Have you ever thought about what should you perceive before receiving the ball?
And what is the first thing to attend after receiving it? Have you ever noticed how intelligent players defend inside the circle?
And how do they use their body to protect the ball? Have you ever felt that intelligent players are ahead of the action?
In Andreu Enrich’s latest book, 50 tips from intelligent players offers tips about tactical principles but also about skill acquisition.
He delves into mental strength, optimising perception and how to make the right decisions. The aim of the book, he says, is to provide concrete tips about things that most intelligent players do.
In an extract from the book, Enrich delivers essentially what the book aims to deliver: written by a coach but directly addressed to you, the player, the real protagonists of this game.
There is nothing worse than a motivated fool. And in hockey there is nothing worse than someone who doesn’t know their strengths and weaknesses. How many times have you seen players trying to perform technical actions that they don’t dominate? Well, most of these players don’t even know what they are good at!
Player, you have your profile, based on different characteristics and singularities, like everyone else. You are better at running long distances with the ball or you are good in short passing combinations. You are better in being focused on your own game or you are better in communicating to others. You are better in shooting with the backhand or in shooting with the forehand.
That is fine. First of all you have to assume that you have a set of features that are above the average and some others that are below the average. Your first responsibility is to reflect about these characteristics. You have to design your own SWOT analysis (ideally together with your coach!). Do it! But that’s just the first step!
Once you know your strengths and weaknesses then you must play in coherence with these characteristics during your competition games. You must try to boost your strengths during the game and work on your weaknesses during training sessions.
Take into account that coaches will evaluate you, first of all, regarding your performance, so play with your strengths. But coaches will also evaluate you according to your potential of growth, and for that you must show self-consciousness and willingness to improve.
Knowing thyself is the first tip to become an intelligent player. Knowing, accepting and loving yourself with your vices and virtues you will be in a position to perform well and become a super valuable player for your team.
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