rather than just playing the old shots and becoming predictable in your game, shake things up and surprise the competition with some brand new shots. You’ll keep everyone guessing and get a real sense of achievement when you help your team to score extra points – and maybe win the game itself – at your next competitive fixture.