Hockey is a highly complex game and a lot of a player’s skill comes from a knowledge of the basics of the game. When starting to play hockey at the age of 7 to ten, it is the best time to instil these basics into your daughter’s way of thinking. In order to do this effectively; however, one needs to understand that each age group has a set of characteristics which determines what they are able to learn.

During this Junior Primary level, the basics are of such a nature that they help your daughter develop necessary physical and mental skills needed for adult life. For girls at this age, they are able to work on the following hockey skills:

• Movement
• Coordination
• Handling of the stick and the ball
• Learning based on experiences
It is important to note that while these are common characteristics of this age group, every girl is an individual and may lack or possess more aptitude for these skills lessons. It is not to say that your daughter is slower in developing or more talented, but rather that there is no standard in learning these skills as everyone develops in their own time.
Peanuts and Pears, explained below, is a great game for young sportswoman to play as it focuses on speed (movement) and tackling/ handling skills while having fun. Learning through play is the name of the game here.
Peanuts and Pears
What you will need:
• A T-shaped set of lines, for example, where the half of the field marks the edge of the field.
• The area of play should be 20 meters squared.
How to play:
1. Divide the players into two teams; the peanuts and the pears.
2. Line up the players, alternating between peanuts and pears, along the halfway line.
3. When the coach calls ‘peanuts’, the peanut players must dribble their ball over the safety line (edge of the field), while the pear players chase and tackle them to get the ball.
4. If the pear player tackles the peanut player cleanly, then the peanut player must join the pears team.
5. The game ends when one team has caught all the players from the other team.
6. Coaches can trick players by calling out other words starting with ‘P’ occasionally to build anticipation.


Image Courtesy of Sports And Safety Surfaces