Field Hockey Skills – How To Do An Overhead

Field Hockey Skills – How To Do An Overhead (Or Aerial) 

What is an advanced skill that a defender can use and one of the best ways to get out of a high pressured situation (like a full press)?

Use an overhead.

“If you can’t go through, go over”

Some of the best and most effective attacks actually start in defence, so not only is an overhead useful when you are under pressure, but it can also be a dangerous attacking threat and a useful skill to possess.

Regardless of how the opposition are pressing, going overhead means you can create space and eliminate players even if there aren’t any passing options on.

The overhead is a great way to turn a defensive situation into an attacking opportunity, so it is a skill worth practicing, particularly for defenders.

I think the overhead is a hockey skill that every defender should learn and practice regularly.

Maybe not as frequently, but even strikers, particularly wingers could also use the overhead. For example to get the ball into the circle from a wide angle when no through ball is open, for a one time deflection like the Australian Mark Knowles / Kieran Govers goal we saw in the WorldCup last year. Or it could simply be used to put the defenders in the D under pressure, giving them little room for error and waiting for them to make a mistake.

A video demonstration by England Defender, Sally Walton: 

The key points to effectively using an overhead are: 

1. Drop your right shoulder behind the ball and get low

2. Complete a low to high movement

3. Transfer your weight (from right foot to left foot)

4. Use wrist for flicking action

5. Activate your core to generate power

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About The Author

Lauren Penny

Lauren is a former International Hockey Player, Performance Coach & Mentor specialising in helping hockey players to be more confident, improve their fitness and perform more consistently to get noticed and reach higher teams.