Deflection shots

If you want to score goals, this is the guide for you. Deflections are one of the most common ways to score. When you deflect the ball, you essentially redirect its course after it is hit by another player. These shots are extremely hard for goalies to defend against since they are prepared for the initial shot on goal. With deflections, they don’t have time to reposition themselves to defend against the shot. So, get your stick on the ball! A big swing won’t get you as many goals as quick deflections.

There are four main types of stick positions you’ll use for deflections: The upright strong stick, the flat strong stick, the upright reverse stick, and the flat reverse stick. This guide will teach you how to position your stick and where to position your body in order to have the best deflections.

Guts to Goal

The general rule for deflections is to have your “guts to the goal” at contact with the ball, no matter where the ball is coming from. You’re more likely to send the ball in a good angle towards the goal if your body is positioned correctly. However, for certain deflections, such as the upright deflection, it is generally too hard to position your body at that angle. In those cases, you need to pay more attention to your stick angle.

Proper Stick Angles

Deflections are not shots at goal — they are redirections of shots at goal. So, the angle of your stick plays a major role in your success. Generally, midfielders will take a shot from the top of the circle and forwards cover the posts and goalie for possible deflections. This means that all players come from different angles, so their sticks have to be angled differently, too.

For the purposes of this portion of the guide, short corners will be used to exemplify how different angles towards the goals call for different stick positions. On a short corner, the goal is to touch your teammate’s shot (and re-direct it into the goal) before the goalie blocks it. Players do this by shielding the goalie and guarding the posts.

On short corners, four players run in towards the goal — two blocking the posts and two blocking the goalie. Depending on the angle you’re using to run in towards the goal, you’ll hold your stick differently:

  • Coming in from the right: Hold your stick in an upright, strong stick position in front of the goalie. In front of a post, hold the strong stick flat, horizontal to the ground.
  • Coming from the left: The player running from the left post holds her reverse stick flat. The player shielding the goalie will hold her reverse stick upright.

By using these strategies, your team will be able to cover the entire goal and increase scoring opportunities.

Upright Strong Stick

  1. Place your hands in the basic grip on the stick.
  2. Cut in front of the defender.
  3. Keep your stick upright, vertical to the ground with its toe in contact with the field.
  4. Place you stick in line with the ball’s path to the goal.
  5. Play the ball off the flat side of the bottom of the stick.
  6. Angle the stick to redirect the ball towards the goal.
Hot Tip: Work the Angles!

When you are deflecting a ball, you are re-directing it into the goal. So, you have to know how to angle your stick to get the right outcome:

  • If the toe of the stick is angled towards the goal, the ball will be re-directed to the right.
  • If the backside of the stick is angled towards the goal, the ball will be deflected to the left.
  • If the top of the stick is angled back (flat side facing the sky), the ball will be lifted into the air.

Keep these angles in mind so you aren’t aimlessly moving your stick around in the circle!

Flat Strong Stick

  1. Place your hands in the basic grip on the stick.
  2. If the ball is out of reach, use one hand to control the stick (it doesn’t matter which). This will allow for a farther reach.
  3. At contact with the ball, place the stick horizontal to the ground.
  4. Angle your stick to re-direct the ball as you deflect it off the shaft of the stick.

Upright Reverse Stick

  1. Use the reverse stick grip on the stick.
  2. Cut in front of the defender.
  3. Keep your stick upright or vertical to the ground.
  4. Place you stick in line with the ball’s path to the goal.
  5. Play the ball off the flat side of the bottom of the stick.
  6. Angle your stick to redirect the ball towards the goal.

Flat Reverse Stick

  1. Place your stick in your left hand and get a secure, one-handed grip on the stick.
  2. The stick should be horizontal to the ground with its toe touching the ground.
  3. Play the ball off the shaft on the flat side of the stick.
  4. Angle the stick to redirect the ball towards the goal.

Get a Stick on It

The most important thing to remember for deflections is to get your stick on the ball. Most goals are scored off deflections, but you can only score if you can control the ball. This means that you must sprint to where the ball is headed and be ready to put your stick down to deflect it into the goal.

The more goal- hungry you are, the more goals you will score. Be aggressive in front of the goal and do whatever you can to get the ball into the back of the net. If you want a goal, go get it!

Read more at: http://fieldhockey.isport.com/fieldhockey-guides/how-to-take-deflection-shots-in-field-hockey

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