Maximising Focus and Concentration During a Game

What do we know about focussing on the ball just before a shot at the goal ? A goalie will have little or no chance of a successful save unless there is total focus on the ball as it is travelling towards the goal.

Obviously you want to focus (or concentrate) 100 % on the ball just before the push or shot is executed. But if you try to apply this 100% focussing during the 70 minutes of the game, you’ll find your ability to focus or concentrate will decline after only a few minutes. Another problem of too much focussing on the ball (or at the wrong moments) is that you won’t have an idea where the (offensive) players are on the pitch.

So … how can you maximise your focus and concentration at critical times of game and maintain offensive player awareness?

I have used a technique similar to the DEFCON codes used by the US forces. This focussing aid will help any goalie to optimally distribute his focus and concentration during the game and it will lower the chance you will be left without concentration or focussing abilities halfway through the game.

It is very easy to remember and doesn’t require a lot of thinking or learning. Here is the technique:

While your team is attacking in the 23 meter area at the other end of the pitch, think CODE GREEN, which means you focus about 5 % on the ball and about 95 % on the pitch, like what is the position of the players, your own position in the circle etc. In other words: your ball ‘radar’ is turned on for 5% and the remaining 95 % is applied to ‘pitch radar’. The average intensity level (like the total strength of your radar) is low. The angle of your view is as wide as possible.

When the opponents are attacking and the ball is played around the centre of the pitch, think CODE YELLOW, you increase the intensity a bit and you apply 50 % ball radar and 50 % pitch radar, i.e. you distribute your focus equally on the ball (where is it going, how fast etc) and the pitch (which players are where and how are they moving). Angle of view is wide.

When the attacking team is playing the ball near your circle, switch to CODE ORANGE. Again you increase your intensity. Focus for about 80% on the ball, the remaining 20% focus on the position of the players within your view. The angle of your view becomes narrower.

Just before the shot or push is released towards the goal, switch to CODE RED. You maximize the intensity and you focus for 100% on the ball. The angle of your view is super narrow.

If you are prone to ‘overconcentrate’ you can use this technique to lower your concentration levels. Just stay longer in a lower code, for instance apply CODE YELLOW instead of CODE ORANGE when the ball is near your circle.

Applying this technique is easy. Read this article about 5 times and during the match you just give yourself the commands (just loud enough for yourself to hear, otherwise players may leave the pitch 😉 After several matches, you will find yourself adjusting to the right code, without thinking about it.

Let me know if you find this useful or have any additional comments to make


Jack van Messel
Goalie Trainer
The Netherlands

Series Win

Hi everyone. This afternoon, in a milestone game for Nic Arrold (200th), we drew our final match with Germany which meant we won the series. It was a tough and very hot game in the beautiful european sun. We went into half time drawn at 0-0 after dominating the attack. I only had one save in the whole half. With about 10 or so minutes to go the Germans were awarded a terrible corner which they scored from. We knew we had to at least draw to take the series so we pushed and pushed for a goal. Some how, with about 3 seconds to go we managed to knock one in the net. The siren had gone before we even had time to celebrate. Everyone is feeling exhausted after a hockey filled 3 days so we are looking forward to a day off tomorrow as we travel to Dublin.

Tonight we did head out for dinner and after watching the Germans beat England in the world cup it was absolute carnage in the streets. Every car was tooting their horn, people were hanging out the windows yelling and cheering. Streets were blocked off as people were just drinking and singing. I have never seen anything like it. Talk about bringing a country together. The game finished 3 hours ago and we can still hear the partying from our room. Amazing! We all couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if the hockey world cup caused such excitement.

Im not sure if we will have internet access at our hotel in Ireland so this may be my last report. I hope everyone is surviving the cold winter back home. Im off to apply some moisturiser to my sun burn 😛


4 Nations Update

After two days we are leading in the four nations tournament in Germany. Yesterday we beat Ireland 4-0 in quite a good match. Nic Arrold scored 3 goals which was a very good effort, with two of them being drag flicks straight over the top of the short Indian Keeper. Today we had another hat-trick in our 6-2 win against India. Megan Rivers scored 4 goals so Im not sure if its still called a hat trick or if she gets another name for such an achievement. It was very much an end to end game but we did well to score 6 goals past the indians tight defence. I only had a few saves to make but was beaten by a PC shot and a quick shot in the second half. The weather is still hard to believe. In the first game, at 7pm, I had trouble as I was looking into the sun, then today the girls we all getting some nice body suit tan lines from our afternoon game.

The tournament is set up really well with shops, a bar, activities and a dj. We have been spoilt with some beautful food at the ground, although somehow we manage to miss out on the big bratwurst sausages that the coaching staff demolish while we are warming down. I would have thought its on natural that we too would want to embrace that part of the german culture.

Last game tomorrow against Germany then we fly out to Ireland. Our game tomorrow is just before the England v Germany game at the world cup so we wont be surprised if no one comes to the game. Hopefully we can go and watch the last half in a pub someone.


Game 1 v Germany

Guten Morgen!

It is very quiet in our section of the hotel this morning as all the girls wake after a late night of watching the the post game video. Yesterday we played our first game against Germany here in Essen and it certainly wasn’t pretty. A very important game for the Germans as one of their players Natasha Keller was playing her 350th game for Germany. An amazing achievement and certainly a big motivator for their team to do well. We started very well scoring in the first 5 minutes of the game. We then managed another goal about 20 minutes in….But…things went downhill from there. The Germans scored 3 goals in 10 minutes and another just before half time so we went into the half 4-2 down. Not the best start given we had 3 players making their debut, including our goalie, Kate Hubble. Our second half was a tough one for the girls and they all came away feeling quite exhausted. The final score line was 6-2. We came home and watched the game in groups with the defenders going first. We finished up at 10.20 pm  then the attackers started their meeting after that. My roomie came home about midnight.

We play Germany again today so hopefully we can turn things around and come away with a more positive performance. No one likes losing like that. I think Ill be watching from the side again but the tournament starts in a few days so will hopefully get to play then. India have arrived and Ireland should be coming soon so we can get into the main event.

No other news for now but hopefully I will be sending through some good news next time.

Take care



4 Nations Tournament Germany

The Hockeyroos have been travelling Europe for the past week in a warm up series before the 4 Nations. Today the 4 Nations tournament begins for us in Essen Germany. We play 3 games in 3 days starting with Ireland tonight at 7pm. The group has had some exciting adventures since arriving in England over a week ago including a contiki style bus ride through 5 countries in 36 hours from Bisham to Germany. We are all very excited to work towards winning this tournament and the job starts tonight. Until next time. Rach

Decision Making


Hello, can you tell me what should I do, when the attacker is coming closer to goal and I come out but he shoot in this time before the 1-1 is there?



Hi Alex,

your question is a tricky one and a lot will depend on where the breakdown you’re describing happens. What you’re talking about is basically decision making. One of the biggest problems goalkeepers have is coming out for the sake of coming out. The two choices a keeper has is to either stay back and react to a shot, or come out and engage the 1v1. If you’re getting caught moving before being able to engage in the 1v1 you’re either coming out too late or should stay back in the goal. I wrote a tip on slide tackling a while ago and I think many of the same themes still hold true, below is a link to it:

good luck,


Top 15 Colours of OBO ROBO Legguards

Have you ever wondered what colour combination you should get your next legguards in? Check out the top OBO 15…

Have you ever wondered what colour combination you should get your next legguards in? Well here is a list that shows the top 15 OBO ROBO legguard colour combinations sold to date.

Did you know that OBO offers 45 colour combinations?!? Obviously not every retailer is able to stock all these colours, but you can special order any one of these colour combos through your local OBO retailer.

  1. Black/ Blue Wing
    black blue robo
  2. Grey/Black Wing
    grey black robo
  3. Black/Red Wing
    black red robo
  4. Black
  5. Blue
    blue robo
  6. Orange/ Black Wing
    orange black robo
  7. Red
    red robo
  8. Pink/ Black Wing
    pink black robo
  9. Red/ Blue Wing
    red blue wing
  10. Yellow/ Black Wing
    yellow black robo
  11. Yellow/ Blue Wing
    yellow blue robo
  12. Pink/ Orange Wing
    pink orange
  13. Black/ Orange Wing
    black orange robo
  14. Orange/ Blue Wing
    oranage blue robo
  15. Blue/ Orange Wing
    blue orange robo

(All images are either from our Facebook or Flickr photo album – share your amazing photos with us here)

Commonwealth Games Preparation June

Many thanks to solubleduck who asked what sort of training and preparation is needs for the Commonwealth Games.

Well solubleduck, due to the Commonweatlh Games being directly after the World Cup in Argentina most of our preparation is focused around the World Cup which will lead us nicely into the Commonwealth Games.  Currently the Hockeyroos are on tour in Europe. This tour will include focused training sessions and also extra fitness work. As we get closer to the competition trainings will be tailored to more game scenario drills.

Our normal week includes roughly 6 on field sessions as well as a number of strength and conditioning sessions followed by recovery sessions each week.

Teams are always looking at ways to stay on top and ahead of the others. The world of women’s international competition is fiercely competitive these days. Teams need to be fit and resilient to be competitive.

Hope that goes someway to answer your question solubleduck.

Please keep the questions coming.


Toni Cronk

Hockeyroos 2010 to date

The start to 2010 has been a busy one for us and it is not looking like slowing down soon, but that is great. You only get to play at this level for a reasonably short time, and I have recently learnt that you shouldn’t take this for granted. So I say every moment should be enjoyed or at least something should be gained from every moment. I have found a new level of desire and gratefulness for the position that I am in.

In Australia we have just finished our National League, which took on a new format this year. I grew up in NSW so that is the team I play for. We finished 3rd this year. Not the best result but the best we could do with the cards we were dealt.

What do you out there want to hear about?? Make comments and I will try to reciprocate.


Toni Cronk

Make every moment count