Hockey players get back to basics

2015-01-20 00:00

A GROUP of 40 promising young hockey players participated in the Back2Basics Hockey Clinic last week.

The boys and girls comprised players from various age groups, who were ­introduced to basic hockey skills and neuroscience coaching concepts.

Head coach Jeannie Strauss, who played for Free State and South Africa U21, has developed an exciting, ­goal-driven coaching programme called FUNdamental, to help develop hockey players in the KwaZulu-Natal ­Midlands.

Her coaching team includes a number of experienced provincial coaches who all share a common vision and passion for the development the game.

The programme not only focused on the basics of the game, it also used ­neuroscience coaching techniques, which allows the player to expand his or her vision and make better decisions during match play.

Neuroscience is utilised by adding an eye patch over a player’s dominant eye to allow the brain to create new ­pathways, using the non-dominant eye to receive and pass the ball.

Hockey is extremely strong in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands schools and it is exciting to see new developments like Back2Basics Hockey Academy ­promoting the sport through quality coaching methods to improve the ­standard.

“Our FUNdamental programmes are written working backwards from the tactical skill-set we want to achieve in a given time.

“It is broken down into its most basic technical format. Once the basic ­technical skill is achieved, we add ­decision-making, vision and communication components and incorporate it into tactical play,” Strauss told The Witness yesterday.

The school players who attended the clinic were from The Wykeham Collegiate, St John’s DSG, Wartburg, Howick, ­Epworth, Cowan House, Clifton Nottingham Road, Northern Park, Athlone, St Charles, St Anne’s and Kearsney.

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