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How to be a Great Striker

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Striker is a position in hockey which is a bit like marmite: you either love it or you hate it. For those who love it, please do read on, as you may just find the key to being great (that is if you are not already great!).

You could have the most amazing hockey team in the world - fantastic teamwork, effective and accurate passing, defensively strong - but if you are struggling to score goals, or even create those goal-scoring opportunities, the wins may be few and far between.

While being a striker can at times be the most fulfilling and exhilarating experience, it can also be the most frustrating when things are not quite going to plan. Here are some top tips on how to improve your striker skills to increase the times you feel the former:

  1. Effective leading - creating space in order to get your shot on goal, including leading, double leads and re-leading.

  2. Finishing in the D - confidence and composure in the D, shooting off different feet, different scoring techniques.

  3. Change of pace - speed is your most dangerous skill as a striker, change pace to deceive the opposition.

  4. Scoring mentality - having a positive attitude and a belief that you can score goals in each and every match, don't hold on to the ball too long and don't overthink it.

  5. Awareness - thinking ahead - where is the space? where are your teammates? Making decisions early speeds up your process and action. Awareness of how much time you have and so which skill to use.

  6. Receiving under pressure - good first touch and use your body to protect the ball

  7. 1v1 Elimination Skills - don't try to go through the defender! Try V drags or 3D skills to get around them instead. If in 1v1 with last defender or goalie, play to your strengths! Think calm and collective in these instances.

These 7 tips have come from GB Men's striker Sam Ward and Australia striker Ashleigh Nelson and their own personal experiences. More detail can be found in this Hockey Performance Academy article which you can access by clicking here.

For some England Hockey in-depth coaching tips on being a great striker, click here to find the EH Attacking Principles.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and check back soon for the next BHC top tips!

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