How to get ball carriers to pass?

How to get ball carriers to pass?

I have a team of 14 year old girls who mostly want to run with the ball rather than pass.

A lot of them are strong ball carriers and so often achieve success this way but am concerned that this strategy will not work once the other teams get bigger and stronger, and that it is too one dimensional.

What are the best ways to change this approach?

Hockey CoachCoach
Jon RoyceCoach, England

The positive factor here is that the girls seem to want to take responsibility and make things happen. The challenge is to keep this trait but encompass it with a team based approach that gives everyone a chance to shine.

The first thing I'd tend to do, particularly if they are dominant in their local area at their age group is stretch them by playing against older girls or similar aged boys, they'll quickly learn that dribbling at the wrong time will lead to them becoming isolated and tackled as they run into a dead area or into traffic.

When they've experienced this shortcoming in their game a team discussion should bring out some critical issues, if you can use a video camera from above play this would be ideal, as there is no hiding place. If you run into problems with the attitude "they're older than us" then you need to talk about the concept of continual improvement. Out of the discussion should come some 'Process Goals' ie. when we play well we ........... our objective for the next month is ......................

On the training ground you can limit players touches, freeze the game and ensure they carry the ball at the right time ie. in creating a 2 v 1: in playing 1 v 1 with space behind the defender and not because it happens to be a Wednesday at 7pm and "I felt like it".

Carrying the ball is in vogue at present, when a player runs with the ball faster than a pass travels I'll believe hockey is a dribbling game. When push comes to shove the German Men are the best in the world in pressure scenarios and they pass it and carry it only when appropriate.

Victor HardemanCoach, Canada

Hi, very good comments and advise from Jon, I would like to add something.

1: play possesion games ( no running with the ball, 2 touches on the ball)

2: watch out that you don't discourage the player creativity but yes learn them when to go alone and when to pass. 

3: players that go alone a lot are also player with a big confidence in them self, becarefull not to break them down by only tellling them what they did wrong, if you have video show them the good stuff too.

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