Hockey is one of the fastest games around. Quicker astroturfs and the ability to self-pass the ball in any area of the pitch means that new situations can now be exploited that were not available even 10 years ago.
However, it is not just the pace of the player or the quickness of the pitch that matters. In fact, the most effective use of speed in a hockey match is the player's speed of thought.
Thinking ahead, pre-scanning the pitch to see where opportunities might arise, being able to spot such opportunities and execute your actions quickly to take advantage of them are crucial aspects that can lead to success. And, as demonstrated in our coaching video below, with speed of thought you can turn defence into devastating attack in a matter of seconds.
The video below features Noah Darlington, EVO coach and a key player in the England U18 Saxon Tigers as they won the Futures Cup this year. The Saxon Tigers (playing in yellow) had to defend a short corner, which broke down and resulted in a free hit being awarded to them. Noah, one of the short corner defenders, saw an opportunity to counter-attack, took the free hit quickly as a self-pass from the defensive line, ran the ball into space and launched a devastating counter with a reverse stick hit pass. You can see the results in the video!
Points to take from this video:
- With speed of thought you can turn a defensive situation into an attacking one
- Be aware of your surroundings as a player at all times, so you can take quick free-hits and use this to your team's advantage.
- It only takes 10 seconds to score a goal - never give up!