Hockey is a high speed, skilful game requiring speed, accuracy and strength. It is a great team sport, brilliant for fitness and played by thousands of people up and down the country, from school children, right through to those playing at a professional level.
As with any sport, there is a level of risk, but protecting yourself from injury and knowing how to avoid certain pitfalls, will ensure maximum enjoyment of the game for every level of player.
Colliding with an opposition player is inevitable and as players are holding their sticks, these too can cause accidental injury. Making sure children understand the rules around how to use their sticks will protect them and other players, and these should be taught at the very first lesson.
Making sure children know how to deal with conflict is essential for both their and their team’s reputation. Hockey, like any sport, is competitive and emotions can sometimes run high, so instilling professionalism and respect for the rules and officials at all levels, is the coach’s responsibility and should be a priority.
The success of the GB Hockey Team at the Rio Olympics 2016 has resulted in a surge of popularity for the sport but Gold medal winner, Sophie Bray, has recently announced her retirement from the game, https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/hockey/47113971.
If playing ice hockey, players require a helmet. If playing field hockey, only the goalies require a helmet. All helmets should be approved and certified and meet all the required guidelines, as well as be properly fitted. The same goes for all other clothing and protective gear including pads and mouth-guards.
Muscle injury through failure to warm up properly or stretch is common, so planning a warm up and warm down session is vital. If you want to improve your skills on the field with a hockey drill video there are hockey drill video formats for players and coaches at every level. Warming up the hip and groin area is important, as well as the back and torso, as twisting is a key part of the game. Stretching hamstrings prior to any training or match will also help protect children from any tears and aid with flexibility.
First Aid kit
Injuries do happen and making sure there is a first aid kit at every training session as well as at matches is vital.