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Hockey coaching: Know where the ground is

By Todd Willams

As most players know, the two circles are where most of all the important stuff happens in a game of hockey. Whether you’re in defence stopping the opposition from scoring or in attack trying to get the ball into the goal, it’s in the circle where all the important passes, traps, shots and saves are made.

That’s also why the circle is often a pretty congested area, with sticks, bodies and feet all moving around making it even harder.

One great piece of advice that was given to me when I was a junior was to make sure that when the ball was coming into the circle, you had your stick on the ground or as close to it as possible.

Not only did that mean you would be ready to trap the ball if and when it came to you, but it also means that the stick would be in an ideal spot for you to move it if one of those sticks or feet deflected the ball and you needed to adjust.

As a result, the good habit that I developed was to tap the ground in front of me every time I needed to be ready for the ball that was about to come towards me.

Then, not only did I know my stick was on the ground ready to make a trap but by being in front of my body and not to the side, it was helping me be balanced, on the front of my feet and ready to move forwards towards the ball if need be.

Our resident coaching expert Todd Williams runs regular holiday camps. www.williamshockeycoaching.com

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This originally featured in a previous Hockey Paper edition. Don’t miss out. Subscribe in print or in digital format.

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