Think about your strengths and weaknesses when choosing your best field hockey position. Forwards should be fast and composed around the D and highly skilled at shots such as the tomahawk. Adept at dribbling from both wings forwards should also possess a strong shot and be ready to take a penalty flick. Midfielders should have durability and good fitness where they are able to switch from defensive to attack quickly. Defenders must be dependable at the basic clearances and mentally level-headed. Goalies should be brave and have learned good technique in making themselves large in the goal.
Before I bought my first stick and signed up to the Colts, I needed to answer the good question: which position is best for me on the hockey field. At school and college, I slipped into midfield. I was never the best shooter though I liked the battle for dominance midfielders fight for. I liked the chance to flick balls out wide and perhaps pass a killer through ball. Let’s go over the strengths needed for each position.
Think about your strength and what you’re good and about what tends to come naturally to you.
Forwards will tend to be really fast players, particularly at running down the wings attacking, with speed. some skills in reverse play will benefit you. Center forwards will tend to be pretty calm and composed under pressure in and around the D.
Obviously, forwards need to have good shooting skills so hitting tomahawks (see my article) accurately at goal and other smart shots are a must. The ability to be composed under pressure is really a key component of what makes a great forward. Forwards are tough players who don’t mind throwing themselves past defenders flailing sticks and sliding in a shot to score. They must be aware of the balls, midfield will pass into space.
Forwards are expected to have a few tricks up their sleeves so learning 3D skills are important. The jink steal is a favorite of mine.
Good practice with your teammates is important and net training. Defending also starts from the front so if a forward sees a defender about to take a long shot the striker must be fearless in trying to stop the pass.
Midfielders: are the players that will have pretty good skills, hustle into tight spaces under pressure. They also need a good level of fitness so that they are able to attack and defend, basically running from 25 to 25 throughout the game.
The players that are able to run all day tend to be playing in and around midfield. You, also need to be strong in the tackle and in dribbling the ball where most of your work will be done in the crowded areas of the pitch. Then there is passing. You need to be able to find that pass to the forward line. This is about recognizing where to pass and where the best place is going to be by the time the forward gets there. They should also be pretty good at distribution over the whole field. The high scoop pass is a neat skill to learn. Communication is really important, being able to direct people into the right place in the right positions and form a chain from the back to the front.
Defenders: are the most dependable players. These are the players that do the basics exceptionally well. They are able to make good interceptions, so they’re pretty good normally at reading the game, identifying when to go in for the tackle, and being brave. They’re also pretty good at distribution, being able to pass to players all over the whole field.
Communication is vitally important – being able to direct people into the right place in the right place. Being dependable and not needing the limelight is key as a defender. A calm head and strong defensive skills are important to be able to get out of those dangerous situations, especially when you under pressure. Like the midfield scooping the ball upfield is a good skill to learn.
Goalie: Are you good at keeping your hands high when an attacker looms? Are you good at staying big? Experts talk about the 5 seconds defensive surge from the goal line to save a stroke at goal.
The 5 seconds surge to save the ball in the D can be played over again and again in a game so you need to be fit and fast. Not only do you need to be very fast off the line, fearless in that five-second charge you have to be fit enough to do that over and over again in a match. This can be done with training.
Getting fit like a sprinter practicing the short surging sprint over and over again with your pads on so you’re prepared for the game. Sometimes the goalie is the most important position in the team having to save penalties, penalty shoot outs and make great saves from open play.
Do you like to take that responsibility as you can help save your team the game? You must also be mentally stronger than the rest of the team for when you concede a goal you have to pick yourself up and go again without the disappointment hindering your performance for the rest of the game. Your size can help. If you are the smallest player in the squad do you think you should be the goalie? Probably not.
I hope my research and opinions have helped you decide which position is best for you and I wish you happy game time in your best position. Which is best suited for you.