Field hockey has been rising in popularity over the last few years, especially with females. International female field hockey players choose to come to the United States to pursue their college or university education to play on reputable teams like Stanford, Duke, or any ivy league.
Since field hockey is an equivalency sport, coaches can give out more scholarships, although fewer are full-ride. Still, if you want to play field hockey at the college level, there is more potential to get in. It all begins with inspiration basically. One can always book tickets from reliable sites (click for source here) that sell tickets for the hockey games and watch the game live, or watch it online to get inspired. With sports, it’s how much dedication you are willing to put in. That said, you need to master these four essential skills if you want to compete with players from around the world.
1. First touch
First touch is one of the most important skills you can have when playing field hockey. It also goes by the name “trapping” and is essentially the ability to receive the ball with control and have the time to move it strategically. Getting good at first touch means that you’ll have more time to choose your next move since you’ll be spending less time trying to trap the ball in the first place.
First touch also includes trapping balls that are bouncing off both of your feet. You should practice receiving the ball from every different position to ensure you’re prepared no matter where the ball comes at you. If you’re sharpening your skills so you can attract the eyes of college coaches you can check out asmscholarships.com to find out the whole process of securing a scholarship.
Depending on the position you play, you can make different types of leads to ensure you’re in the best place to receive the ball. Getting better at choosing optimal positioning will give you more time with the ball, meaning you have more time to look around and figure out the most strategic play. Improving your positioning skills means getting better at anticipating what is going to happen next. You can do this by understanding the player on the ball, whether that’s your teammate or someone on the competitor’s team.
3. Jab tackle
A jab tackle is an underrated field hockey skill that is hugely beneficial to those who master it. Jab tackles involve putting pressure on the player on the ball. It can help you change the ball’s direction or force the other team into a less dangerous part of the field. You don’t even need to jab at the ball for a jab tackle to be effective. It’s more a tactic to control the movements of the opposing team member.
Hits are hard to master, but you’ll be an unstoppable field hockey player once you do. When hitting, you have to assess a variety of factors very quickly. These include body position, foot position, ball position, hip rotation, and head position. Plus, you also have to think about your swing, how you’re gripping your stick, the movement of your wrists, and your follow-through. Hitting is a beneficial skill to have in any position on the field. For forwards, hitting is useful when shooting at the goal. For defenders, hitting is essential for hard passes through a press.