Tips on playing half (left or right)

Discussion in 'Training Tips & Coaching' started by Pharoah, May 28, 2013.

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    Pharoah FHF Newbie

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    hi guys

    I'm coming back into hockey after 10 years out and am trying to improve my skills, positioning, etc. I'm looking for tips on playing half. One direct question I have is this...my team plays something like 2-3-4-1 with 2 defenders, 3 halves, etc. A lot of the time I'm being tasked with marking the RW or LW (depending on which side I play)...whilst I mark them quite well, etc..this leaves a big gap in midfield such that I'm almost playing like a third full back.

    Should I be leaving the RW or LW to the fullbacks?
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    Drakey FHF Starter

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    Always mark your opposing wing and try and keep your fullbacks free, in most teams i've played, left half is basically the third fullback, but goes up a bit higher and is always there to receive the switch.
    With the "gap in the middle" I'm not really sure because you aren't playing Center, so it should be your other players taking up that responsibility:p
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    DavidBurns FHF Legend

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    Formation makes no sense to me,

    If you have 2 defenders and 3 halves (midfielder) how are you making a 3rd full back?? unless you are playing with 2 full backs and no centre backs?
    Cant see that as a good plan.

    Are you sure thats how your lining up?

    Cant agree with that

    Why have your defenders, the deepest players on your side not marking the most advanced of the opposition attackers?

    Who is going to pick up any advancing mid-fielders full backs from the opposition? your giving them a free run

    Have your defenders pick up the wingers and leave the left and right (halves) to track and runs from their counterparts
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    Goalie64 FHF Legend

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    Perhaps there is some confusion over the nomenclature.

    I assume the formation gives :
    2 (centre backs or 1CB and a sweeper) : 3 halves (left/right/centre) : 4 (2 high centre mid and 2 wings) : 1 centre forward.
    If not, then how do you line up?

    If you as the LH don't mark/stop their attack down the wing who else will?
    Your role seems to me to be more like a wingback - a full back who has full rein to push up the pitch - think Ashley Cole/Leighton Baines, but still have defensive responsibilities.

    Perhaps if a gap does open up as a result of your defending then the either the other halves could drift across to fill it or the relevant winger could drop back to do the same.
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    Drakey FHF Starter

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    You have 2 "defenders" which are supposedly ment to mark 3 attackers? centre foward and 2 wings..? It kinda doesn't make sense how you put it lol. I was tought that left/right halves mark the wings, one fullback normally marks the center foward..
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    DavidBurns FHF Legend

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    Its never really that simple @Drakey

    But I would never coach anyone to try and mark someone when they have a team mate free behind them, For that team mate to then step forward to pick up a free man coming from midfield. always best to push the deeper player forward.

    To be honest, a lot of it comes down to common sense not tactics or formations and I would be expecting the full back to be telling the right or left half to push higher and mark the mid whilst stepping onto the winger.

    you can run sequences for what teams will do all the time, it needs some intelligence form the players concerned to realise someone needs marking and make a call.

    yeah id go with that, My guess is the formation is more 4-3-3
    2 cb l/r back/wingback 3 in midfield and 3 forwards

    I wait to be corrected
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    Pharoah FHF Newbie

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    Hi guys

    sorry, I have to get the right position names to what you use here...we normally play 2 centre backs, 3 halves (L/R/Centre), 5 forwards (LW/RW/LI/RI/CF) however the wings/inners tend to move forward/backward.

    In my game last night, I decided to play as more of an attacking midfielder and told the CB to watch the LW which he did (previously he would always be free in the middle). This actually helped the team a great deal - why? because it was always 2 v 2 at the back (our attackers would always be the LW and CF vs our 2 CBs) with the halves coming back to support. However, when we actually cleared the ball, suddenly we were able to attack with a proper formation of 3 in midfield and thus able to switch as needed depending on who was free (which wing, etc). This wasn't happening previously and we'd usually have a big gap between the 3 defenders (of which I'd be one) and the attack.

    But yeah I agree with the comment above re communication between CBs and halves.

    God I love this game! :)
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    Doyley FHF Starter

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    I started 25years ago with the 2-3-5 formation, but haven't played it for a while. From what I remember the halves (left or right) are to stay wide and support the wings. The inners are to push high when attacking for 5 attackers supported by the halves, but when defending they drop to put 5 in midfield in support of the halves.
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    username FHF Newbie

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    Guys if playing against 3 forwards then the half-backs should usually be marking the wingers. Many, many top teams plays like this. This leaves you with the spare man at the back that most coaches want.
    Sometimes you will see teams occasionally going man to man at the back with the sweeper pushing higher up.
    This is just in the defending phase obviously. When attacking the half backs usually push up higher, and sometimes defences go to 3 or 5 at the back for their build up play.
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    Craig Boyne FHF Legend

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    This is getting a bit confusing.

    The left and right halves should be marking their winger. One full back should be marking the centre forward, with the other full back playing a sweeper role (usually on line between the ball and the goal as a general rule.). This works so that if anything breaks down in the midfield, the free defender can push up on to the contest and force the ball wide, which allows time for the midfield to regroup.

    Does that make sense? This is just defending of course, a whole new can of worms when attacking...
    steve and PlacidCasual like this.
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    Pharoah FHF Newbie

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    Okay so for the four 'backs' (ie. two CBs and two halves), the two halves should be marking their respective opposing wingers, whilst the CBs mark the CF (with a sweeper)? Obviously this changes on attack with the halves moving up to support the attack, otherwise you have what I've experienced quite a lot which is 4 backs, 1 centre half, 5 forwards.
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    Craig Boyne FHF Legend

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    yeah that's pretty much it. Always handy to have the spare CB as a free sweeper as they control where the ball should go by pushing players out and taking up the remaining player. Obviously things change as teams shuffle with formations during the match but that's the general gist.
    What you should find when transitioning to attack is that one of the half backs advances up the pitch, and the other half back cuts back infield a bit, resulting in a back three triangular formation. Once again, this is pretty general and there are lots of variations, but it's a good one to have in your arsenal.
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    Pharoah FHF Newbie

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    Awesome mate, thanks
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    Craig Boyne FHF Legend

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    Goalie64 FHF Legend

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    @Pharoah - and if you end up having 4 defending, 1 CH and 5 forwards, that would explain why (as you say in your first post) there is a big gap in midfield. There is no point in having half your outfield players maybe 50 yards from the ball where they can't contribute to the game.
    At least two of them, maybe more depending on the situation need to drop back to the midfield areas to help out. The defenders need to be given options to play the ball out of the back or to pass to one of several colleagues who should be making themselves available.

    Also, from another post you say you decided to play in a certain way. Hope that was with the prior agreement of the captain/coach and most importantly the keeper... :)
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    Pharoah FHF Newbie

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    lol yeah...as usual, plans go out the window once the game starts and things change....most of the time I'm guided by our CB and/or GK for defense, but try and push up on attack (fitness is the key here and something I'm struggling with after so long out of the game). The game becomes quite fluid with people mixing and changing positions from time to time. The key though is always having someone in midfield to start and support the forwards, esp on a fast break. We scored twice on a fast break last week which was excellent.
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    Kashif Shahzada FHF Starter

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    The 5-3-2-1 system common in the Subcontinent is as such that it has 5 in attack and also 5 in defence if need be. Thus when under attack, the 3 halves do not stay in the half line but are supposed to go to extremes of their defence lines to help the 2 defenders too.

    Role of RH/LH

    Defensive duties
    • Main duty is to mark opposing Winger. RH marks opp. LW and LH marks opp. RW.
    • If beaten by winger, then don't just stand there but immediately sprint behind full backs to face forwards in case full backs are also beaten. Thus LH/RH has also to retreat into circle as last line of defence. Australia's 80's era David Bell used to save many balls going into goal even when the keeper was beaten. In Pakistan, we are taught that LH is the second goalkeeper and the last man.
    • If own defenders are facing attackers, then to fall behind them and not stand parallel to them.

    Offensive Duties
    • Act as link b/w own fullbacks and attackers. Receive from defenders and release ball to forward line.
    • Move up in attack combining with winger and inside forward.
    • Move as part of a trio (exclusive for RH, who goes into attack with RI and RW, but then retreats back quickly to face a counter attack.)
    • Very rarely take the odd ball from the top of the circle and take a shot at goal. (but his job is not to go into the circle).
    Mind you the centre half is all together a very different position that wing halves.
    AlaricRising, Peter Bradby and steve like this.
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    Pharoah FHF Newbie

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    Kashif, thanks for your response - it spelt it out quite well. I read it before my last game (on Tues night) and tried to employ everything in there and it worked! We drew nil-all with the team that had previously beaten us 3-0 three times, and our defense was rock solid primarily because the me and the other half marked out our opposing wingers (who previously ran riot) leaving one FB with the CF and the other FB free to clean up. It did prove though that you need to be really fit to leave your winger (who you marked in your goal line) to then sprint up the field to fill the hole left in the midfield slot, and then sprint back!! But yes, thank you for your tips - you (and all the other responders) have clarified my role for me.
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    toolfreak FHF Regular Player

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    So when should a left half push in to the circle in your opinion? (offensively i mean)
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    Pharoah FHF Newbie

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    I've started pushing into the circle one free hits just outside the D or thereabouts. I've almost scored 2 goals this way (defenders forgot about me and let the ball go through but I wasn't fast enough to tap in grrrrr). However I would only do this when there was a centre half or someone else to stay outside the D for rebounds, etc. Depends on fitness levels as well as skill levels, however I've seen halves do give-and-goes before running into the D for a shot. All depends on fitness I guess. Thats my $0.02 worth anyway! :)

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