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Coaching eNewsletter #3

By Shiv Jagday

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.




Coaching E-Newsletter #3    DEVELOPING Coaches and 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

Tactical: Thinking Strategies to play in the Left Defensive Quadrant (LDQ), with specific emphasis on bringing the ball from the left Side (Weak Side) to the Right Side(Strong Side), under pressure.

Technical: Role of the Stick Feints, in selling dummies to create space and time to make effective passing / receiving, tactical plays and moves.

Power point presentations and video clips: 

Supporting the core themes of this issue.

Training Method Tips: 

Strategies and Techniques to bring the ball from the left side of the body to the right.

Motivational Quotes:




I acknowledge and understand that, there are more than one way of doing and seeing things. This does not mean that the way other coaches train 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

Tactical Component:

During the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Women’s Gold Medal match between Netherlands – defending Champions - and Great Britain, who dethroned them, and won the Olympic gold medal for the first time in their history, there were approximately 14 Turnovers made by the GB team in the first half in their LDQ. They resulted in a counter attack, free hit or side line hits. This is a huge number of turnovers for a team of this caliber, and that also during the Olympic Games final match. And still win the Olympic Gold medal says a lot about our game and the direction in which it is going. It clearly exposes our weakness while highlighting, what needs to be improved upon, to maintain the possession of the ball under pressure, individually and as a team. This – knowledge gap - is basically for not developing the Soft Skills and Footwork of the players, at a young age.

EG, the first penalty stroke awarded to Netherlands had resulted from a TO in the LDQ, and very many more were to come, during the run of play.

Please refer to this Powerpoint Presentation, for more details

Primary reasons for the Turn Over’s:

  1. Players not having a highly effective strategic plan with soft skills + Footwork and a clear understanding of how to bring the ball from the left side of the body to the right side or clear it with the reverse stick. Reverse stick was the topic in the CNL # 2
  2. Not understanding the importance of having the ball on the strong side versus weak side
  3. Unnecessary spinning in circles clock wise and vice versa. This way not only diminishing one’s view of the field and the offensive team mates positions, but also making the opponents job easier. Please refer to scene # 2 in the PP presentation
  4. Footwork – Pivoting on the right foot to open the left foot and vice versa to increase the passing options. Please refer to scene # 2 in the PP presentation
  5. Criss crossing one’s feet and making one’s task harder, as resulting in being unbalanced and locking one’s options


Why are we trying to bulldoze our way through the opponents and not being fluid like water, which floats smoothly around the rocks, rather than trying to go through it. And with a given time it even melts the rocks. 

Please refer to the photo below:

The GB player is in the red. It looks like, as she was trying to spin with the ball clock wise, while forcing her way.

Strategies and Tactics while designing a game plan: Another tactical point, which came to my mind, while observing this game was, the way GB kept on passing the ball to their left side, to build the attack, in spite of this many turnovers. This got them into trouble, over and over again. Why was the attack not built from the right side, one’s strong side? Was this a surprise element? Or not observed and corrected in a timely fashion?

Pre Rio Olympic Games:  As it was mentioned in the Pre Rio Olympic Games article; one of the weaknesses of current generation of players is possession skills under pressure. For reference here are the points which were made.


  • Possession skills under pressure in a confined space. 
  • 1 on 1 tacking in a confined or open space
  • 1 on 1 elimination skills in a confined space and tight game situations
  • Over protecting the ball and hurting no one other, than oneself. And in some situations spinning in circles unnecessary. It’s like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire
  • Game Sense and Decision Making under pressure
  • Knowing when to go forward and take calculated risks, especially when the opponents are vulnerable and helpless. Why give a enemy the second chance to escape and survive. And later come to haunt you or even win the match
  • Another definite area of concern is FOOTWORK. How playing on one’s heels, with a wide stance, will hinder the Olympians to perform at the optimum level, with fluidity. Further, how it effects their performance in a negative way
  • Receiving the ball – Block Receiving – with one’s back towards the attacking goal, even when there is no opponent nearby

Exactly the above points landed GB team in the hot water again and again, at the same time Netherlands did not have the soft skills and calmness or the tactical awareness to exploit all these TO situations and burn the opponents. This allowed the GB team to swim out of the hot water, against the tide successfully.  No wonder Dutch lost their Olympic crown. And the opportunity to be the first team to win 3 Olympic gold medals in a row and hit a hat trick. One of the main reasons for GB to win was also their goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, who played exceptionally well.

Just for your reference, the above photo sequence was elaborated in the Pre Rio Olympic Games article.

Technical Component:

In the previous CNL’s we covered the role of open stick near the left foot of the body and the role of the reverse stick, to optimize one’s game effectiveness. In this issue we will cover the role of stick feints during ball control, passing, receiving and dodging.


This is a – another - skill which has not been given its due share and chance to grow, and show its worth. We are taught dribbling the ball in the traditional way, naming it Indian dribble. And in some cases it results in unnecessary over dribbling. Dribbling should be implemented to get one out of trouble and not into the trouble. One of the remedies from the disease of over dribbling is to introduce stick feints, as it encourages the player to look up and scan the field, apart from also controlling and protecting the ball in tight game situations.

These days stick feints have gone out of fashion, partly due to the game being played at such a fast pace. One only sees it once in a while, when an outstanding player implements the stick feints, at the right place and time.

During the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Paul Litzen's, the Dutch superstar of the 70's was asked about his views of the current game status, by a journalist. This is what he had to say,

"Of course players are much faster and fitter nowadays, but they are not so clever on the pitch. It's my opinion that players all do the same things at the same frantic speed, and seem totally unaware as to where their teammates are."

Isn't it true even today? You be the judge? The sad part is that, we are still moving/running, even at a more frantic speed today. Forgetting that, Slow and steady wins the race. There is a difference of 12 years, between Athens and Rio Olympic Games, and not much improvement has been seen, to what Paul Litzen's guided us in 2004 to improve upon.

Types of stick feints:

  1. Mini stick feints over the ball to control and protect it
  2. Adding tap to these Mini stick feints to add change of pace and leave the opponent wondering
  3. Selling a dummy as you are going to pass the ball towards your right with a reverse stick and going towards your left and vice versa
  4. Selling a dummy as you are going to hit the ball hard in deep defense or at the D top, when a opponent is rushing at you in panic, tapping the ball softly or dumping it towards the right in the feet of the onrushing opponent to make the next move

When and Where to apply:

Following are the game situations, where one can apply stick feints to harvest rich dividends.

  1. To change the pace and direction, with the ball, while being in contest
  2. To distract and confuse the opponent
  3. Intimidate the opponent – making him think that you are going to hit the ball and dodge him by softly tapping the ball
  4. To dodge an opponent, by deceiving him that you are going to pass the ball, and go in a different direction

Please click on the link below for more details

Self- fulfilling Philosophy:

We can easily convince ourselves by saying that there is no place for these type of soft skills and stick feints, in the current game, as it is being played at such a fast pace. And this is what I hear even from some top coaches and their players. Nothing can be further from the truth. This is the reason I have analyzed and isolated the game situations, to educate the coaches and players, so they become aware of these skills and know when and where to apply them.

Training Methods Tips:

How to bring the ball from one’s weak side (Left) to the strong side (Right), in the LDQ. In order to have more passing options and a better view of the field.

Step1. What not to do:

 Avoid teaching the young players spinning in circles. Yes, it sure has a time and place in the game, but has been over used and in fact misused at the wrong time and place. BTW, some of the GB TO in the Rio Olympic Games final match was due to their players spinning in circles in the LDQ, resulting in TO.

Step2. Teach stick feints:

Expose the young players to stick feints over the ball, with proper footwork. Practice coordination of stick work with stick feints and footwork, while implementing stick feints and stutter steps.

Please click on the link below for more on stick feints

Step3. Develop these skills in isolation:

Develop these skills in isolation, training in specific game situations, so the players know when and where to apply them.

E.G. Left half caught with the ball on the left side, while facing the side lines

 How will these 3 steps help?

  • Help the players to instantly recognize the fast changing patterns of play
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the players with crystal clear mental pictures, to differentiate between the moves/plays, which are highly effective than the ones which are less or not effective at all

Make players also understand and answer the following questions

What are you looking for and at in this specific game situation?

What are the moves you will implement to take the next step?

Are these moves working or not? And If not why

What has to be done differently to make it work?

Knowledge is Power:

When one does not identify the problem, it is not going to be easy to fix it and improve. Proper diagnosis is half the cure. Pinpoint the problem and find a solution with a systematic action plan.

The challenge we have is that the mindset and skill set of the current generation of coaches and players is different. They do not have many soft skills in their repertoire. In my honest opinion, they are also - a bit too - afraid to take calculated risks in offensive game situations. They think they are safe but are not.

The biggest risk is not taking any risk. Mark Zuckerberg

Coaching Tip:

Design game simulation situations, where most common and dangerous errors occur, resulting in TO's. this way the players become crystal clear about the dangerous situations, while training and learning strategies to cope with them efficiently and effectively.

This way their diagnosis and identification of self created errors will improve. On top of this, create a library of video clips and mental pictures of good and bad strategic plays. In other words, what to do and what not to do?



Motivational Quotes on Success:

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. Pele

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. Henry Ford

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. Albert Schweitzer

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. Franklin D. Roosevelt

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. Colin Powell

“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


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

  1. 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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    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

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