Field Hockey: defending

defending DRILLS
View All
defending SESSIONS
View All
defending ANSWERS
View All

I am looking for team defensive drills, not individual defending or defending in pairs or threes

I am looking for team defensive drills, not individual defending or defending in pairs or threes, but ideally as a whole team to ensure we keep the right shape. Do you have any suggestions other than a straight forward game?

Martyn Cremin Coach, England

I am teaching 7 weeks of Hockey to a Mixed set of about?

I am teaching 7 weeks of Hockey to a Mixed set of about twenty 14/15 year olds. I'm unsure of what to teach them each week i.e. week one attacking, week two defending etc. Any ideas for a seven week overview?

Archived User Coach

Looking for a 6-a good side hockey formation?

I am looking for 6 a side hockey formations. We have been playing 3-1-1-1. Worked very well, however sweeper was so good, goalie never touched the ball. I want to move sweeper to goalie/ sweeper but our mid field player is too good to just play right. What to do? 2-2-1-1 or 1-3-1-1?     

Archived User Coach

How to encourage positional play (spreading out) to U9 players?

How do you encourage positional play and spreading out on hockey field U9 girls level?

Archived User Coach

What are the key skills in individual defending?

What are the key skills in individual defending and what are the best ways to practise them?

Jayson Hood Coach, England

How can we coach key defending skills?

How can we coach young players (U18) to get better at individual defending skills such as closing down, tackling, marking and covering? I'm looking at all these areas and I'm coaching at the JRPC in Leeds this season and one of our sessions needs to be on individual defending. What I want to do is ensure that I am providing a training session (or set of training sessions) which cover the key skills involved in being a good defender and then build drills or constrained games around these key skills. Any advice much appreciated! Best wishes, Jayson

Jayson Hood Coach, England

Defending the ball carrier

With the new own goal rule it's getting very critical to defend the player who is carrying the ball.The team that I coach had a major problem on this area last season.I've already told them what they sould do in order to make it difficult for the ball carrier to scan for a pass or hit the ball inside our defending circle,or at least make him to drible instead of making a dangerous pass.But,they are not used to doing it and we have conceived a lot of goals that way.We have the same problem at defending a free hit inside our 25 yards,when the attacker dribles with the ball for the neccessary 5 meters and then smashes it into our circle.I am trying to think of a way or an excersise that will make them do it,but I haven't found one.Any ideas for both ways could be very helpful.

Archived User Coach

Any ideas for defending 3d skills?

I have a midfielder that wants to practice defending against lifted balls in a 1-2-1 situation, any ideas for drills that will assist with this?

Steve Ashdown Coach, England

Level 2 Practical Assessment - Help needed!

Hi all,I've got my level 2 assessment coming up on Sunday and I just wanted to quickly check whether there's a 'recommended' structure to the session plan.Btw, this is a level 2 practical assessment and is with juniors (U14s).One coach has suggested a 3 part approach:1) techniques and skills required2) unopposed 3) opposedThe theme I'm choosing, which is a bit of a generic one, is defending in a channel (as I'm a defender and it's pretty straight forward).I'm not really looking for info on what exactly to include (i.e. theme specific) but rather general structure or whether E.H. have an approved structure to sessions?My session's on Sunday, so a quick reply would be awesome.Thanks,Gary

Gary Thompson Coach, England

How can I help my U12 girls to attack?

How can I help my u/12 girls to attack? At the moment they are running beside the opponent but not attacking the players.

carien Coach, South Africa

Question about a drill in the Sportplan session

Hi, in this week's session "My players lack the ability to pass accurately", there's a progressive exercise called "shoot and recover". Sorry if this is a dumb question but when a player is 'shooting' at their target goal, is the other player allowed to defend the goal?I ask because the diagram makes it look like you're pushing over around 12m and I'd have thought that unless you make the goals huge, with a player defending the goal, people just aren't going to score.Also, if you make the goals really big, it kinda defeats the person of the accuracy element to the exercise.Hope you can assist. Regards,Gary

Gary Thompson Coach, England

How to coach school team with novices and experienced players?

Hi,I perhaps naively, expected to have most of our team from last year carry over and only have a few new comers to integrate and get up to speed with the rest. However meeting the team at our first practice last night i find I have five players still at school from last year and the rest all new comers, most of whom had not held a hockey stick at all till practice.This being only my second season coaching (year 9 to year 13 boys) has left me feeling a little blindsided, and feeling quite unsure how to prepare practices that target both groups of boys. Do i lump them both groups together, keep them separate? What drills/exercises to best bring the new comers up to speed.I don't want to neglect either group, keep practice worthwhile for the experienced boys, but also bringing the new comers up to a level were they can mix in with the others and learn organically from them while practicing as a team. David

David Smith Coach, New Zealand

I'm a new Varsity head coach and don't know what I'm doing

Hi all- I am 37 years old. I played field hockey for 3 years only (in high school). As you can imagine, I'm not very good/experienced. I was a competitive soccer player which made me good enough athletically to play field hockey but anyway, the point is: I never played field hockey at a high level.I now find myself in a head coaching position. (Long story-I did coach some field hockey some years ago and had a blast but it was a while back). Anyway, I have three assistant coaches who aren't much more experienced than I am. Our high school program is VERY weak and so nobody really steps up to coach there.Basically, my question is: what do I do? I have some girls who have played but not much. Then I have girls who literally don't know how to hold their stick and are quite I athletic. We barely have enough girls to field a team. As for drills, I'm trying to use this site but if you were in my position, what specifically would you be doing with these girls so they don't lose 7-0 every game? Right now, I'm focusing on body control and comfort with the ball- (we are playing possession and they are so uncomfortable they just hit the ball away because they don't have the skills to hold). Any help you can give is greatly appreciated!Brooke Asked using Sportplan Mobile App

Archived User Coach

How to improve personal defense ability?

How to improve personal defense ability?

Archived User Coach

Base line defence - How to prevent teams scoring?

Baseline defence: How to prevent teams from Scoring goals from the left and Right baseline.Do I tell my left and Right half to channel player outwards ,protect feet,frontal pressure and allow other defenders to tuck infield.Or do I opt to tell defenders to go man to man inside 23 and then apply frontal pressure ,channel player outwards ,watch angle of engagment.As recently we only conceded through attack on our baseline

Jason Adams Coach, South Africa

Defending ball and help side

Looking gro theory or practicals on defending help side vs ball side.Any help?

Leroy Coach, South Africa

Need tips on Goaline Defending...

What tips can I give defenders when attackers are approaching the goals from the goalline

Archived User Coach

How to improve personal defens...

How to improve personal defense ability?

Archived User Coach
defending WEB VIDEOS
View All


  • search our library of 1000+ hockey drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans

What our users have been saying...

Coaches from around the world look to Sportplan for coaching confidence.

Excellent drills, very detailed videos. Useful site for my U15 boys team.

Parry U15 boys Hockey Coach, Australia

I love using Sportplan. It's been a great help for co-ordinating hockey practice and being able to help tweak skills and getting the most out of my players!

Laura Swezey Hockey Coach, United States

Great site. An absolute must for coaches who are willing to change and learn new drills. Superb, simply superb.

Ignatius D'souza India

Wow what a great website, I have found sportplan an important tool for me when planning my netball sessions with my netball team. There are alot of very helpful tips/ideas/skills that I can learn and teach to my team. Thank you sportplan I hope to continue to use your helpful tips and to learn more about improving my teams netball skills. Thanks again....keep it up....

Monique New Zealand

I have been using Sportplan now for 3 years and can honestly say that I have never repeated the same session twice. My girls are always focused and are improving every year. Thanks Sportplan.

Debbie Cross Australia

What a fantastic tool. The Chalkboard and session tools make an unbelievable difference in making training plans in both time and organization. I will be instructing all of my assistant coaches that this tool must be used for all sessions during the season, so that we may build a club coaching resource library.

Wes Campbell Rugby Coach Canada

I can't get enough of the Sportplan, It has given me back the enthusiasm i was starting to lose. My girls are so keen and are ready at 14 to take the next up in their game. Sportplan will help no end.

Cornel Basketball Coach, South Africa


  • search our library of 1000+ hockey drills
  • create professional hockey coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested hockey plans

Sportplan App

Give it a try - it's better in the app

YOUR SESSION IS STARTING SOON... Join the worlds largest hockey coaching resource for 1000+ drills and pro tools to make coaching easy.