Hockey: Cover and Delay - Proud to Coach

Excellent drills, very detailed videos. Useful site for my U15 boys...
Parry, U15 boys Hockey Coach

COACHING POINTS

Head

The defending player should constantly scan for possible tackling opportunities, teammates to channel the ball carrier into and possible passing opportunities for the ball carrier. Through good vision defending players will be better placed to make better decisions as to how best channel and defend against attacking players. 

Hands and arms

  • It is preferable for the defending player to position both hands on their stick whilst channelling an attacking player, although some players may use one hand in order to extend their reach. 
  • If the defending player uses the jab tackle/dummy jab tackle whilst channelling an attacker, they remove their right hand from their stick as they lunge to jab at the ball. As this is a quick movement the right hand should return back to the stick quickly after the jab has been completed. 

Body

  • The defending player should attempt to close down the attacking player by running in an arc/curve towards the ball carrier. By arcing/curving their run the defending player should be able to force the ball carrier onto the defenders stick side, which is the strongest side for the defender to channel on. 
  • By channelling the player onto the defending player’s strong side the attacking player may be forced to take the ball onto their reverse stick which is generally is weaker than carrying the ball on the open stick side. 

Feet

  • The defending player will be sideways on to the attacker when channelling. 
  • The defending player remains on the balls of their feet to enable quick movement and enables them to change their direction suddenly if necessary. 

Stick

  • The use of jabbing movements with the stick keeps the ball carrier focussed on the ball. By forcing the attacker to attend to the ball it will divert their attention from being able to identify passing/movement options and will force errors. 
  • When not jabbing the defending player should keep their stick as close to the ground as possible in order to continue to channel the ball carrier and dictate to them which space they should use.

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