Coaching E-Newsletter #1    DEVELOPING Coaches and their Players

 Bridge the gap between Soft Skills and Hard Skills, to create an optimum balance of Art, Grace and Power; and make the game more appealing to the masses.

Core Themes covered in this issue

Technical: Role of the open stick, near the left side of the bodies left foot, in the range of 3 to 6 inches

Tactical: Thinking Strategies to play in the Four Quadrants of the field

Guiding Coaching Philosophy: One size does not fit all

Power point presentations to support the core themes of this issue

Motivational Quotes

Latest News

Upcoming Events 


I acknowledge and understand that, there are more than one way of doing and seeing things. This does not mean that the way Coach John or Coach Mike coaches is wrong. My intention is not to undermine or criticize any coach or player personally, for that matter. I just like to show and share the things, without prejudice, from a different angle and perspective.

Welcome to SCA’s Quarterly E Newsletter

This coaching newsletter is designed to address the needs of the young and upcoming hockey players - and their coaches - who are specifically passing through the 3 – 5 stages of the Long Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD), namely Learn To Train, Train To Train and Train To Compete. Please refer to the diagram 1. For more details.

Shiv’s Coaching Academy’s (SCA’s) “Elite Youth Player Development Model” (PDM), has also been modelled upon the (LTAD), with specific emphasis upon developing the Technical and Tactical aspects of the game. These components have been diligently designed by Coach Shiv and his coaching staff with major emphasis on the correct technique to execute the basic skills and systematic mythology to develop tactical awareness and game sense. Further, elaborating what to do and what not to do, in order to develop highly skillful, graceful and effective hockey players. Please refer to the Diagram 2.

This does not mean that the players and coaches involved in the higher age group can’t learn and benefit from this coaching E Newsletter. And the coaching resource material published, in-between the pages of this E Newsletter.

In fact, if they were never exposed to the correct technique of executing the Basic Fundamental – Foundational - Technical and Tactical skills, it would most likely, not be possible for them to reach their true potential.  Better late than never, to learn and improve upon. In other words, they can also benefit from this coaching E Newsletter. I have and will take the examples of the top world class players, making school boy mistakes during the Olympics and other world class tournaments, to bring home the point. Zooming in upon their deficiencies with healthy criticism, due to their lack of knowledge of the soft skills and how it is holding them back to perform effectively in the peak performance zone. This sure will go a long way to improve the standard of world hockey in the coming years.

Foundational skills are the building blocks - BASE - upon which Basic Technical and Tactical skills are built and developed


I also believe that this is partly due to poor execution and not knowing what to do and how to do it the correct way. In other words, this is a learning error and not a performance error, especially where the implementation of the soft skills and decision making are concerned.

Yes, this is true and hard to believePlease click on the Power Point Presentation Thinking in the 4 Quadrants, which says a lot about the way the world class players THINK and ACT, in the game situations.

As stated in our previous Newsletter - The Law of imitation: The sad part is that the young and upcoming hockey players in the “Hockey Global village” are and will follow and imitate the current hockey players. This way the cycle keeps on going from one generation to the other –The law of Inertia and the much needed deficiency is hardly ever addressed. This needs to be stopped and corrected. An effective strategy to achieve this, is to, teach the players when they are in their early to mid-teens the Learn to Train (L2T) and Train to Train (T2T) stages of the LTAD model. Bend the willow when it is young. In order to do so the junior coaches also need to be educated, as they are the ones who are in the trenches. And will bring this positive change to make things happen.

Reality: We all see, understand and interpret things differently, depending upon our background, knowledge and beliefs. In other words; what we see depends mainly on what we look for or like to see.

What to expect: When you roll over the pages of this newly launched E Newsletter and the future issues, you will be pleasantly surprised to see and learn how we are brain washed and made to believe, that a certain way, is the only correct way to execute a skill. Nothing can be further from the truth. Sure there are more than one way to do things. We are and will be providing valuable information for you to be the judge and make informed decisions. To keep executing a technical or tactical skill the same way one has been doing for years or discard it and do it the New Way. So that we may all learn and become a better hockey player and coach.

This way our game becomes more creative, attractive and less robotic.  There is no question, as both – Soft and Hard skills - are needed, during the run of play:

  • some robotic- set plays - and some creativity
  • Some soft skills and some hard skills
  • Balance, balance and balance is what we are striving for

Technical component

Soft skills vs hard skills: Grace over brute force

There are several soft skills which have been lately undervalued and been over taken by Sheer Power. Brute force over grace. This has and is diminishing the beauty of our game and individual player’s performance, to a certain degree. In fact to a high degree, in specific game situations. And this is hurting our game.

The current trend – more or less - has been to play the game with power, at top speed, resulting in one dimensional robotic play. Controlling the pace of the game at will, while displaying creative and intelligent plays, to create surprising moments, with body dodges, stick feints and dexterity, is a missing link. Yes there are a few exceptions here and there. No wonder our game is not as much spectator friendly, as it should or could be, when compared to soccer – football - and basketball. It’s time we give the soft skills their due importance and bring them back in our game.

Strategic steps:

The first step to take is to introduce them to the younger generation of players and their coaches. This way, we bring the change from the bottom than at the top, which is much easier. By taking this vital first step, now and in the coming years our game will have an ideal balance of soft and hard skills. As we witness in the most popular and beautiful game, of the universe namely soccer / football.

Coaching Philosophy:

The Coaching Philosophy and mindset has to be changed as one size does not fit all, only one size fits one position.   Although every player has to be versatile to play different positions wisely. Every given game situation, position and specific zone of the field has a unique technique / strategy to control and carry the ball, in relation to one’s body, opponent or opponents and team mate’s positions. One size – style and technique - does not fit all. Only one – size- fits - one. The tactical thinking to analyze the given game situation and the thought process to win the contest varies vastly, from one situation to the other. This is a very advanced concept. And our current players / coaches need to understand it clearly before they are able to implement and teach. A Shift in tactical thinking to have a new mindset.

One of the key strategies is to operate on the premises that, higher the risk = higher the rewards!  Take calculated risks. Avoid over protecting the ball, unnecessary, especially while entering – Offensive right and left Quadrants - near the opponents circle. 

In the two photographs below the Right wingers from Australia and India are overprotecting the ball, while running with it. And they are hurting none other than themselves and their team. They missed the goal scoring opportunities.

We must learn to protect ourselves from ourselves.


There is more than one way to get something done!

Everyone views a situation differently, there is no right formula for success. Hard work, good ethics and correct techniques are the pillars of success.


Which are these soft skills?

The first skill from the list of the various soft skills to be introduced at the junior level, is the implementation of the Open stick passing and receiving. I believe it has a unique place in our game and can add tremendous value to make the game more attractive, deceptive, effective and spectator friendly.  Achieving more by doing less.

This is the way I see its role and when, where, and how it is applied during the various game situations.


       Please see below the Video links for your viewing:

          Introduction to the Open Stick Skills near the Left foot



Tactical component:

While developing a young players technical skills, we also need to develop their tactical thinking and game sense to make wise decisions during the run of play. After all life and the game of hockey is full of opportunities and choices. The decisions one makes will reflect the course of the game / future.

And this is where we, the SCA coaching staff, sharply disagrees with the Hockey Guru’s who preach to coach skills in isolation. SCA’s philosophy is to coach the technical and tactical skills in the context of the game. Use Cones as field markers only and not as opponents to dribble through, while remaining players are standing in a row for their turns.

Please refer to the Power point presentation, Coaching Philosophy.

The game situations, are depicted in a series of photographs. Please observe and analyze, the slide 14 and 21.

Can you do this visualization exercise? Imagine yourself, being in the player’s shoes. What would you have done? Do comparative analysis of the tactical thinking between yourself and the player’s point of view. What it resulted in and why? This will help you sharpen your memory skills, resulting in better Pattern Recognition and Re-calling.


If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.    - Albert Einstein

You can’t teach what you don’t fully understand.    - Tax Winter

Coaches will most likely coach in the way they were coached, rather than the way, which is most successful and effective. (A fact of life)

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.    - Mark Twain

Show me how rather than tell me how



Latest News:

The 2016 Rio Olympics are over. We have new Champions, Argentina and Great Britain, in Men and Women, respectively. They are the teams who dethroned Germany (Men) and Netherlands (Women), who were on a mission to win their 3 Olympic Gold Medal in a row to score a hat trick. And make history. Unfortunately, they fell short. They need to blame no one, else, except for themselves, for lacking the soft skills and game sense, at the critical moments of the game. And this hurt them badly, and that also so very badly.

We will be covering the in-depth analysis of the Rio Olympics from the Soft Skills point of view, in the coming issues of the quarterly CNL.

Please refer to the article and presentation below regarding the Pre Rio Olympic Games Performance predictions.

  1. Pre Rio Olympic Games Preview Article
  2. Rio Olympics Games Performance Predictions

Coaching Resource Material:

Link to preview the videos

Shiv Jagday Skills and Drills for Field Hockey 2-Pack

Upcoming Events:

SCA is taking a U – 19 team to the 2016 USA National Hockey Festival, Palm Beach, Florida, Nov.23- 26, 2016. If you are interested:

Please contact: Elaine Goodman, Manager.



Coaching programs:

Coach Shiv and his coaching staff are based in San Jose, CA, USA, and Vancouver, BC, Canada. SCA conducts Coach Education and Elite Youth Player Development programs, worldwide. These programs can be delivered by visiting the respective training centers or on line, using long distance learning. The world is so small and still so big. Thanks to modern technology.

SCA has conducted these coaching courses and Seminars for the coaches / players in various countries namely, Australia, USA, Canada, India, and Malaysia, to name a few.

Develop the coach before developing the player

Coach Shiv being an accredited FIH Coach and a FIH Coaching Academy Coach Educator, has been conducting FIH Coaching courses, since 1988.

Please contact if you are interested - Email:

Your feedback and any questions will be most welcome.

Thank You! Please join us and be an Active Partner to bring this positive change.


Coaching E-Newsletter staff

Editor: Elaine Goodman

Director of Communication & Design: Ranbir Kahlon

Conceptual Thinking & Philosophy: Shiv Jagday

Shiv Jagday

Skype: coachshiv