Basic Defensive Strategy
1. Control what the offensive player can do with the ball.
2. Force the player to use his weak hand.
3. Force the player to the outside and behind the net. In other words, keep them away from high scoring places.
4. Force the player’s moves to be lateral and away from the net.
5. “Breakdown” i.e., knees bent, hips forward, weight distributed on the balls of the feet, head up, stick out in front on defense.
6. When you are in the breakdown position, stay low; look to poke check. Do not step towards the man when you poke check. Do not cross your feet over!
7. As the offensive player breaks into a run, you must stay hip to hip with him. Keep your eyes on his chest, not on his feet or head. Try to cut down his angle to the net.
8. If a player is rolling back or trying to back you in, place firm pressure in the small of their back. Do not lean on them, but keep good balance!
9. When laying a body check, keep your stick and hands in tight to your body. Lead only with your shoulder.
10. When playing a man without the ball, be in a sloughed position that enables you to see both the man and the ball. Put your stick up in the passing lanes to discourage cross-field passes.
11. As the ball is passed to your man, move out quickly to play him. You should arrive just as he catches the ball. Arrive under control and breakdown with your stick out in front of you.
12. When playing a man on the crease, play between your man and the ball. Keep your stick upright so that you can check down if a pass is made.
13. Keep your head “on a swivel.” See the man and see the ball.
1. PURE HUSTLE!
2. All great teams play great defense and have great communication.
3. All seven defenders must have ownership of the defense. Defense is not a series of one-on-one confrontations.
4. Defensive pressure on the ball should be highlighted by great footwork and crisp stick checks. Defense is a healthy blend of body and stick. When in doubt, poke check!
5. Defenders adjacent to the ball must talk and anticipate back up and slide situations.
6. Defensive slides should be well timed and executed from the inside -> out. That is, picking up the opponents nearest the goal first, then those on the perimeter of the field. Never slide half way. Either go 100% or not at all. The entire defense needs to slide, so all should go or none should go.
7. The farther removed your man is from the ball, the more you should be sagged in to help your teammates in the crease.
8. Adjust your approach when playing defense on the crease; tighten up, talk, listen for “check” call from the goalie. Stay between your man and the ball. Never lose your player in the crease.
9. Avoid switching defensive match-ups. Try to fight through or slide under picks.
10. COMMUNICATION! The field should be alive with talk on the defensive end of the field.
Basic Offensive Strategies
1. Pure Hustle! Never be standing still. If you are standing still, you are doing something wrong!
2. Make your defensemen play you and you alone during every second that you are in the game. If you are moving, then his/her attention will be on you, and not on your teammates or his responsibility to play team defense.
3. In passing the ball, make all passes sharp, short, to the outside and away from the defensemen.
4. Make your feeding passes crisp and head high.
5. Give the person who is passing to you something to aim for (like a catcher in baseball!)
6. When you have the ball, NEVER stand still!! Keep moving and running at all times. When you are ready to make a pass, make a hard move to the net and then cut back out for separation. This will give you space to make the pass.
7. All passes should be made directly overhand. These are the easiest to catch and the ball will not have any sidespin on it.
8. Take pains to make every pass good.
9. Catch every pass while moving toward the ball. Circle away from the defender once you have received the ball.
10. Never make a pass to a man who is covered just to get rid of the ball.
11. Always expect the pass is coming to you, always be ready for a pass.
12. If someone is in trouble, the two people nearest to the play should bust hard to the play “hear is your help!”
13. On all shots from up top, a man should be in the crease to screen unless he has moved to open space to receive a pass.
14. After receiving a pass the first look is to the person who gave you that pass to see if he/she has made a move to the net. The second look is to the crease to see if there is an open pass there.
15. After picking up a loose ball, get the ball to “X” as quick as possible so that the attackman can look to exploit an unsettled situation.
16. Have a plan with the ball. If you do not plan on dodging, then move the ball to the next man. Do not hold onto the ball for no reason.
17. Always be in position to back up every pass or shot. When a dodge is made, or a shot is taken, the whole team must play a part, moving into position to back up the pass, shot, or rebound.
18. Never make a feed into the crease just because a person is cutting or calling for the ball. Make sure he is open or has a space from his defender.
19. Never stand close enough together so that one defender can cover two men at the same time. Stay spread out.
20. When there is a loose ball, go hard after it. Make it your mission to get that ball!!
21. Always keep the field balanced and in the offensive set. This will create more space to work in.
22. Always have at least one man behind the net to back up the shot. Remember that the closest person to the ball when it goes out of bounds on shots gets the ball. We should never lose a possession on an out of bounds shot.
23. If you lose the ball, ride hard, especially at attack. It is your responsibility to get that ball back before it gets past the mid-line.