Before starting any sports practice or game, you should make sure to do a full warm-up that prepares the players both physically and mentally to play. A good warm-up routine includes both a cardiovascular component such as running and a series of stretches that highlight the muscles most used during the sport in question.
Monitoring field hockey warm-up drills They are an excellent addition to any warm-up routine, as they emphasize the basic skills of the game while getting the joints moving and the blood flowing to prevent further injury.
One thing I’ve noticed in my years as a field hockey coach is that players hate running laps. So in our field hockey practices, we replace the running laps with a 5-minute version of freeze tag. Tag is a great way to get players running while keeping their minds more active than if they were simply running laps around the field.
After the cardiovascular section of your warm-up is complete, it’s time to stretch. I like to start by turning my head and stretching my neck and then going down. If you are inexperienced in conducting a stretching routine, feel free to contact other coaches or a certified yoga instruction for guidance on which stretches not to be missed for your field hockey team.
Successes and failures
Once you’ve finished stretching your team’s muscles, it’s time to begin your field hockey warm-up drills. When selecting exercises for the warm-up, look for simple exercises that emphasize the basic skills of the game without putting too much pressure on the players, save it for the conditioning exercises!
The first warm-up drill that I like to use in my field hockey practice is a basic hitting drill, as hitting is the most basic and useful skill in hockey. For this hitting drill, I divide my team into partners and have them stand facing each other 10 feet apart to start.
When executing this and all the other warm-up exercises, the emphasis is on perfect form. For example, when hitting, it is important to ensure that the player’s hands are firmly together near the top of the club. Use your hands and wrists to bring the club back, and the goal should be to hit the bottom half of the ball when the club goes down again. Don’t forget to stick with the stick after completing the stroke. Another thing to remember is to keep your feet parallel to the direction you want the ball to go.
I have my players swing back and forth for 2 minutes at this distance, then blow my whistle and take each player back a giant step, repeating this process two more times before moving on to the next drill.
Push pass perfection
The next of the field hockey warm-up drills focuses on the push pass, which is a better way than hitting to move the ball long distances. Using the same partners as before, have your players stand anywhere from 20 to 40 feet apart and push each other.
The shape of the push pass differs slightly from that of the hit. For the push pass, players must place their left hand near the top of the stick with the right hand lower. Keeping their eyes on the ball with their knees bent, players must shift their weight from the back foot to the front when contacting the ball. As with the hit, be sure to follow it completely. The tracking is completed when the stick is pointed in the direction of the pass.