Indoor game players are both defenders and attackers.
At the back you must have strong and skilful people. In the middle you should have cold blood people, fit and very skilful whose control of the ball must be close to perfection. Up front? Well, quick, fit and skilful players will be required.
One word is important: skills. Unlike outdoor hockey, indoor is a good thing to improve oneís skills. And therefore before any tactical plan is practised, one should always bear in mind that skills with the stick is vital. Therefore some simple exercises such as two players, one ball, passing/stopping/passing should be practised, 100 times if needed!
Also moving 1+1 and the ball up and down the pitch.
One single important rule at anytime and any situation: players must be low on the floor and two hands on the stick. Why? Better control, more strength and (surprisingly) quicker to run. Because if you are low, once you have received the ball you donít waste a minute going down.
Using the boards during exercises is also very important. Those exercises are boring. To make them more appealing, some games should be organised. The competition spirit will always be important in an indoor game. How many times have I seen a team lead 4 or 5-0 striking back and winning? It happens!
Games such as relays, dribbling under a certain time with 20 cones in a line, team passing (10 passes), triangles...
So you want to be an elite athlete or you believe you are one already. You expect to be a starting player and play the full seventy minutes of every game. Review the following game situations and measure yourself:
1. During a lull in the game, you decide to walk over to the sideline and change your hat or maybe have a leisurely drink of water and then walk back to your position. 2. The other team is getting the ball and preparing to do a push-in, so you decide to talk to Megan about what courses she has chosen for next semester. 3. We are preparing to take a penalty corner and since you are not directly involved in the corner, you have a conversation with Barb from the other team about last seasonís semi-finals. 4. You mistrap the ball at mid-field, it deflects towards their forwards and they move towards our goal. You are sincerely unhappy about your mistake, so your swear a little bit, glare at your stick, and start walking back towards our goal. 5. A defender from the other team attempts a tackle and smashes your stick. The ball goes off your foot. The umpire makes a call for the ball hitting your foot. You start a discussion with the umpire while the other team takes the free hit.
If you have done any one of these or similar things in a game, then you are not an elite athlete. For those of us who believe we do not lose focus during a game, we must measure how we perform in practice. Review the above situations again and you have most likely done everyone of them (or similar ones) in practice situations.
How the Elite Athlete practices
A field hockey game consists of two thirty-five minute halves with a five/ten minute half-time break. During the half-time, we only have time to get water, obtain physio treatment if necessary and receive coaching instruction. We warm-up at least half an hour before the game and we do a cool down after the game.
The elite athlete adheres to the following general practice maxims whether he is training with a group or on his own:
1. He warms up for practice just as though he is going to play in the finals of a major event. 2. The core part of practice is run at the pace of game, so she does not take any kind of break for thirty-five minutes unless she has a serious injury. She has drunk enough water before practice starts just as she would do before a game. 3. He takes the five/ten minute break, just as the gameís half-time, knowing that a second thirty-five minute game pace session will be conducted.
During the practice, the elite athlete follows these specific practice maxims:
1. When a drill is completed, he leaves the balls where they are and immediately starts running at a 3,000m pace (i.e. not a jog) around the perimeter of the practice area while the coaches set up the next drill. He does not wait for his friends and there is no discussion with anyone during the run. 2. If she mistraps a ball, or makes a bad pass, or the shot at goal is bad, or the ball deflects off the goalie, she "sprints" the complete distance and gets that ball. She sprints back to the drill with the ball, she does not get another ball from another group, nor does she get a ball from the ball bag. In this way, her game intensity is maintained, and an added benefit is that we do not spend anytime looking for balls during our practice time. 3. If he mistraps the ball or makes a bad pass, he is out of that phase of the drill and goes back to the beginning. The real game is unforgiving when we make a mistake, the elite athlete learns this in practice. Your team does not continue with an attack if the ball goes off your foot, so why should you or your group continue the attack in a drill if you have breached the rules of the game or failed at the purpose of the drill.
A game at the elite level is not a Social Event. The elite athlete treats all practices the same way. The philosopher said that if people knew what it takes to be successful, they would stop dreaming about it.
Developing Your Field Hockey Skills Peter D'Cruz Off The Crossbar Article Series
Even if you play on the national team for a major field hockey country, you probably do not have the luxury of a personal coach who solely watches your performance during a game. And, even if you had such an extravagance, this coach wouldnít be able to provide you with feedback during the game, the time when critical advice on how you are performing can make a meaningful difference. Therefore, you have to personally coach yourself during a game if you want to perform at, or close to, your best. To successfully coach yourself in a game, you must logically measure your performance during a game by critically analyzing your actions and their results. Review the following examples that consider both success and failure:
Why did I choose a through pass, e.g., the ball goes off the field?
Why was my pass intercepted?
After a successful pass, is my team in a better situation, i.e., was there a better choice, or did I put a teammate into difficulty?
Why didnít a teammate, who was square, or backward of square, communicate that they were open? You can share this information with them right away.
Am I looking off the ball when I am not the receiver of a pass?
Hitting or pushing
Always measure whether a hit wouldíve been a better choice than a push and vice versa.
Judge your technique each time, not just when your technique fails. It is important to remember what you did right, so you can repeat it.
Did I move towards the ball or were my feet glued to the turf?
Was my stick too flat to receive the ball on the run?
Did I focus on the ball all the way onto my stick? What distracted me?
Why didnít I have time to move to trap on the forehand instead of the reverse stick?
Carrying the ball
Always ask why you ran with the ball instead of undertaking a pass?
Why I am carrying the ball way over on the right side of my body or on the reverse side?
Why did I get tackled?
Positioning in attack
Did I move up with the play immediately to support the attack?
If I was the primary person to receive the pass, did I run off the ball into a place where I could receive the ball easily from the person in possession, or did I make it more difficult for them to pass the ball to me?
Where should I, the non-primary person, run to get open after the primary person receives the pass successfully?
Did I communicate my lead with the person who made the pass?
Am I making space for a teammate who is receiving a pass or am I crowding the space?
Did I call sensibly to let a teammate know that I am available for a pass?
As soon as we lose possession, or in anticipation of a loss of possession, which player is my responsibility?
Are you closer to your goal than the player you are marking? Being square to the player is not good enough.
Always measure the distance between you and the player you must mark.
Am I positioning myself to tackle on my strong side or am I going to be caught tackling on my reverse side?
Why did I lunge forward to tackle?
Where did the ball end up after I made the tackle? Did it bounce back to the opposition? Does my team have control? Why did I push the ball off the field after making the tackle?
Did my pressure lead to a loss of possession by the other team?
Did I breakdown the oppositionís attacking play?
Am I in a position to cover in the space behind the player who is trying to tackle an opponent?
What space should I be covering when the ball is on the other side of the field?
Am I looking off the ball to be aware of the positioning of other players?
Positioning in defence
As soon as we lose possession, or in anticipation of a loss of possession, did I run back immediately to be in my defensive position?
Am I calling the right advice to my teammates?
Almost every action undertaken by a team in attack fails otherwise teams would score a goal every time they had possession of the ball. On other side, most of the actions undertaken by a team in defence arenít successful, but through the failure of the opposition to attack successfully, we donít pay the price of giving up a goal each time.
If players measured their own actions logically and critically, the team will immediately start to perform more effectively. The players will be focused on correcting their collective mistakes as the game proceeds.
(Authors note: I developed this approach of measuring my performance in a game during a time when I had the misfortune to play for bad coaches, coaches who berated us unfairly and/or praised us nonsensically).
Jools Autret The Forwards are not the main players. That may sound weird but they have a role of support above all. They are here to attract the ball, all the stick work is for the defenders. It is vital to work on deflections and short passes with little time of execution. Pace will be a key factor to the success of a team and not the fact that the two forwards can dribble ten players outdoor as it will be of no use here. Indoor hockey is a completely different game, it would be a mistake to underestimate the preparation it requires.
How to use the boards efficiently.
The problem of using the boards is the angle and the ball pace you use.
Using the boards
It is very much like snooker or pool table. The thing to remember is that on a pitch you have 4 cornersÖthis sounds very stupid but it has its importance, those corners are dead ends! Few players can actually leave that corner without making a foul, and without losing the ball or passing it for a goal. The wings have start form the post, behind the defenders who usually will rely on the zonal marking. The wings will then call for the ball by placing themselves in front of the defenders at the edge of the D.
Deflections in Indoor
Again, deflections and short passes are very useful for that kind of situation and for indoor hockey in general.
I would therefore use square passes to frame the other team, then the wings from the inside must go towards the outside. The midfielder and the defenders will have to organise the whole game.