Making The Most Of Your Team’s Time On The Hockey Pitch

A collection of the best players in any sport does not make the best team unless they practice and play together – a tough job for any coach to co-ordinate. Where to start?

As with many things in life, prior planning can make a huge difference, and hockey drills are no different. Efficient training sessions are one of the biggest factors in the success of your season, so it pays to do a little research and set up some formal drills to get the most out of your time together.

Set Goals

Understand what you want to achieve from each session and set clear goals. That way, you will know if you have achieved it.

Consider The Details

You might want to mix things up a bit depending on when your last game was and when the next one falls. The pace will vary, and you will want to focus on different things. Understanding what your individual players are capable of will help you greatly as a coach, but that does take time.

You should also know where the team needs improvement. Be realistic about what the team can achieve and in what timescales. Consider also why they need improving.

Choose The Drills

Once you have analysed what you need to do, you will be in a position to choose the right drills to make a difference. Repetition is good, but beware complacency or boredom setting in. New is good, but so is familiarity. It’s about getting the balance right.

Consider warm-ups, too, when planning sessions. There are some great online tools to help you with your coaching, keep players interested, and make your training sessions fun for all involved. Something like http://www.sportplan.net/ will ensure you are never short of ideas.

England Hockey has some ideas for helping organise your club and your training sessions, and the report from Sports Coach UK gives even more detail for achieving excellence in coaching practice.

Evaluate

Always review activity. What worked well? Could it be improved? What needs to happen next? Clever evaluation will help shape the next session, and including other coaching staff and even key players will make it even more effective.

Always refer back to your objectives, and if necessary, set new ones.

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