Coaching E-Newsletter #7   DEVELOPING Coaches and Players

 Purpose: Bridge the gap between Soft Skills and Hard Skills

Core Themes covered in this issue

Tactical: How to connect the soft passes coming from the Primary Play Making Space (PMS) and Secondary Play Making Space (SPMS), into goals with a short quick back swing hit.

Technical:Developing specific techniques to score first time field goals from these soft passes, via a mini hit or push on the run.

Video clips: Supporting the core themes of this issue.

Training Method Tips:How to develop a young hockey player in becoming a prolific goal scorer, in this specific game situation.

Food for Thought: Gentle touch passes v/s Rough, Forceful & Power based passes.

Motivational Quotes: Ancient old Strategic Rules which can still be applied in life and sports by San Tzu.

In case if you have not read the previous six CNL’s, please visit and click on the tab on the top right side “coaching newsletter”. And you will find the link to all the previous issues.

As all these CNL’s are interlinked and interdependent, like building blocks. It may be hard, for some of you, to understand the topics covered in this issue and the ones in the future, especially the game concepts and the terminology, as they are different and new.

Welcome to SCA’s Quarterly E Newsletter

Tactical Component:

In CNL #6 we covered the topic “Strategic moves and plays executed from the PMS, a Mini pocket of the ROQ, to generate defense splitting passes. In this issue, we are going to focus upon how to connect these passes coming from the PMS and SPMS into field goals.

Analyze the Diagram below

Diagram 1: Depicts the optimal goal scoring pocket in the circle, PMS and the SPMS


Pictures above depicts a game situation of a goal scored from a pass which came from the SPMS, during the 2014 Hague world cup semifinal match between Australia and Argentina.

Steps to optimize the effectiveness of the goal scorer’s performance from this specific goal scoring space

  • Develop the forward’s game situational awareness of where they are positioned, in relation to the goal’s left and right post, the goalkeeper and teammates/opponents
  • Remember the value of right side vs left side. As the former gives you the better view and the option to hold the ball, dodge or pass it to a better positioned teammate. Whereas the latter, leaves you with only one option of executing a Tomahawk. Isn’t the latter in vogue these days? And so many valuable options are being over looked
  • Teach the forwards, how to hold and their leads to be taken at the optimum moment
  • Develop the player’s necessary technical and tactical skills to play this position effectively
  • How the forward always keep contact with the passer and other teammates, via verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Have a predetermined pocket of space in the circle, from where you will connect the ball to the left or right post
  • These days there are also teammates / forwards near the either post to deflect the shots, so be aware of this option too
  • Pacing and timing the pass is also critical. Refer to the soccer match tape
  • Center forward has to be a risk taking intelligent player, with excellent ball control skills in tight game situations, while being able to execute Penetrating dodges, Dexterity; the ability to change direction and speed on a dime.
  • Able to receive the ball on the open or reverse stick
  • Educate the forwards when to take a first time shot at the goal, when to hold the ball and when to pass it

Common strategic errors to avoid

  • While taking a shot on goal, winding up with a long back swing is not a good idea.
  • Even accidentally hurting a player. New Zealand player did get hurt from the long swing of the Dutch forward during the 2012 London Olympic Games. Refer to the pictures below.
  • Spinning from one’s strong side to weak side, to execute a tomahawk every time is not a wise move. There is a time and place for this skill, as some beautiful goals have been scored. Our current generation of players are overdoing it.


Please click on this video link for more details, regarding the above points


Technical Component:

Types of skills need to be developed.

Develop the following skills, to make the forwards a prolific goal scorer

  • Leading, Receiving, First Touch, Footwork and how to take first time shots
  •  Verbal and nonverbal communication

Please refer to the “Lead, running off the ball” article. It was written before the FIH introduced the four quarters instead of two halves of a match. But, the concepts are still applicable.

Training Methods Tips:

In order to develop forwards to become prolific goal scorers:


  • Encourage the players to receive the ball, on the run with an open or reverse stick in the space and taking first time shots
  • Develop their game understanding of always being aware of where they are in relation to the goal. Thus, they can take first time shots without even looking at the goal, under pressure
  • Teach them to scan the field before receiving a pass and play first time
  • Teach them the importance of strong and weak side
  • Tips to communicate verbally and non-verbally


Don’t: What not to do

  • Taking shots on the goal with a long back swing
  • Criss-crossing their feet, while running
  • Unnecessary spinning from their strong to weak side


Part 1: First time Shorts on net with short swing


Part 2: First time Shorts on net with short swing and using proper foot work and technique


Food for Thought:

Gentle touch pass vs Rough, Forceful and Power packed pass


Quote: “"There is nothing Stronger than gentleness"

                                                                     – Coach John Wooden

Think about this; When you make a pass, which is power packed and at full speed to your teammate, they have to first stop the ball and then make the next move. This takes time. Whereas, when you pace the ball depending upon the given game situation, it will give your teammate slightly more time and space, while adding flexibility.

Here is an interesting story; Several years ago, I was casually talking with Terry Walsh in Moorpark, CA, USA.

Terry played as a center-forward for Australia in the 80s till the 1986 London world cup, during this era, Ric Charlesworth played as a Right Inner - till the 1984 LA Olympic Games. And then shifted to the Left Inner position, during the 1986 London World Cup. Both – Ric and Terry - need no introduction, as they are world famous coaches. Yes, Ric, with an unmatched winning coaching record and Terry who has coached  in different parts of the world and now is coaching in Malaysia.

During our discussion, I asked Terry a question, regarding his views about Manzoor Jr and Ric Charlesworth, both played as Right Inner during that era. Terry, recalled a time when he had an opportunity to play as a center-forward with Manzoor Jr. in a charity match in the mid-1980s, His fond memories of that match were the timely and soft passes he received from Manzoor Jr., with pinpoint accuracy and pace, and had no difficulty receiving them on the run and make the next move.

BTW, Manzoor Jr., basically single handedly helped Pakistan win the 1984 LA Olympic Games Gold Medal, which was also their last. 


Quote: “Gretsky could create time and space with a head – and – shoulder fake that would have opponents well out of the picture and leave him with superb scoring opportunities”.

– Steve Silverman describing the superb soft – gentle – skills of the great one from ice hockey.


Motivational Quotes:

10 Lessons from Sun-Tzu … which can be applied in life and sports too

  1. Know your Battlefield, obey the Laws of Leadership, fight only the Battles You can win
  1. Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat
  2. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting
  3. Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy
  4. Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win
  5. To know your enemy, you must become your enemy
  6. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer
  7. Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.
  8. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle
  9. All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near


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.



“How we see and read the play is a result of our game understanding; “Thought Process”, which creates “Mental Pictures”. These painted mental pictures in our mind, are the driving force to make wise decisions, under pressure during the run of play. The quality of decisions will entirely depend upon, how crystal clear or blurred the quality of these mental pictures are. It’s that simple. Period.

Please educate the future champs to develop clear mental pictures, in order to perform in the peak performance zone, under tremendous pressure”.

Shiv Jagday


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