Preparing Your Body for Field Hockey

Posted by williamriddle on April 28th, 2011

Children across Canada will probably, at one time in their lives, end up playing field hockey. If the thought of being out on the field hockey field, in the driving rain or the scorching heat, already makes you want to quit before you even start, it shouldn’t! With adequate preparation beforehand, field hockey can be an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable sport to play. Preparing your body for the physical strains of field hockey is relatively easy, and following a well-constructed fitness training plan can pay huge dividends. By mixing the right “off the field” training, with the right “on the field training” (ie: using the proper field hockey equipment, ensuring you have a proper field hockey field to play on etc), you can ensure that your field hockey experience is a positive one. Before you find yourself out on the field hockey field, it is very important that you have a good base level of physical fitness. Carting an extra 10-pounds around with you on the field isn’t fun, so make sure you address both your diet and fitness regime. Because the sport is physically demanding, you will be doing your body a service by priming it up for the speed and aerobic strain that you will experience in playing field hockey. If field hockey in your physical education class next semester, or starting in the next 4-6 weeks, hitting the gym for a brisk run, or the jogging trail, is a very good idea. The sport of field hockey requires a lot quick directional changes, which places a great deal of pressure on the muscles and joints of your lower back and legs. Poor aerobic conditioning will only detract from your overall enjoyment of field hockey, and no matter how good your field hockey equipment is, you will struggle to keep up with the pace of the game. As part of my pre-season schedules, I ensure I go running thirty to forty-five minutes a day, mixing both the tempo and terrain I’m covering. Speed work is also key, so ensure you work a few hills into your schedule! You also need to hit the books. No, there isn’t an exam, but if you’re new to field hockey, its important to get a good grounding in the rules of the game, before you start. Sure, you can always learn the rules while you are “on the job”, but in my experience as a field hockey coach, the kids who are exposed to field hockey both on and off the field tend to develop much faster. There are a plethora of field hockey videos out there, and information on what type of field hockey equipment is right for you. So some pre-knowledge plus a good base of fitness should help you stay ahead of the pack when you hit the field hockey field. If you have a few minutes to surf around on the Internet, popular video sharing websites, and online field hockey stores have a great deal of field hockey videos and information on getting this balance just right. I’ve seen too many talented players fall prey to needless early-season injuries because of their lack of preparation for field hockey season. Don’t let it happen to you. So now that your preparation is complete, its time to roundup some friends and head-down to the field hockey field. If you still need some new field hockey equipment, a good place to look is on the Internet, or in a local field hockey store (if you have one). While having an artificial field hockey field is advantageous to your early development as a field hockey player, it isn’t a total necessity. All you need is a field hockey goal, the right equipment, and a team of good friends to start a friendly game. Pre-season training is critical for field hockey. In junior field hockey especially, learning the basics is much easier with a solid base of fitness, and a good field hockey stick. If you are playing on a field hockey field that is artificial (turf), another good piece of field hockey equipment to own is proper field hockey shoes. In countries like Canada, where field hockey is played year-round and in variable conditions, having proper footwear can really make a huge difference. As any player progresses through the sport, the speed of the game will naturally increase, making the importance of proper physical conditioning even bigger. Getting yourself in proper condition for field hockey is not that hard, as long as you start early. Before hitting the field hockey field this year, here are some helpful tips to ensure you play to your highest potential.

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Joined: April 7th, 2011
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