Our Longstreth Staff eat, sleep and breathe field hockey. We've spent hours on the field and in the office learning this sport inside and out. Hear some of their best advice for current players.
Have fun! Sometimes athletes and coaches get too caught up in winning or having a winning record that they forget why they started playing in the first place. Sports are built from hard work, determination, and most importantly, having fun. Go out there, work hard, and have the best time of your life doing it.
Picking a new stick is a really personal decision, it is hard to buy a stick without feeling it. If at all possible, come into the store and try out as many sticks as possible around your level. The best way to really feel comfortable picking out your new stick is to really hit and play, and you might find what you love is not what you were expecting.
Playing should always be fun. If the game becomes something you have to do and not something you want to do, find a way to put the fun back into the game.
Field hockey is a team sport, when you play your best, your team plays better. Focus on mastering your skills and your physical preparation for the game, then combine that with what your teammates bring to the field and work together for the best possible outcome. Individuals don't beat opponents, team success is what gets the job done.
Make sure you support your feet! Field hockey turf shoes will give you more support than soccer cleats and have more protection in case you get hit by the ball. Don't forget- drying your shoes out completely between games will make them last longer, but just like a runner, you will lose support over time so make sure to replace them every season even if they still look ok.
Finding the right stick for you isn't always about getting the most expensive- make sure you find the right balance of power and touch for your game that will continue to help you improve your skills. When your game is ready to go to the next level, it may take you some time to get used to the aspects of your new stick.
Practice how you play! Put just as much effort into those preseason/practice days as you would for an actual game. You'll build endurance and your skills will only get better from there.
Use the sidelines as much as possible! It'll be easier to maneuver the ball and you'll have a lot more space to create more options.