Koa Sports

Don’t Panic! Compose Yourself! Part 1

Welcome back to the Koa Field Hockey blog. Today’s blog was written by Koa’s U16 Club Field Hockey Coach, Gloria Nantulya. Gloria will discuss how to keep your composer while on the ball. She will be back next week with how to compose yourself off the ball.

Composure is the most important “skill” for a field hockey player. With composure comes ball possession, and possessing the ball means your team is in control of the game. So what does composure really mean? In a high-pressure situation, composure is your ability to remain CALM and FOCUSED so that you are able to make a SMART and QUICK decision.  When you panic, either a good or bad decision will be made.  Will you will crumble under the pressure and give up, or battle through adversity and be able to slow the game down.

How does a player learn the “skill” of composure? There are three keys for athletes to grow their emotional intelligence vs. physical skills.

  • The first is confidence in both yourself and your team.  This enables us to stay composed when under pressure and tell yourself…“Don’t panic, give yourself time, and find a solution.”
  • The second is preparation.  Are you in shape, and been practicing your stick skills?  Are you comfortable with the ball on your stick and you can watch your teammates while dribbling? If so, your mind will be sharp, and you can make the best decisions possible. When you start to get tired you need to focus more on making smart decisions and keep your feet moving to stay in the game.
  • The third and final is key is positioning.  This requires team effort, if your teammates are in the correct passing lanes and moving to get free, this makes passing and problem solving easier. Remember, space and time is very limited, if you hesitate in a decision strong players will create a turnover.