We were delighted to have Olympic gold medalist Sophie Bray (MBE) host a ‘Hockey at Home’ session on Wednesday afternoon. Sophie has recently retired for International hockey but is still heavily involved in the game, captaining premier league side East Grinstead. Renowned for her incredible ball control and for being one of the game’s prolific goalscorers, Sophie took the time to share some top tips with the girls and answer questions about her fantastic career to date.
Sophie’s Top Tips For Lockdown
- Tennis ball and a stick developing soft hands and controlling the ball in the air. The players that have all the tricks although you don’t do them in a game, those players are always technically strong when it comes to playing
- Reaction drills / brain training apps to help speed of thought
- Physical training incorporate hockey moves e.g. side lunge to it with your stick and get your hand on the floor to train movement patterns
- Watching videos of hockey and try and player cam a player who plays your position. 95% of the time in hockey you are off the ball. To be the best player you have to be good off the ball.
- Train movements that involve any hand eye coordination, learn to juggle. Skipping is also excellent.
Sophie shared some fantastic skills to do at home with a tennis ball, working on soft hands and ball control. Playing off a wall, controlling the ball dead on the stick, bouncing the ball on all sides, bouncing down to the floor and many more. As you can see from her scoring highlights last season in the Premier League, these ball control skills certainly come in handy!