With the winter hockey season now over in the southern hemisphere I am sure many of you are starting to wonder what to do for the next few months until pre season starts. You have a few options. I am a big believer in getting some rest and making the most of the time off but if you want to keep up your skills then check out my suggestions below.
SUMMER HOCKEY – great opportunity for you to have some fun playing hockey without your goalie gear on. Summer hockey is designed to allow people to play hockey in the off-season, keep their skills and fitness up and have fun with a group of friends. For me I think you are better off playing as a field player and just enjoying your hockey. This is not to say that goal keeping is not fun but you need to spend some time out of your gear to freshen up and re motivate yourself for the following season.
INDOOR HOCKEY – This may not be available to everyone depending on where you live but if you get the opportunity to play Indoor hockey then I highly recommend you do it. I played both club and state level as a junior then senior and loved every minute of it. It is a different game but can be great for your footwork, reflexes and technique. The speed and intensity of the game combined with the smaller court means you are getting lots of touches and plenty of action. It is a nice change from regular hockey. You may need to buy/make some covers for your OBO leg guards as it makes it easier to slide on the different surface.
Now if you want time off hockey completely but are feeling motivated to keep your reflexes up I can suggest you try a bit of table tennis. Not just your traditional table tennis though, playing with a bat in each hand. I learnt this little trick following a conversation with Danny Green’s trainer. He felt it was a great way to improve both your hand eye coordination on both sides and also your reflexes. Try it. If you have a friend who is pretty handy it will help but if not just enjoy a game or two and make sure you use both hands.
If you have any tips or ideas of your own around keeping up your skills in the off season I would love to hear about them.
Many people ask me for recommendations on gear so I thought I would put up a post with all the equipment I use. OBO lead the hockey world when it comes to Goalkeeping gear. They produce the very best quality equipment and have been keeping goalies safe for years. I have been lucky enough to have the support of OBO for my whole international career and I know that I can not play my best hockey without it on.
If you are looking at purchasing your first set of gear then I have two pieces of advice for you. Number one: Always try the gear before you buy it. Borrow some from your club, a friend or a team mate and try training in it to see if you are comfortable and like the feel of the gear. Number two: Buy gear that fits you perfectly. The gear is quite expensive and if you are a young keeper then yes you will grow out of it quickly but if it does not fit properly then you will not be able to move efficiently and your saves will be less effective. As a junior I was lucky enough to borrow gear from my school then Greensborough, my club. Every year I would save up for a new piece of equipment or put in a request to santa. If you need assistance just pop into any Hockey World or OBO store or you can email me through the site.
OBO Robo Hi rebound Leg Guards and Kickers
OBO Robo left and right hand Gloves
OBO Body Armour and Arm Guards
OBO Padded Shorts and Pelvic Protector
OBO Helmut and Neck Guard
Hockeyroos Goalie Smock
OBO Wheelie Bag
We have been over a few of the basics but now its time for the fun stuff and this time its Diving. This is not a difficult skill to learn but does require some guts and determination to practice as if you get it wrong, it can hurt a little!
The key learning points are:
Start by practicing in your goal keeping gear on your knees. Sit up / kneel up straight and tall, then have a friend throw a ball to within you reach.
Go for it with both gloved hands; save the ball, then use your gloves to brace yourself as you land.
Practice this extensively, until you are quite familiar with all the points of impact – and the sensations – as well as the various ways you can lessen the force when your body meets with the ground.
Once you are comfortable doing this you can move on to do the same from a fully upright position.
Stand in your normal stance. As the ball comes towards you, push off with your outside leg to transfer your weight laterally. Then the main drive will come from your inside leg. Reach for the ball with one or both gloves; make the save then land with your hands bracing your fall.
The most important thing to remember is to make sure you are fully warmed up and stretched before trying this skill. It can be dangerous and hard on your body so please be careful.
Hi guys, I wanted to share with you all my new website that I’ve made. Similar to the OBO resources website, this site is for any goalkeeper who want tips and ideas that might help them to become a better goalkeeper. Check it out and tell me what you think. I have added 4 different skills sessions so far covering topics from stick and glove saves to warm up even juggling. I will also be blogging on there so you can all keep up with what the Hockeyroos are doing in the lead up to London 2012.
Hey guys, just a quick note to say if any of you are on twitter then it would be great if you can follow some of the Hockeyroos. @RachLynch27 @hockeyaus will also give you lots of live game updates. Questions are always welcome 🙂
Hockeyroos win Gold at Comm Games. What an amazing experience. We all had an absolute ball in Delhi and are so proud to have returned home with a well earned Gold medal. Thanks Obo for your continued support!!
An update from the Commonwealth Games by Australian keeper Rachael Lynch
Hello from the Commonwealth Games…
I, along with all the Aussie girls are having a wonderful time in India. We have been hear for nearly 2 weeks now and have had an absolute ball. The village is heaps of fun, the people are so lovely, and meeting famous, unique and different types of athletes has been great. Today we played our 3rd game of the tournament and came away with our first draw. We beat Trinidad and Tobago 11-0 first game, India 2-1 second game, then drew 1-1 to South Africa today. Tomorrow we play Scotland in our final pool match. Keep an eye out as there should be many great games to come. The Kiwis are doing really well in the other pool so we may have a match up against them in the finals. Cant wait!!
The World cup is almost over, with only the 3v4 and 1v2 final to go tonight. For us we have finished our tour in 5th place after beating Korea 2-1 in our final match. It has been a really great trip with plenty of highs and lows but I have enjoyed my time in Rosario and relished the chance to mingle with locals, learn more about the culture hear and also speak a bit of Spanish. The Argies certainly know how to put on a show and are so pationate about hockey, which is wonderful to see. Now we head home and after a weeks break start our preparation as a team for the Commonwealth Games. Should be great!
Some really good performances in the chilly Argentinian conditions. Today we will all rest up for our big game against the Dutch tomorrow. Usual plan on a rest day is to sleep in, have a few meetings, see the physio if necessary, get the goalie gear washed of course and then start looking towards the next game. Keep an eye out as it should be a tight battle.