Penalty shuttles are becoming more and more important in the game of hockey - and are increasingly used to decide the biggest games. And yet, many players will never have had a chance to practice, or think about, what they would do in the situation. Even if you don't end up taking a shuttle, thinking about what you might approach a 1 v 1 with a keeper is no bad thing - who knows when it may occur at a crucial moment in a match?

In the video below, EVO young players (and Pakistan international Adnan Zakir!) demonstrate different methods. There is no single right way, but this should give you a few different ideas!

Like this post? See How to Save a Penalty Shuttle

The various approaches you will see in the video are as follows:

  1. Turn back on keeper and spin - hides the ball from the goalkeeper's view, making it difficult to anticipate when you might release your shot at goal.
  2. Faking with the stick over the ball - keeps the keeper guessing, your aim is to make the keeper unsure which way you will go, so they are slower to react when you move the ball to one side or the other.
  3. Early strike - catch the keeper off-guard when they are rushing out, at a moment before they have close down the angles to goal and before they have set to make a save.
  4. Dummy hit, directional change & lift - the dummy hit and change of direction are all designed to fool the goalkeeper into committing to one direction of movement, allowing you to go the other way. By lifting the ball over the keeper rather than playing it on the ground, you make it more difficult for them to make a recovering dive, if they are already on the ground.
  5. Directional change at pace - a goalkeeper will not be able to change direction as quickly as you can - use it to your advantage!
  6. Spin onto reverse - where the goalkeeper is committing to you, this is an alternate way to turn with the ball. It can be risky but a possible variation!
  7. Left-right drag - where the goalkeeper has committed, this can be a good option. Note, the drag is not flat, but goes back towards the attacker, to minimise the chance of the keeper getting the ball by pulling it out of their reach.

These are just a few ideas - the key aspects to a successful penalty shuttle are:

  1. Don't panic / rush. You often have more time than you think!
  2. Use your control of the hockey ball to move the goalkeeper - place them where you want them by moving the ball to the left or right.
  3. Once you've moved them, use your control of the ball and directional changes to take the ball away from them.
  4. Keep them guessing as to which way you will go and when you will release the ball.

Try different ideas in training, have fun and learn what works for you. Enjoy! 

Coming soon - Penalty Shuttles - tips for goalkeepers...   

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