Exercises for field hockey beginners are very important in gaining skills and preparedness for playing the game. It’s important to loosen your muscles before any expertize but with field hockey it’s also important to be stick – ready for trapping, passing and shooting the ball.
- Show the beginner a standard grip with the left hand at the top of the stick and the right hand at the bottom of the grip.
- Show the beginner a standard stance with legs apart, bent knees and a straight back
- Show the beginner a push pass where the front knee is bent and the leading foot is in line with the ball. This should be practiced with a partner. A simple trap and push pass routine will allow the beginner a feel for the ball and stick.
Pad up and shield up
A beginner’s exercises should be pretty soft, away from risk of harm, though it is recommended you make sure the beginner is wearing his or her gum shield. A hard hook in an unprotected mouth through a careless or accidental careening swing can cause suffering and even put a player off the hallowed sport for eternity. Shin pad usage would be a good idea when the beginner is practicing with an opponent.
A simple warm up after normal exercise routines
Ask the beginner to grip the hockey stick in the standard way with the right hand at the base of the grip and to lightly jog to the end of the field and back. This will allow the beginner to become used to the weight and feel of the stick and warm the body up for the session ahead.
Control While Running with the ball
After the players have practiced push passing introduce them to a standard dribble. Place two cones a hundred feet apart. Have the player take up a standard stance, position the ball a foot in front of the right foot. Teach him or her to tap the ball to the same position in front of the left foot. Meanwhile the hook of the stick should be flipped upside down so the flat side stops the roll of the ball in front of the left foot. This routine should be repeated from the left to the right and vice versa over and over again until the player has the hand of the exercise. Then ask the player to run forward tapping the ball from right to left again though in front of the player’s strides. This will teach the player control while running with the ball.
Dribbling Around Cones for Practice with Controlling the ball on both Sides of the body
When the beginners have spent some time dribbling back and fore with the ball line several cones several feet apart and ask the beginner to dribble round (weave through) them from the first cone to the last cone. This will not only hone their previous skills, it will also help with wrist control and dribbling the ball on the left side of the body and get them used to flipping the hook over as they run and change direction. Remind the beginner not to get too close to the cones for the cones represent opposing players. Weaving through cones, keeping the ball close to the stick is a great training routine beginners can practice over and over again continuing the exercise even when they become more experienced. You’ll find most international level players still dribbling through cones before match time or in training sessions.
Longer push Passing to Practice Passing Between team Mates
If the beginner has a partner ask them to stand 100 feet/30 meters apart. Ask the beginners to pass the ball to each other in a straight line. This action repeated fifty times or so will allow the players to get used to playing simple and accurate passing. This will also allow the player to practice trapping the ball before hitting the ball.
The slap shot for the more Advanced Beginner
the slap shot maybe best explained and practiced in lesson two for the beginner. However if the previous steps have been carried out with aplomb there is no reason not to take lessons further. The slap shop is simply and extention to the push pass. Have the player stand perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to the target. The posture of the body should be lower and the trailing right knee only a few inches from the ground when the ball is hit. When the bll is hit, the back swing should be barely a foot from the ball so the push becomes a slap and allows the ball to be hit harder. The ball can be hit with the shaft above the hook.
Push passing between players and dribbling with the ball are great techniques to learn at first for the field hockey beginner. When the player advances to the slap shot he or she has the foundations to play a part in a beginners match of field hockey.
Please remember to play safe and wear gum shields and shin pads. For readers whom are beginners in the USA you must also wear eye protection before embarking on your first match – good luck!