Sunday, March 26, 2023

Hockey World Cup 2023: Can the hit be revived as various to drag-flick? Specialists weigh in

The drag-flick is likely one of the most acquainted methods in fashionable hockey and the primary possibility for groups attempting to attain by a penalty nook. Groups with the very best glints on this planet typically focus extra on incomes penalty corners (PCs) than scoring.

However a few of the finest within the enterprise insist the one-rule-fits-all isn’t one of the best ways to utilise PCs. The drag-flick’s predecessor, the ‘hit’, has been steadily regaining acceptance from former gamers despite the fact that it hasn’t made it to the present coaching manuals. That will effectively change quickly, feels Bram Lomans.

Lomans, one of many earliest practitioners of the drag-flick and amongst its most profitable ones in world hockey, is one in a longline of Dutchmen who elevated the approach to an artwork kind and, with compatriots Teun de Nooijer and Floris Jan Bovelander, was an important cog within the all-conquering Holland facet within the late Nineties and early 2000s.

“I think the ‘hit’ is still very important. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some team even here (at the World Cup) tries to use it to try and score. I also think teams around the world need to start developing it again and find good hitters because scoring through flicks is also getting tougher, the space and angles to score are getting reduced all the time,” Lomans, who labored with the Indian drag-flickers for a specialised one-week camp fine-tuning their actions forward of the World Cup, advised Sportstar.

He isn’t the one one. One other of Dutch greats and PC specialists, Ties Kruize, additionally favours retaining the ‘hit’. “I think moving from hit to flick was a natural development, in line with changing rules and the goalkeepers and defenders getting better and teams trying to find new ways to score. But sometimes you get 3-4 short corners quickly and don’t score, and maybe players should think, ‘I should try an alternative way, maybe give it a good hit’? There can be so many variations, they are all legal,” Kruize puzzled.

Lomans agreed, acknowledging the significance of the flick however insisting groups must experiment. “The main reason flicking developed was because it got difficult scoring through hits. It was easier earlier because a hit was scored from inside the circle, so the ball had to travel maybe 10-12m. Then the rules changed. The ball had to go out of the circle before a shot could be taken, so the distance increased to around 15m. That makes a huge difference in actual play at those speeds.

“Defence also matters. With a hit, you could only hit as high as the backboard, and the goalkeepers would naturally lie down to save. With a flick, you have the entire goal to score, but that area is reducing with better defence. Goalkeepers hardly lie flat now. And, of course, variety is always good,” he defined.

Bovelander, too, has been a long-time proponent of utilizing the ‘hit’ in its place scoring technique, one thing former Dutch and present Spanish coach Max Caldas agreed to however hasn’t been too eager on merely due to lack of personnel who can execute the identical.

Apparently, the staunchest supporters of the ‘hit’ are from Holland, the nation that truly pioneered the drag-flick revolution. Whether or not that may be a signal of issues to come back stays to be seen.

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