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Hockey coaching: Getting the ball in the right position to pass

Australia’s Aran Zalewski goes on the move PIC: Worldsportpics

By Todd Williams

Next time you watch a game of hockey, take note of the weak or inaccurate passes. Almost certainly you’ll see that most of them will have come about because the player has not been able to get the ball into the correct position well or quickly enough.

To help you avoid this there are three simple things you can work on to help you pass better and more consistently.

Receive the ball, don’t just stop it
See if you can “catch” the ball when it comes to you so that you bring it into the perfect position ready to pass. The better you can do that, the less adjustment you have to make and the more time you have to get the pass right.

Fast hands
For the times when they ball isn’t in the right position, practice getting it there as quickly as possible and in as few movements as possible. Bad passes, deflections and bad first touches all create situations where the ball isn’t in the right spot. None of that should prevent you making a good pass if you can react quick enough and get your stick on the ball and into the right place to pass.

Footwork
Along with those fast hands, you need fast feet. When the ball isn’t in the right position, getting it there with your stick is only half the job. You also need your feet moving just as quickly so that your body is ready to deliver the pass as the time as your stick is.

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

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