Hockey is one of the sports that are played around the world by many countries. There are two types of the hockey game, ice skating hockey and field hockey. However, both of them have almost similar rules. It is played amongst two teams, each consisting of 11 players. The object of the game is to hit a ball with a stick into a goal. Each game lasts for 70 minutes with a five minutes rest in between the two halves. The game is decided by the team with the most goals at the end of the game. The ball should always be given or dribbled down the field with the use of the stick. Unique to this sport, is the fact that shielding of the ball with one’s body is not allowed as a game strategy. In this article we will look at some helpful hockey tips for defense.
Defense is very important in every sport. Hockey is no different as the defenders make an integral part of the team’s success. The defense team is made up of the goalkeeper, the left defender, the right defender and a center defender. It is crucial for the team members to work with their defensive partners and cover their zones. The best scoring opportunities for the other team is when the defender is pulled out of position. Agility is needed in this game as the top defense mechanism. The ability to move the body quickly in multiple directions helps the player to be ready always and be prepared to face any challenge that is presented. Even in the midst of defending, it is important to maintain a good gap with the opponent so as to remain in control.
Marking is an important tip used to best defend against attackers. The defensemen need to be aware of three important zones in hockey; the check zone, support zone and net zone. The check zone is where they will be able to engage contact with the ball carrier or move fast enough and win the puck races so as to be in control. The most important hockey tip for defense is, if you can see the player’s eyes, contain them by not giving them way to the net zone to score but if you are behind them and can only see their jersey numbers then leap into action and pressure them so as to strip the ball away from them. The support zone usually has the centre players, the defense should only be on the lookout in case they need to help out in containing. The final area which is the net zone has to always have a defenseman at all times. It is the most important zone for the defense as it has a high percentage scoring area. Always outnumber the opponents in this area and protect the front of the net at all costs.
Another key hockey tip for defense is having good stick skills and a great hockey intelligence quotient. It is necessary to have a good heavy shot from a distance as this will make a viable scoring asset. Developing an effective poke check is a great skill to have so as to be aware when to slow down or completely stop an opposing player. A great IQ is of importance in the defense as it will help in assessment of the situation, anticipating what is next, angling opposing players and communicating well with teammates to let them know if there is an open gap.
It is critical to have a great defense in the hockey sport. Efficient communication is key so as to ensure everyone is aware of the game plan. Learning the skills to pass and cooperate with teammates in order to move the opponents out of the defensive zone and the net area is necessary. Gaining position and control of the defensive zone consistently and well will always guarantee great performances. Hockey tips for defense, a key requirement for a play.