How to Shoot the Ball in Field Hockey
Field hockey shots have to deal with more friction slowing them down than the shots taken in ice hockey, but the shots still have a considerable amount of force behind them. In fact, some drives can top 100 miles per hour as they hurtle toward the goal. Because of the rough grass terrain on which field hockey is played, strength and force are the keys to letting loose a powerful shot. But like any other sport, you must be accurate if you want to successfully guide your shot into the goal.
Place both hands midway down the shaft of the hockey stick. This is the short-handed grip that is best for setting up to shoot from close or mid-range. For longer shots, keep your hands toward the end of the stick.
Bend your knees in order to generate energy for your shot. Your left foot should be pointed towards the hockey goal, and your body should be pointed perpendicular to the target.
Wait to make contact with the ball until it is in line with your foot and toes. As the ball moves to this position -- which is likely the case, coming out of a dribble or off a pass -- bring the stick back away from your body, starting the backswing. Let your arms go back behind your body, then swing them forward, snapping your wrists to bring the hockey stick around to strike the ball. As you swing forward, shift your body forward onto your front foot and rotate your upper body to face the goal as you contact the ball.
Step forward with your back foot after contact is made. Follow through on the shot until the end of the stick raises to the height of your waist.
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.