A2 PE coursework

I am in year 13 and studying pe and we have to write a coursework on the sport we play. In this coursework there are two sections. Section B and Section C (Section A is filming in competitive situations). I am struggling with section B as in it we have to describe 2 attacking weakness’, 2 defensive weakness’ and 2 tactical weakness, then we have to compare each of these to an elite performer. I am struggling to work out how to categorise skills and need statistics of elite performers. Please can someone help me. Is urgent!

Saving with the rhp

Making use of the rhp to make saves to the right will obviously help with shot stopping but also with rebound control.

With the ever improving production of developed right hand protectors (rhp’s) with an increased blocking surface and better rebound properties, the modern goalkeeper has a better chance of making saves to their right hand side. Without the need to bring the left hand glove across, the goalkeeper can make use of their rhp to block shots. With a larger surface to block the ball than the shaft of a stick, you should look to actively make a strong technique of saving to the right side appropriately on raised shots and flicks.

Manu Leroy saves a shot with his rhp in a warm-up.

Why use the rhp?

Making use of the rhp is done for obvious reasons. With an increased surface area than the stick to block with, you can actively turn the rhp to turn away the ball to safety, whilst making the save. Also, when trying to make a save with the glove on the right hand side, you can end up over rotating as you turn to reach the ball; effectively taking yourself out of the play as you turn too far. By learning to make saves with the rhp instead, you increase your chances of making the save, as you turn in to face the ball, as well as making it easier to control rebounds. It is possible to make saves like this with a tubular style glove, but there are more, larger surface area rhp’s out there for goalkeepers to utilise. Making independent saves like this means you are not in danger of over rotating and makes you harder to beat!

Eye contact and focus

Just like any save, you need to be focused on the specific piece of kit you will be making the stop with. As much as you concentrate on your glove for a save there, you need to be just as intensely focused on the shot going to your right. Rather than focusing on the stick, you need to focus your attention on the larger blocking area of the rhp. As the ball comes in, this sustained eye contact will make it easier to see the flight of the ball into the rhp and away to safety.

Attacking the ball

As discussed before, attacking the ball helps cut down the time the ball takes to reach you, and helps with a forceful push away on the save. Having your arms forward so your gloves are upright and facing the shot makes it easier to move into the save. By pushing into the save, from a 30 degree angle, rather than passively reacting helps with you when turning the glove to control the rebound. If the ball is high, then you will be looking to push up, whilst if it is to the side of your body, then you are obviously going to be looking to push out to the side in extension to block the ball.

The following clip (from the middle onwards), demonstrates strong application of attacking the ball when saving to the right with the rhp:

Turning the rhp

Turning the rhp allows you to push the ball away to control the rebound, like you would when stopping shots with your glove to the left. The angle would almost be about 70 degrees, but you also want to turn at the wrist, so it blocks to the side, rather than simply blocking to the front. Rather than the ball simply bounce off your glove and down, into a dangerous area for a secondary chance at goal, turning it away on the shot, to safety, effectively kills any rebound opportunities. You need to aim to push into the block, turning at the elbow and wrist, for the redirect. If it is to the side of you, you can turn the ball away wide. It is possible to redirect a high shot over the ball, although this takes practise and a second sense of where the goal and crossbar is!

As the crudely drawn diagram illustrates,
an angled rhp gives greater redirection
on an upright shot, for rebound control.

The following shows a goalkeeper practising the technique in training:

This clip demonstrates a goalkeeper making good use of turning their rhp on the save for rebound control:

Saving low

When making low saves, it is also possible to turn the ball away with the rhp as you stop the ball. When diving low (as well as high), in extension, or diving at around knee height on drag flicks off the floor, employing the same technique will help control rebounds. In this clip you can see Pirmin Blaak actively using the technique, but at 0.54 playing time, you can watch him turning the glove as he dives against a low shot to the right:

Stick inclusion

In case you miss the ball, the stick is a back-up option. Your focus should be on making the stop with the rhp, so should not over rely on the stick. Whilst you should prioritise making saves to the right of your body, the option is there to save your blushes if needs be. The technique remains the same; focusing on the ball and turning at the wrist as you move to block.

This clip shows a save made with the stick, with the wrist turning to block as an insurance policy, and the stick making the save, with good coverage since the shot has been missed with the rhp:

Decisiveness with the save

Confusion over which glove to use can obviously cause problems when aiming to stop the ball to the right, which is another reason you should practise saving solely with the rhp. By crossing gloves and being indecisive, it is obviously harder to make the save. Instead, by restricting yourself to using the appropriate glove for the appropriate side, you will be better suited to making the save.

The following goal comes from the goalkeeper committing with both gloves rather than a focused save effort:

Active with right hand saves

Ultimately, you want to be just as strong and active with your saves to the right as you are with those to your left. Improving technique and getting more proactive with blocking to the right will help you against shots high to the right, being able to make a controlled and active save with your rhp. The more you enforce this in training and in games, the better you will get at having an active rhp.


  • Actively push into the save and attack the ball
  • Focus on the ball and rhp to exercise concentration
  • Turn the rhp into the save, to help redirect the ball away to safety
  • Don’t over rotate or cross over with the glove, making sure you choose the rhp rather than glove for the save

Tour Update: Champions Challenge GOLD

The Hockeyroos have won GOLD at the Champions Challenge tournament in Ireland after beating the USA in the final 6-1. The tour was a very successful one for us. We came here to win and dominate the tournament but more than that, it was about playing well and putting all the skills and tactics together that we have been working on all year. This tournament was crucial for us! Our win here means qualification in the 2014 Champions Trophy and also a rise in our world ranking. Both of which have a huge impact on the future of the Hockeyroos.

The Champions Challenge started off well for us with 3 solid wins in the round games. Our game against India, who we play often, was a very strong game for us as we managed to put away 8 goals. Belgium and Wales are teams we don’t often face which means we have limited knowledge of how they play. Watching video and researching teams is a big part of our preparation and we are lucky to have access to hours and hours of game footage from games and tournaments all over the world. Every game we play is filmed and coded so we can view old games against certain opposition with the click of a button. Of course the main aim when approaching a match is to focus on our game plan but knowing your opponents does help a lot. I certainly have never played Wales during my career and not Belgium for a long time. European teams also bring a different set of skills. Belgium for example have a girl who can rip a slider better than anyone in the world. This is a powerful and very deceptive type of pass/shot. I was a victim to this slider in our first game against Belgium but luckily managed to save two before she got one passed. We comfortably won the game 4-1. Wales were our third opponent and certainly put up a good fight. It wasn’t until the last five minutes that we secured the win with two goals. Emily Hurtz played a stunning game scoring 3 of our 4 goal total. A hat trick in any sport at any level is a pretty cool achievement.

Our finals campaign started with a quarter final against South Africa which was a tough match. Having faced them recently at the Olympics in an equally tight match the team was feeling reasonably confident but equally a little nervous as with all finals. We prepared as we always do; breakfast, team walk and a stretch in the morning, lunch, pre game meeting then put the tunes on and start getting ready. Music is a big part of our preparation and tune selection is very important 😛

We played well against SA and created numerous scoring opportunities. They threatened us on just a few occasions so 2-1 was not a great scoreline but in a final you take a win no matter what the score. Our semi final was quite similar. We played Scotland who put up a good fight but thankfully our twin towers (Jodie Schulz and Anna Flanagan) both slotted a drag flick each to win the game 2-0.

Of courses it hasn’t all been about hockey. We have had a bit of time to explore Dublin, find some nice local coffee shops and go for some walks. Naturally, being the age we are, the internet consumes most of our time. My roomie Jade Close and I have tried to start a ‘no phone at meal time’ revolution but as you will see in the photo below it has not really taken off. Our excuse is that we like to stay connected and admittedly most of the time we are either skyping home or chatting to friends and family on Whatsapp. Oh and there is Twitter, facebook and blogs like the one you are reading. Ah well, its all good fun.

How it all ended:

Australia reclaimed their place at the top table with a comprehensive victory over USA to claim the big prize, the Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge 1 title, along with a place back in the Champions Trophy. In a 6-1 thrashing the Aussies controlled the game certainly outclassed a spirited US side.

Thanks as always for following and for the support. Bye for now




7TH Ind v Wal 4:0
5th RSA v Bel 1-2
3rd Sco v Ire 2-2 (IRE won 4-3 on penalties)
1st AUS V USA 6-1

The Vic girls

Trying to stay warm at the hockey

Attack the ball!

Actively acting the shot helps challenge and will improve your save percentage.

When we think about goalkeeping, there can often be perceptions of reacting to a play or shot rather than increasing the save chance by challenging in the situation. Since we are saves and actions are a result of reading of the play, it is therefore easy to think that because the play comes to you, that your job is to simply react and therefore get caught in the trap of not taking control of the situation. However, showing aggressive qualities and confidently challenging shots with our depth in the D, will increase our chances of save making.


‘Saving’ and not attacking

It is easy to become passive with your efforts when you are learning to play in goal, especially in training (which isn’t the most effective place to improve your goalkeeping!); creating bad habits in game situations when you need to actively challenge the shooter and dominate the play. By ball watching and reacting to the game as it happens rather than involving yourself and challenging shots, you make it easier to get scored on. By merely reacting and making the save in reaction to the shot, you are actually making it harder to make the save.


Attacking the ball

By attacking the ball you challenge the angle of the shot and give away less shooting space, as well as reacting to it more quickly. The quicker you are to react against a well struck shot, the better chance you have of making the stop! With the save being made in front of you, it is easier to track the ball from their stick into the save (as discussed recently in another article). You are also cutting down the angle the ball can travel through, so you are effectively reducing the time the ball has to reach you; therefore getting into the motion of save making more quickly and with less movement. As a result of attacking the ball in front of you, you are putting you weight through the ball as you make contact, meaning you have more power of the rebound, which should effectively result in better clearances.


The following video is a great example of aggressive goalkeeping where this technique is being taught. Watch how the goalkeepers are being taught to push into the save rather than ‘sitting back’ and waiting for the shot, both with the legs and hands:




The Thirty degrees

When attacking the ball, you want to be driving into the save, that is, pushing into it. The best way of visualising and thinking about attacking the ball when saving is ‘the thirty degrees’. If someone was shooting at you from the top of the D, you should be pushing into the save at roughly thirty degrees. An easy way of checking this is to measure your finishing position against pointing towards where the 25 yard line meets the side line. When pushing into the diagonal, it doesn’t just apply to kicking, also diving and glove saves. This theory can also be applied to short corners where you want to challenge the shot and possibly against flicks (although I think I need to check what the umpiring rule is!).



The ‘thirty degrees’!



With no angle of attack it is harder to make the save and you make yourself easier to beat.



In contrast, by attacking at the thirty degrees, you are able to attack the ball and challenge proactively.


Driving from the head

As you drive forward to push into the save for the stop, you need to push forward from your head; essentially moving forward as you locate the ball with your forward vision. With the head being the centre of balance within the stance, you need to push forward against the shot. In doing so you can retain your balance, which is obviously of great importance. Keeping your head forward and your weight forward, you are not going to fall or lean back as you make the save, making it easier to move into the second save or control your rebound.


Pushing into the save

Pushing into the save requires concentration and an agile approach and strong footwork. As a result, to gain better rebound control, it is also important to angle the redirect; by which, you can get greater control and distance on the rebound. As you push into the save looking to control the rebound on the save, you will be pushing with your foot or glove angled to control the rebound. It is important that you get your weight into it, driving forward to really attack the shot.


As this goalkeeper accurately demonstrates, you need to be pushing from the head to get better control on the redirect and ability to make the strong save.


Attacking with your gloves

Just as you are focused on attacking the ball with your kickers and pads or dive (as they rightly teach in football), an obvious point of notice is that you can similarly challenge with your gloves. An active ready stance with gloves up and forward will help you to actively challenge. Try not to ‘swat’ at the ball, pushing in as the ball comes at you.


Attack the shot!

Ultimately, you need to attack the ball at every given opportunity. The more you actively attack shots, the greater chance you will have of denying scoring opportunities. Although it is a difficult skill to master, it will drastically improve your shot stopping making you harder to beat. Rather than being a passive respondent, work hard to actively attack the ball, increasing your chances of making every save!

Final Year Project Help

Dear Goalkeepers,
My name is Caitlin Clarke and i am an avid field hockey goalkeeper and product designer.
I am just about to start my final year at Nottingham Trent University and wish to combine both my passions by designing something for goalkeepers for one of my final year projects.
However, in order to do this i first need to find out what you all want, what problems you have with kit and how/where it can be improved.
So please help me out and complete the short survey on the following link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DC5L38P
it shouldn’t take more then around 5-10 minutes to complete.
Thank you very much for all your help and i wish you all a great season