Don’t Blame it on the Rain
From time to time spring weather doesn’t always facilitate field hockey practices out doors. So while the plants may be grateful for a little rain, it can often dampen team spirits as well as throw a wrench into your practicing plans. However don’t let the rain get you down, and use the following field hockey coaching ideas for moving your practices from a soggy field to an indoor gymnasium.
Starting Things off on a Fun Note
The first of my field hockey coaching ideas for relocating practice indoors is to start things off on a fun note. Most players don’t always enjoy the constraints of practicing indoors and in addition players are missing out on the fresh air and sunshine that accompany a practice on a spring afternoon.
So when practices are forced inside because of the weather, I always like to start things off with a game of freeze tag or good old fashioned dodge ball. This will inject some much needed vitality into your players while giving them an excuse to run around and have fun. Plus it’ll get them warmed up for the indoor drills and conditioning exercises.
Drills Done Indoors
The next of my field hockey coaching ideas when moving practices indoors is to implement some new drills that my players haven’t seen before. The following two drills are a great way to utilize the indoor space and get your players practicing their passing and receiving skills.
For the first drill, called the Hook Dribble, two players pass the ball to each other before taking a shot on goal. This drill can be performed with or without a goalkeeper, whichever is easier your situation. Before beginning the drill set up a number of plastic cones just before half court with a path for players to swerve around them. The players are to line up at the center line, with one extra player waiting at the far left around the center line.
To begin with, the player at the front of the line runs with the ball though the cone path. Once they have completed the path, they pass the ball to player 2 who runs in a sharp hook towards the top of the circle and takes the shot on goal. After passing the ball to player 2, player 1 assumes the position at the side of the center line and the next player in line begins the journey around the cones. After players have gotten the hang of it, run this drill quickly to keep players on their toes.
For the next drill, called the rotate forward, you’ll need to set up a cone course on the left side of the court before the half court line. Have all the players line up behind the cones except for one who stands on the left just over the half court line.
At the sound of your whistle, player 1 maneuvers the ball through the cones, then passes to player 2 upon completion. Instead of arcing and shooting like in the previous drill, player 2 passes the ball back to player 1 who turns sharply infield and can either take the shot or pass back to player 2 for the shot. When running this drill, make sure the emphasis is on clean backhand passes at full speed.