Field Hockey: marking

marking DRILLS
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marking ANSWERS
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new indoor 5 v 5 format? | Spo...

Does any one have any ideas on structure for the new 5 v 5 indoor format?

Lisa Nay Coach, Australia

5-yard rule in hockey? | Sport...

could someone comment on the 5 yard rule when entering the scoring area? There always seams to be a lot of wrong information regarding this rule.

Gaby Coach, United States of America

Outletting against a half cour...

overlapping outside halves ? or drop Midfield in hole?

Archived User Coach

What is your best advice to a ...

My son has been given the role of sweeper in a team that has only won  twice in two years.  He is probably the weakest player in the team.  What advice can I give him to think about when playing, so that he can improve and enjoy a personal sense of achievement. In training sessions I have never seen any drills designed to organise the defence which is amazing since the teams ambition is usually to keep the goals against to single figures! Are there standard apporoaches as to how close to be  to the player you are marking or which side to stand to stop the attacker getting free with the ball on his open stick?.

Archived User Coach

Defending against 2 center hal...

Hi can you help me setting a defence against a team playing 2 centre halves. My team plays conventional style 5321 . Thanks

MARK Coach, Australia

What system should I use to pl...

the opposition is now playing with 1 goalie, 2 d, 4 mid and 4 forwards it just seems they are everywhere and my mid field can not deal with the extra player. I was going to counter with a 1-4-4-2 but the girls are not used to it. we play a 1-4-3-3.

Bruce Walgren Coach, Canada

Where do i stand as left halfback at attacking penalty corner

Ask a question and have it answered by Coaches from around the world and Sportplan's team of Experts.

Archived User Coach

To man mark or zone?

My Girls team I coach get caught a lot between man marking and zonal marking in the 23 yard area and sometimes end up with half the team doing one and the rest the other. Suggestions on the ideal defensive set up inside the 23?

Archived User Coach


Would anybody like to give me a diagram of 3/4 press and half court please ?

Simon Lowry Coach, Ireland

What are your favourite marking drills?

Does anyone know any drills to practice marking? Players are familiar with marking theory and need to implement it including front marking and goal side marking. I have found a good half court practice which emphasises the importance of marking. Wandered if anyone had any other ideas?

Archived User Coach

Looking for information on 1442 and 11333 systems...

information on 1442 and 11333 systems. I am fairly new to sportplan so hopefully someone can point me in the right direction. I am from Australia so know the GK-2-3-5 set up well. I would like to possibly employ a GK-4-4-2 / GK -1-3-4-2 set up or a GK-1-3-3-3. What I need is information on How players are set up, Forward press set ups, defencive zone set ups and attacking methods. For a bonus it would be great to know how they set up against a GK-2-3-5 as most of our oposition teams play this or a gk-2-3-3-2 Cheers 

Keith Coach, Australia

Midfield positioning on 16yd hits and presses when using 4-4-2?

hi there I'm using 4-4-2 and on sometimes 3-1-4-2 with a lower level hockey team.I've chosen this over other formations, simply because the hockey experience and ability of my players is not of a high level (and most people have an approximate understanding of 442). Also, I believe that one must choose a formation based on players traits and what they can deliver. For example, I'd ideally prefer to have 3 forwards, to help with more height and width but then would have to either play 3 in the middle or 3 at the back... and my player strengths don't permit this. In short, I simply don't believe I have a strong enough CH / CM to handle 3 in the middle and I'm not convinced that the off-the-ball support from other players is strong enough to allow 3 in the middle. OFFENSIVE PLAYS Anyway, I'm not 100% where to get my centre mids to stand when we have a 16 yd hit to take (i.e. our possession). Obviously one of the CMs comes deep to offer a potential direct outlet from the centre backs or offer an overload option if the ball goes out to the sides (which is more likely, since I've pretty much banned the high risk play of releasing up the middle - we've had far too many turnovers in our final third or quarter because we tried to play up the middle). My players are 'aware' of posting up and leading runs. However, I'm not sure about the 2nd CM. On the one hand I'd ideally like the 2nd CM to come deep as well, in order to potentially help break up the opposition press but by doing so, I distort the midfield and if we do manage to get the ball to one of the CMs, he won't have the 2nd CM in a higher position to release to, etc. DEFENSIVE POSITIONING Can someone suggest, again, about midfield positioning using 4-4-2 or 3-1-4-2, when we are setting up a general press? I have traditionally encouraged man marking, simply because our general positional awareness is weak (which makes zonal play a no-no IMO) + our tracking and attitude to committed defending (i.e. you don’t give up if one tackle fails) could be better! However, looking at suggested presses on Sportplan, some zonal positioning seems a necessity and I think if I can help my players make the step, success will come because they've been forced to become more aware of their pitch positioning, etc. Also, looking at some of the presses, it looks like the midfield can go 'flat' to create a barrier... and as I encourage a diamond shape in midfield, I need to explain to my players what to do and when. Sorry for the wordy question. I hope this all makes sense. Regards, Gary

Gary Thompson Coach, England

Defending lifts on free hits

I am a high school coach in the USA. We played a team this past weekend who had a defender who lifted on a free hit 30-40 yards. That was pretty much their only offense. All of their forwards were ready to receive the long balls. How do we defend that? Should I have almost everyone drop back 30-40 yards?

Archived User Coach

Who marks the player with the ball when marker is beaten?

A player beats their defender. Do I leave my player to defend as I am nearest to the ball, or should I stay and hold my position?

Archived User Coach

How can we overcome a 1-4-4-2 formation?

I coach a women's team wide range in age 16 - 54 , when the stars align we are a very strong team hard to beat and very stingy when it comes to goals against, the games we do lose are usually 1-0 games,The exception comes when we play a team that plays a 1-4-4-2 ,what makes it worse is that we play a 4-4-2 and are very successful with it, but when it comes to defending against it my Defense and Mids become confused. I have not had any luck in figuring out a way to explain to my team how to defend against it. Any ideas on an easy way to fix this? Thanks

William Phillips Coach, Canada

3-3-3-1 Formation drills

we have started using the 3-3-3-1 formation and wanted some drills to reinforce this formation

baulko Coach, Australia

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

Question regarding Defence

I am the sweeper and i need tips on how to setup the "backs" to basically force them to use zonal marking. But the problem is they commit to easily, How do I solve this?

Kyle Coach, South Africa

What's the best way to teach children how to press?

I'm looking for a simple and basic way to teach and encourage children to press. Asked using Sportplan Mobile App

Ryan Schutte Coach, South Africa

How teach defense match-up zone roles to U13?

Hi, I have a complicated set of questions which shows my limited understanding of field hockey. I’m coaching a U13 team of 22 girls in the U.S., and each player has at least one year of experience. I’ve played FH only with my kids though I have a basic understanding of the game and its concepts from playing soccer and basketball, and watching games for many years. I've coached kids in other sports, this is my first year coaching field hockey. (If you’re wondering why I’m coaching, no parent in my community with playing experience would step up and my daughter loves the game.)A warming: This is a long set of interrelated questions but your taking the time will be greatly appreciated. Problem: The core problem is responsibility conflicts on defense. My players understand concepts of zone and marking separately. I don’t know enough to explain how they should manage the two responsibilities in field hockey. I “get it” by playing other sports for so long and therefore am able to see how they aren’t “getting it.” For clarity, I have in mind two kinds of offense players: OP1 (has the ball); OP2 (doesn’t). The girls understand that zone means each has a certain area to protect; and marking, how to position themselves in relation to offensive player without the ball (OP2), and when to mark tight vs. loose, and to what it means to follow her mark. Situation 1 (Off-ball play): if one OP2 (OP2-A) enter zone of Left Midfield (LM), for example, how LM apply marking principles (a) when OP2-A enters zone; (b) a second OP2 (OP-B) enters zone; (c) if OP2-A leaves zone, LM should (i) release OP2-A and stay on OP2-B or (ii) follow OP1-A and leave OP2-B. How resolve these zone/marking conflicts for other positions: CM/RM? For RD/LD/CD? (We play a basic 3-3-1-3.)Situation 2 (Support teammate pressuring ball (D1). The girls understand basics of channeling, approaching OP1 to tackle, and how D2 should support D1 (e.g., D2 is cover for D2). We’ve done drills (1v2), but transferring into game situations is difficult. How explain D2 maintain zone responsibilities (a) if supporting D1 means D2 (a) vacates assigned zone and/or (b) or OP2 in zone). Situation 3 (Forwards). They are having trouble with changing defensive responsibilities from within the opposing team’s quarter of the field, the middle quarters, and our quarter of the field nearest to our goal. I’ve thought about just making the defense solely marking but that creates its own chaos and tires out the girls. Without these basic concepts, the result is a joyless scrum: players are bunched up on defense, so if there’s a turnover, the players are too close together for a counterattack. This is unfortunate because the speed of field hockey games should appeal to kids in the U.S. Thanks

Brandon Cowart Coach, United States of America
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