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The coaches for each age division will follow a practice protocol yet will also have the freedom to adapt their training according to the developmental needs of their players. Each practice will consist of skill training and scrimmaging. The Coyotes Field Hockey Club has identified the following skills as necessary for the development of a great field hockey player and  goalie. These skills will be part of our practice protocol.


Field Player

Carrying (dribbling)

  • Tracking (carrying on angle)

  • Shows ability to identify the space and move with ball there

Off-Ball Movement

  • Cutting/leading to space

  • Flat leads

  • Through leads

  • “Flag run” leads

  • T-spot lead

  • Moon cut

  • S cut

  • Punch run

  • Immediate lead after pass

  • Re-cutting

Elimination Skill

  • Pull right, pull left, pull back

  • Double pulls

  • V pull

  • Spin out

  • 3D skills – forehand lift, reverse stick lift, pop, Argentinian dribble

  • Deceptive skills – fake over ball, body sway

  • Acceleration after elimination/cut off defender

  • Ability to execute under pressure and/or with limited space

Scoring Skills

  • Possesses large shot selection and can appropriately choose shot based on varying scenarios

  • Push bounce, hit, reverse hit, sweep, reverse sweep on goal

  • Flick

  • Chip

  • Reverse chip

  • Pop shot

  • Forehand deflection

  • Reverse deflection

  • 1v1 versus goalie

  • Ability to earn offensive corner


  • Push pass – off left foot, off right foot

  • Bounce pass – off left foot, off right foot

  • Forehand sweep

  • Deceptive sweep

  • Reverse sweep

  • Hit

  • Reverse hit

  • Aerial

  • Forehand reception

  • Reverse stick reception

  • Aerial reception

  • Ability to execute passing and receiving on the move

Defensive Skills

  • Defensive footwork and positioning

  • Channeling

  • Flat tackle

  • Shave tackle (reverse tackle)

  • Jab

  • Double team

  • Marking

  • Open field defense

  • Corner defense

Offensive Corner Skills

  • Inserter

  • Stick stopper

  • Hitter

  • Dragflicker

  • Deflector

  • Back-up

Defensive corner skills

  • Fly

  • Trails

  • Post

Other skills

  • Stroke

  • Shootout



Young goalies need to master the basics of footwork, balance, and clearing. Repetition is essential. Understanding the rules and defensive objectives will build confidence in communication. The goal is to build a consistent goalkeeper.


Types of Goalkeepers:

  • Reactionary

  • Aggressive

  • Angler

Goal is to create a keeper with a healthy, situational combination of all three.


  • Read, anticipate, recognize if you’re a about to be in a 1v1

  • Understand your positioning in the circle (home, yard, street) on where to meet the forward on the 1v1

  • Keep a stick+ distance between you and the attacker to be able to keep them in front

  • Work your feet. Stay on your feet at all costs.

  • Avoid: rushing out too fast, rushing out too high, getting too close to attacker if not going for ball, grounding self by diving too early, using stick if you struggle to stay balanced, leaning toward the side you’re working your feet toward, being too far away/caught in no man’s land--basically 1v1s are hard.


  • Know GK related rules

  • Know defensive 25 rules

  • Know penalty stroke rules/what constitutes a penalty stroke

  • Know all corner rules


  • Tight and quick footwork

  • Efficient and sharp when changing angles

  • Stay low throughout and practice keeping eyes up

  • Break down steps to a stop before changing angle

  • Stay balanced at all times even when changing direction

  • Avoid: kicking kickers together, bobbing up and down, and going around cone corners before you have completely stopped.

Penalty Strokes:

  • Weight forward when going for ball

  • Read it quick off the stick

  • Go 100%— a half-hearted decision is a whole mistake

  • Avoid: leaning back, guessing, reading too much into other body and stick cues

End line play:

  • Protect the “Goalie Gate” which is end-line to stroke mark when facing ball on end-line

  • Practice your range of each save. Can you reach with just a kick save, lunge save, prep step- kick save, prep step- lunge save, dive, or do you need to drop step to your goal line and re-adjust your angle?

  • Stay home on your post if no pressure is on ball or if you’re in doubt

  • Before slide tackling on end-line look for cues: attacker’s head is down, going with speed, not in control, you have pressure on ball

  • Speed of ball and distance of ball away will determine what GK will need to do

  • Avoid: half decisions, stepping toward the ball if not going to slide tackle, rounded drop step to get on angle, bringing body weight up, watching ball go thru “goalie gate” without getting a touch on it or at least drop stepping quick to where it’s going


  • Prep-step is everything (small side shuffle, then open up to kick save or lunge clear)

  • Each clear should hit the sweet spot on either your kicker, glove, stick, leg guard

  • Accuracy in clearing: clear where you mean to in order to avoid rebounds

  • Clear through each ball & re-adjust angle to where the ball is now

  • Avoid: leaning back, bringing weight up, not re-adjusting to new angle.


  • During play: Name, then command, degree of urgency

  • Triage: Start with getting pressure on ball, then recognize who is the next most dangerous pass, and therefore who you can assign to handle

  • Confident communication stems from understanding the rules, your defenders’ abilities, and your defensive/team objectives.

  • Avoid: pointless talking, using the same tone all the time, talking without moving with the play yourself, relying on just you to communicate when playing circle defense.