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Field Hockey Skills – Part 2

Last week we focused on skill development for Field Hockey and due to popularity of those involved in the sport we offer part two of our three part series for beginners as well as seasoned players.

Enjoy the read:

Intermediate: Shifting Gears Drill

Best for: Changing speeds while controlling the ball.

Drill Instructions

Players line up along the 25-yard line and the coach stands on the centerline. On command – a whistle blow – players loosely dribble the ball while sprinting. 

When the coach blows the whistle again, players must pull the ball back, gain control and then speed dribble again with the ball under control. 

The coach continues to blow the whistle every time they want the players to change speed. If any of the players lose control of the ball, they are eliminated from the drill.

Intermediate: Cone Weave Drill

Best for: Increased ball control skills in pressured situations.

Drill Instructions

This is a fairly simple and straightforward drill. Set up two or more stations each with five cones or pylons in a line. 

Players must move the ball in a controlled dribble through the course, alternating the sides on the way up. When players turn at the end, the ball must be moved around the end cone with control and then the drill repeated on the way back to the first cone. 

This drill can be run as a relay with four or five players in a team at each station and racing each other to finish first.

Intermediate: King (or Queen) of the Circle Drill

Best for: Great offensive and defensive ball control drill.

Drill Instructions

Create a circle with cones or pylons about 15 yards across. All players must be in the circle, each with a ball. The players have two challenges during this drill – they must protect their ball while at the same time trying to put the ball of other players out of play.

On a whistle blow from the coach, all the players must dribble their balls around the circle, moving at pace. 

They must maintain good control of their ball while trying to knock other player’s balls out of the circle. Once a player’s ball is knocked out of the circle, that player is eliminated. The last player standing in the circle with their ball is the king or queen of the circle.

Intermediate: Heads Up Dribble Drill

Best for: Teaching players to control the ball, while keeping their head up.

Drill Instructions

Form five lines of players all starting on the 25-yard line while the coach stands in the middle of the centerline. 

On command (whistle blow from the coach), the first line of players dribbles to the centerline towards the coach with their heads up, watching to see which way the coach points his/her arm. 

When the coach points left or right, the players must change their direction at a 45-degree angle without losing speed. For an extra challenge, players must perform a dodge or a fake before changing direction.

Advanced: Spin Around the Cones Drill

Best for: Develops the spin move – an advanced ball control skill for players to elude defenders.

Drill Instructions

Place three cones or pylons in a line about 10 feet apart. A player dribbles the ball at speed towards the first cone. 

They make a quick jab step, and, while maintaining control of the ball, spin around and move to the other side of the pylon. 

At the next cone, the players alternate the side of the spin. Several stations can be run simultaneously.

Continuing on with our Field Hockey Drills we focus on Part 2 of our issue

Advanced: Scoop Drill

Photo Credit PlayO

Best for Developing and perfecting the scoop, and ball control.  

Drill Instructions

Players team up with one ball between them. The offensive player will dribble with the ball towards the defensive player. 

When they are close to the defender, the player with the ball will slow down, drop their right shoulder, lower the left hand so the stick is angled back with the face of this stick toward the sky. They will then “scoop” the ball over the defender’s stick – just high enough to avoid the pressure, but not so high as to lose control. Players then swop and play the opposite position.


About Steve Erickson



Sportswave Productions is located in Delta, BC.
Sportswave promotes/broadcasts Amateur Sports within the Lower Mainland.
He was recognized by Ravi Kahlon, BC’s MLA Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation in September 11, 2017.
In December 2022 he was Awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Pin.
SportsWave offers services that extend from sports articles, to interviews with on location webcasts on
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