How To Become A Field Hockey Coach? [Ultimate Guide!]

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A Field Hockey Coach is responsible for developing the tactics, strategy, and training of a team in order to achieve success on the field. The job can be quite demanding, as you will be responsible for teaching athletes of all ages how to play the game, lead a team and become better individuals.

However, if you are interested in coaching field hockey, then here are some of the most promising paths to follow.

1. Undergraduate Studies

The first step to becoming a FIELD HOCKEY COACH is to complete a bachelor’s degree in physical education, preferably with a specialisation in sports science. Through your undergraduate studies, you will learn the theoretical background of field hockey, including biomechanics, kinesiology, and sports psychology.

After earning your bachelor’s degree, you should consider pursuing graduate studies in coaching in sports science, where you can further specialise in team coaching, individual coaching, or biomechanics.

2. Coaching Certification

Upon earning your master’s degree in physical education, you can start working in-field as a high school or youth hockey coach. You can also become a volunteer coach in college or university leagues, or an assistant coach with some of the major professional teams in North America. From here, you can continue to secure a position as a head coach in a professional organization.

In Europe, you can continue to progress your career by completing a post-graduate degree in Coaching. This can be either a Master’s or a Ph.D. in physical education with a focus on sports science. This will then allow you to work at a more senior level and take on a greater leadership role on a team. Similar to a bachelor’s degree, this will develop your theoretical knowledge of the game as well as increase your practical experience.

In North America, Canada specifically, the Path to Coach is a relatively straightforward process. After earning your bachelor’s degree, you will need to complete a Master’s degree in physical education. After that, you can apply for a college or university to grant you permission to become a FIELD HOCKEY COACH. Once you are granted access to the proper courses and qualifications, you can then begin your coaching career. From there, you can progress through a number of pathways to get to the top as a FIELD HOCKEY COACH!

3. Experience

If you are just starting your coaching career and want to secure a permanent position, then obtaining at least three years’ experience is a must. In line with the Path to Coach in Canada, your experience can come through either a graduate school or via the workforce. However, if you are looking for an alternative route, then you can take a more traditional approach and gain practical experience by joining an organization as an assistant coach or team mentor.

In either case, with your experience, you can further your professional development and gain more credibility by joining a coaching association and completing a Continuing Education Certificate in Coach Education through a Post-Graduate Diploma in Coaching. Alternatively, you can complete a Master’s degree online through a reputable institution.

4. Field Hockey International (FHI) Certification

If you are looking to further secure your position as a FIELD HOCKEY COACH, then you can gain certification from Field Hockey International. FHI certification will allow you to develop and administer tests for athletes in order to objectively measure their athletic ability. This is a widely accepted certification and demonstrates to potential employers that you have the required theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed to effectively coach field hockey.

If you are an advanced coach without formal certification, then you can also coach locally established school teams or take on the role of an assistant coach with a professional organization. However, this will not provide you with the opportunity to develop and administer test to athletes, which is required for FHI certification. To do that, you will need to complete a Master’s degree in sports science, or become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

In either case, with your FHI certification, you will be able to take on greater responsibility within the field hockey community and further establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

5. Read Important Field Hockey Books

It is crucial for a FIELD HOCKEY COACH to understand the science behind the game. For that reason, you should read numerous field hockey books before and after working as a coach. Doing so will increase your knowledge and allow you to make better judgments on the field. When searching for the best books on coaching field hockey, you should consider both the authors’ opinions and your own personal experience as a coach. Here are some of the most important books you should read if you are interested in becoming a field hockey coach.

The Field Hockey Coach’s Handbook

This well-written book will guide you through the entire process of coaching field hockey. The first part of the book provides the reader with the theoretical foundations of the game, including biomechanics, kinesiology, and sports psychology. Then, it goes on to describe how to implement these theories into practice and offers a large number of coaching examples.

The Mental Game of Hockey

In this book, Dr. Michael Joyner explains the mental aspects of hockey. This aspect of the game can be quite complicated and, for that reason, it can be quite difficult for a layperson to grasp. However, knowing how your brain works while playing hockey can greatly enhance your game. For instance, you can develop strategies to improve your performance or become better at avoiding mistakes. As a result, this book provides a wealth of information for any coach interested in learning more about the mental side of hockey.

Game Theory Made Easy

This is perhaps the most important book for any coach interested in understanding the game at a deeper level. In it, Dr. James Ackerman takes the reader on a theoretical tour of game theory, explaining the concepts behind the game and how they influence the outcome. The concepts covered in this book are quite complicated, but it is an excellent starting point for any coach interested in furthering their education in game theory.

With game theory, you will learn how to determine a “fair” outcome for a game, regardless of who won or lost. For example, if you are coaching a team in a friendly game, then you can use game theory to determine the best number of goals you should aim for.

More Than Meets The Eye

This is an excellent book for advanced coaches who are looking for a more in-depth understanding of the game. In it, Dr. Michael Stewart goes into great detail about various shooting and stick skills, as well as how to teach them to players. For instance, you will learn how to teach a player to shoot with the proper technique and what muscles should be used for each shot type.

Overall, this is an essential book for any coach, as it provides an in-depth insight into the technical, tactical, and psychological aspects of coaching field hockey. Having read it, you will be better prepared to lead a team and implement new strategies into practice.

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