I am physically small -- How do I become a great FH player?

Discussion in 'Training Tips & Coaching' started by delia, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. delia


    I am only 5 feet tall -- Can I be good at field hockey?
    I am disadvantaged in some ways: my arms are not as long as other players and therefore I do not have as long of a reach. I am fast but I don't think opponents perceive me as a threat. I have better ball control than others at my level. What should I do to become a great field hockey player? Is there any advantage to being short and slender that I should exploit? :eek:oh: :(

    I play forward...I'm just wondering, are there any good midfielders or defense out there that aren't tall?
  2. DarkLord

    DarkLord FHF Top Player

    to become a great player build is not the be all and end all, you just need to exploit your strengths to their max...
    you said you are fast and have good control, I would work on your control at pace, and maybe as you get better introduce a bit of 3D skill work, as when use right at pace its a bit of a mare to defend against...
    Defenders not perceiving you as a threat IMHO is a great attribute if they underestimate you then surely you have a top advantage!
    One of the best male players at our club is a short nippy forward, who bags a hell of a lot of goals because his off the ball work rate and positioning is top notch.
    My advice would be go away and work on your close control (especially at pace) but also try and work on the tactical side of your game, especially off the ball runs that get you in behind the defence and into space infront of goal...
  3. mani



  4. glossevans

    glossevans FHF Regular Player


    As a defender for most of my playing career, I can confirm that quick skillful players were the hardest to play against. The size of the player didn't really come into it. It sounds like you are already strong in these 2 areas, so as previously stated, work on these and make them real weapons.

    Being fast over short distances can be a real advantage. If you can become really quick over just 2,3 or 4 yards, you will be surprised how much extra time it can gain you in a game situation.

    Also, if you can add what I would call supplementary skills to your game such as:
    - Good quality PC injections
    - Drag flicks (but please don't get hung up on this!)
    - Quality PS execution
    - Stick stop at PC's

    These sorts of things all add to you becoming a better FH Player and make you more of an asset to your team.
    In the years I have been responsible for team selections, these were the sorts of things that made a difference almost as much a player's ability.

    On top of this, I would add fitness. If you can run hard for the whole game, it is probable that you will tire out the poor full back who's trying to stick with you - then you can murder 'em with your good close skills and blistering pace!!

    Don't fret too much about this stuff though, work hard at em, but make sure you enjoy your hockey!
  5. delia


    I don't have much of an opportunity to use elimination dodges in a game though because we are forced to pass it as soon as possible once we get the ball. The coach says that holding on to the ball and going for a fake slows the team down so the opposition has time to set up and there is a chance they will take the ball away from you. So even though I have better stick skills, I don't get to show it. This kind of gameplay seems to benefit people who may have a rough stick, but are a physical presence.

    Can you please explain what you mean by the tactical side of the game?
  6. Craggsy

    Craggsy FHF Staff Staff Member

    Not trying to make you ignore your coach, as the idea is good, fast play etc etc. However if you believe that beating that player would be more beneficial than passing to someone then why not do it. If you are passing to an open team mate great, however if you are passing to someone who is marked then you wont have an overload, yet beating the player will give you the overload.

    By tactics, I'm guessing leading runs, taking the defender away then running in to get the ball, stuff like that.
  7. Dyl


    There are plenty of advantages of being a shorter hockey player

    Here are a few: Your centre of gravity is naturally lower to the ground which makes you deceptively harder to knock off the ball in physical contests, and because of this lower centre of gravity you would have a predisposition i suppose to be very quick and agile over 5-10 metres as your OP stated because of the strength in the first few steps you could achieve.
    Being lower to the ground you should be able to "see" more of the field in your peripheral vision when on the ball than taller players can making you more of a threat as a playmaker because you may "see" passes taller players don't.

    There are many more, too many too list here. To your question 'Can i be good at field hockey?" I'll leave you with this quote:

    "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent".

    I'm not sure who wrote that, but its true; and in their lies the answer to your question: Olympians and good hockey players have one thing in common: persistence and dedication, size matters not.
  8. Frenchy

    Frenchy FHF Regular Player

    Jaimie Dwyer is only 1.69 if i m not wrong :yes:
  9. Inselaffen

    Inselaffen FHF Legend

    played with Stuart Head (Ex-GB) in my Uni team. great player and probably even shorter
  10. ugals

    ugals FHF Starter

    Hey mate... first of all, how old are you? Have you finished growing up.. take into account that many players take longer to make it to their full growth. Just me as an example, as a junior player, I was 1.55 metres when I satarted under 18, and had no problem playing with players much bigger my size (now I amb 1.80 metters tall).

    Apart from this, no matter the position where you play, being smaller than the rest has got its advantages, (also its disadvantages). You should avoid getting really phyisical in your game and (as your coach says) have the ball the minimum time possible on your stick.... but then again, you should try to think quicker as you have less body to move than your opponents, you will obviously be much quicker than them in your movements, so try to pass, trap and move again to a position where you can receive the ball again. Also try to do intelligent moves at the right moment, so with your superior speed you can gain the precious space that will allow to receive the ball unchallenged and give you the time to decide the best option (dribble, look for a pass, run with the ball, shot to goal or get a faul/PC).

    Work hard ons your skills, specially regarding tactical moves (when to move and how to do it, rather than doing it all the time), receptions (really important) and offensive skills. As for deffending, it is all about having the good body placement, no matter how big you are or small, if you channel your opponents and wait for your teammates help, you will always get the ball.

    Finally, I play with a guy that played in the spanish national team u16, u18 and u21 that is actually 1.60 tall (awesome player). He might be small, but he is a damm rock! (So, if you feel you need more body, wait to grow and then go to the gym!).

    Best Regards
  11. krikkie1


    I'm 5"10, and maybe not the best, but remember: if you're small, speed is your friend! If I were you, I'd just do lots of running practice, so you can be that speedy forwarder (no offside in field hockey!). Quick players are hard to defend and with some muscle training, you can come really far!
  12. fazrulpauzi


    i also small n not strong..but my mental is enough strong too tackle my oppenent... :growl:
  13. samt


    Heh, I'm only 5'4 and haven't found it to be a disadvantage.
    Once I played on this hyooge guy, I'd say ~6'5 and ~240lbs... He was a defender and didn't really do much, other than take the 16, and hit it out (boy could he hit)...

    However I found that he was really slow to actually hit the ball, so if the ball came down, and he got it, when he went for the swing I'd just tap the ball away from him and run onto a 1-on-1 with the keeper.

    Size doesn't really matter, just be fast in everything you do. Run fast, dribble fast, pass fast, swing fast... The opponents will have a much harder time stopping you, and if you can get a few balls up the ground, at a good pace you'll really hurt the defense.

    Another thing is, try and hit up the gym when you can... I'm pretty small but have knocked about a fair few taller blokes... Sometimes when they don't expect it from my height, a bit of a push and a quick run can leave your opponent behind, and you free for a quick pass.

    How old are you btw? If you're young you still have the chance to grow... I'm past that tho, just make the best out of what you've got. I honestly haven't found it to be a disadvantage at all.
  14. woody55


    Running and skills are key because you are good at them and its the only way you can become good. Think about it, if you were 5ft and they were 5 ft 10 they will think you will be easy to get the ball around. You need to use your pace and work your way around them, use it as a strength and not a weakness then if they attempt to use physical strength against you they dont try and get them back because you probably arent capable but just go down then the umpire can only think you are being disadvantaged and must give a free hit. If you are more skilled then them, make them aware of this and dont be afraid to use these skills when coming up against them. If its a big defender then make sure you work as a team to get around him and not try to get round them on your own if you feel you arent capable. But yeah, if you really try your best you can be what you want.
  15. Fredo


    Size has very little to do with it . . . Melanie Wells (nee: Twitt) was a brilliant mid-fielder for Australia and she is 5ft (165cm) and 115lbs (52kg)!
    Don't worry about your size just keep training harder than everyone around you, and keep trying new skills, and you'll be fine.
    Being smaller means you can turn quicker, accelerate faster, stop sooner.
  16. Boerdi

    Boerdi FHF Starter

    supportive... I know lots of successful players of that size (and lots of defenders that do not like to play them as the low center of gravity allows them to move and dribble fast)

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