Controlling the Speed of the Game |
November 8, 1999
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Off The Crossbar Coaching Series
To be successful, a team must control the speed or pace of any game. This is very important as we can speed up the game or slow it down when needed. In a tournament situation, a team must learn how to conserve their energy and play at full pace only when absolutely needed.
The speed of the game is controlled during the following situations:
16-yard hits and free-hits after a foul by the opposition inside your circle
free-hits in all parts of the field
long-corners in attack
There is one GOLDEN rule which must be followed in all these situations and each player must never forget it:
THE PLAYER CLOSEST TO THE BALL MUST IMMEDIATELY GET THE BALL (using his stick) AND SET THE BALL IN THE CORRECT POSITION TO START ONE OF THE ABOVE SITUATIONS
All other players "off the ball" must get set to receive a pass without any delay whatsoever
There is absolutely no excuse such as talking to the umpire or getting into an argument with an opposing player who may have tried to hack you down or bodycheck you; there are no exceptions to the GOLDEN rule
At all times in every game you play, the GOLDEN rule must be followed. This allows the player who is going to start the free-hit, 16-yard hit, side-line hit and long corner to take it very quickly or to take lots of time. So, when a team wants to SPEED UP THE GAME, the player "on the ball" will start the play as quickly as possible. When a team wants to SLOW DOWN THE GAME, (after every player has followed the GOLDEN rule) the player "on the ball" will take lots of time to start the play.
A team can interchange ?speeding up? and ?slowing down? the game to unsettle an opponent. For example, at the start of a half, a series of free hits and side line hits can be taken very slowly outside the opponent?s twenty-five yard area, lulling the opposition players to sleep. When a free hit is awarded inside their twenty-five, the free hit can be taken very quickly to take advantage of slack marking and missed defensive responsibilities.
Free-hits inside your circle
Free-hits inside your circle can be taken from anywhere inside the circle. So, the GOLDEN rule is followed first, and the player on the ball has the choice to start the play from where the ball lies or can move the ball over to the right side of the circle and start the play from there.
16-yd hits must be taken no more than 16 yards from the goal line at the point where the ball went out. So, after following the GOLDEN rule, the hit may be taken from any point in a straight line from where the ball went out and the 16-yd line, i.e., the top of the circle.
When every player on a team understands and applies the GOLDEN rule correctly, that team can change the speed or pace of a game at will. Controlling the speed of the game will dictate the flow of the game, heighten the concentration of players on the team, upset the concentration of players on the other team and control the amount of energy that needs to be expended to obtain a result. This team will control its destiny.
The above article is the copyright of Peter D?Cruz. The author has given permission that the article can be copied and used in whole, or in part, as long the information is presented accurately, reflects its intention and theme, and the author is credited for the information.
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