If you want to appear on top of your game, then you will want a few tips from the pros. Here are some important factors that professionals have identified as the main constituents for a hockey defender:
Passing includes passing skills and the full range of passes. Skills include the ability to slap, hit, push and overhead as accurately as possible to teammates. Range refers to the ability to pass over a long distance and maintain a good pace of the pass as well. Passing is an important skill to work on because it will make it harder to attack and increases your options to get out of tight spots.
- Read the game
A good defender will be able to read the game, knowing when to leave players, intercept and when to hold back. This ability develops over time and through experience, but to get a head start, try to consider different game scenarios and analyse what is going to increase your understanding of the tactics and the game overall. Video analysis is very helpful for this.
- Strong in 1v1
When it comes to 1v1 a defender must be able to hold his or her own in a contest of power and will. You must be sure that you will win, can manipulate and move your opposite number into a position for you to make a better tackle. Fast footwork is an added advantage in a 1v1 defence situation as well.
- Solid countermeasures
A defender must be able to create strong, clean handling developed through training to have good timing and accurate decision-making skills. Work on Field hockey drills with Sportplan, suppliers of effective drills in many sports including Field hockey drills.
Only a strong presence will make attackers feel pressured and makeup mistakes. Knowing how to close the space between you and the attacker quickly is important to make it harder for them to pass. By keeping them pressed, you can force them to make mistakes when they look up to make the pass.
Staying calm and making quick decisions under pressure is also an attribute of a good defender. Knowing the right moves to make in a timely manner and applying the skills you want quickly is what helps to keep the ball from the opposition. Keeping a cool head under pressure is a mental skill that needs to be sharpened from time to time.
- Communication skills
The ability to send clear instructions in a calm way to your teammates is very important. Without this, there will be little bit defensive organization. Part of the work of defenders is to help teammates with the position and guidance because they can see the entire field in front of them.