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Field hockey is a team sport that is played using a hockey stick, ball and various pieces of protective gear. Mouthguards are the most common piece of gear because they are used to protect the teeth during play. Two teams play against each other and the objective is to score as many goals as you can by shooting the ball with the hockey stick into the opponent's goal. A good field hockey player will possess a variety of skills and the only way to be a better field hockey player is by practicing as often as you can.
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Physical Field Hockey Skills
Coordination. The game of field hockey requires good coordination, mainly good hand-eye coordination. Players will need to keep their eye on the ball at all times and they must always be ready because you never know where the ball is going to be next.
Good Reflexes. Good reflexes are one of the most important field hockey skills because you need to be quick to respond to various types of plays whether you’re playing offense or defense. If you aren’t quick enough to react to plays, you aren’t going to make a very good field hockey player.
Aerobic Fitness. Field hockey requires players to run around constantly during active play. If you aren’t in good shape or you lack endurance you’re going to have a hard time keeping up with the other players. To increase your level of aerobic fitness, be sure to participate in cardiovascular exercise several times per week.
Upper Body Strength. During the game of field hockey, players are required to carry a hockey stick at all times and they’ll have the opportunity to pass or shoot the ball on numerous occasions. In order to pack a punch when you’re shooting or passing the ball, you need to have good upper body strength. It’s also a good idea to make sure your core is strong to help keep you balanced.
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Sport-Specific Field Hockey Skills
While the physical skills of field hockey are important, you also need to possess the skills necessary to play field hockey. These skills will be used every time you play and it’s important that you practice them on a regular basis.
Dribbling. Dribbling is used in a number of sports, including soccer and basketball, but it also applies to the game of field hockey. When you obtain possession of the ball, it’s your responsibility to dribble the ball until you can either shoot or pass.
Passing. Field hockey is a team sport, so you need to make sure you don’t try to do everything yourself. There will be times when the defenders will be coming after you and you’ll need to get rid of the ball and need to pass it along to one of your teammates.
Shooting. Those who possess a strong upper and middle body will be able to exert a lot of force when they take a shot but accuracy is also an important aspect of field hockey. Without accuracy, your shots will never amount to what they could if you don’t practice shooting on goal.
Defending. There are numerous times during active field hockey play when you will need to play the defender. Even if your team currently has possession of the ball, you still need to defend against the other team and try to gain possession of the ball whenever possible to avoid the other team from scoring.
Intercepting. Intercepting is one of the most important field hockey skills and it can only be mastered with regular practice. Whenever your opponent has possession of the ball, it is your team’s duty to try and get possession back. The easiest way to obtain possession is by intercepting passes that the opposing team attempts to make to another one of their teammates.
As you can see there are several field hockey skills that players should have in order to be the best field hockey player they can be. While this field hockey skills checklist covers skills specific to field hockey, it’s also important to possess good full body strength and endurance.
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PlanetFieldHockey.com: Developing Your Field Hockey Skills http://www.planetfieldhockey.com/PFH/Item-View-366-39
Graspr.com: Field Hockey Techniques: How to Dribble in Hockey http://www.graspr.com/videos/Fieldhockey-Dribbling