We all played field hockey in elementary school. Some may argue that it was the sport of kings and queens—and for a while, it was. But these days, it’s not as popular as it once was, especially since schools have banned it as a result of its inherent danger. If you’re a grown-up now and want to get back into field hockey, here are some tips on how to do it safely and effectively.
Play In Summer
The best time to play field hockey is in the summer. Not only do the fields have more grass, which means better playing conditions, but the weather is also ideal for kicking a ball around. If you’re the competitive type, you can also enter tournaments and leagues during the summer. It’s still a bit chilly at night in the summer, so make sure to bring plenty of warm-up gear with you, especially since you’ll be playing barefoot. And when the weather’s good, you can really pack the venues and the crowds will come, which will make it easier for you to have a good time.
Stick To The Classical Skills
When you’re learning how to play field hockey, make sure to focus on the basics first. Before you start trying to be fancy and creative with your stick handling or passing, work on your angle and positioning. Learn to stay low and absorb the hits, which will enable you to develop your endurance. All of this will come in handy when you’re playing a fast-paced game. If you want to become a better field hockey player, don’t worry about trying to be like the best in the world, because the better you are at the basics, the more options you have in terms of creating plays. Also, make sure to keep practicing the basics every day, because if you forget them, you’ll find yourself back at square one—and you’ll have to start over again. This is especially important if you decide to play in a league where everyone is vying for the top spot. You don’t want to end up falling to an inferior opponent just because you screwed up on one or two plays. So, make sure to work on your positioning and keep your eye on the ball at all times, because field hockey is a dangerous sport and anything can happen. For instance, a simple slip can result in a serious injury such as a broken leg or arm. That is why it’s important to practice the basics correctly.
Join A Club
One of the best things you can do for yourself as a field hockey player is to join a club. Not only will you be able to play with others who share your passion for the sport, but you’ll also get the opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches in the world. Many clubs offer an athletic scholarship or some other type of financial aid, so be sure to apply for these if you’re interested in playing at the collegiate level. Another great thing about clubs is that they often have talented players who are looking for a place to play. So, if you’re looking for a chance to play professionally, don’t hesitate to contact a club coach or manager. But be smart about it and make sure that you’re ready to commit to the schedule, because coaches and managers have a lot of games and practices to deal with.
Play On Field Hockey Fields
Another thing you can do to improve your field hockey skills is to play on field hockey fields. Not only will this help you develop your touch and feel for the sport, but it will also provide you with additional training grounds. If you play on natural surfaces such as grass or dirt, your coaches and managers can also help you prepare for competition by analyzing your swing and hitting practices. So, if you have access to these types of surfaces or if you know of any nearby fields, make sure to sign up for a practice today!
Take A Lesson Or Two
If you decide to improve your field hockey skills through instruction, you have two options. You can either join a class at a nearby gym or take a private lesson. Even if you have the money to pay for private lessons, it can still be worth it to take a class, because you’ll get the opportunity to meet people who share your interest in the sport. If you’re looking for a place to learn more about field hockey, consider taking a look at the US Field Hockey Association website. This is the governing body for the sport in this country, and their main website is a great place to learn more about upcoming schedules and news stories. In addition, they offer a blog with helpful tips and instructional videos, which can be accessed from any device.
Play In The Backyard With Your Kids
Another thing you can do to improve your field hockey skills is to play in the backyard with your kids. Not only will this provide you with additional training grounds, but your kids will also get the opportunity to play with a ball. They may even find it fun, and it’s a great way for them to socialize too. If you play in the backyard with your kids, make sure to have a look at the previous years’ seasons to know which ball to get. Just make sure that the one you get is light and easy to handle. Otherwise, you may end up injuring yourself or one of your children.
Take Care Of Yourself
As we mentioned above, playing field hockey is a dangerous sport. This is especially true when you’re playing on thin ice or frozen surfaces. Make sure to take care of your body and play with proper equipment. You should definitely wear some type of padding and gloves, especially since you’ll be using your hands a lot. In addition, make sure to protect your shins and thighs from getting chapped by the ice or the rough surface of the field. And don’t ever play on an empty stomach, because this can lead to you getting sick or injured. Another thing you can do to protect yourself is to warm up properly before playing. This is especially important if the weather is below freezing. You don’t want to end up with an ice-related injury or strain, so it’s important to do some light jogging or other types of exercises to prepare your body for play. This will also help with your mental preparation too. When you’re ready to play, your body temperature will be at its optimum level and you’ll be able to enjoy the game without fear of getting hurt. This is also the case when taking a hard fall, because your body will automatically brace itself to absorb the impact and prevent injury. So, as you can see, there are several ways you can improve your field hockey skills. Make sure to practice the basics every day, focus on fitness and conditioning, and don’t be afraid to try new things. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to enjoy the game again and continue to improve your overall level of skill.