Friday 27th June in Lund, Sweden brought the coaches and the players a blistering hot day, making the main emphasis of the day to constantly rehydrate. The day started with a diluted version of the game “British Bull Dogs” as a warm up exercise, in an attempt to integrate games common within the English culture. Next a dribbling exercise was performed whereby the players had to avoid one another in the semi-circle, which was later progressed into a game of invasion- which coincidently brought out the competitive side of the players. Later we taught the children how to perform basic skills such as the V-Drag, hitting and passing, where they developed the sequence of movements very quickly. Then we progressed these techniques into a shooting exercise where the children enjoyed the feeling of scoring. This certainly brought about a lot of smiles throughout the group. Once ability levels were established the more experienced players were taken to one side to practise reverse hitting, which was seen to them as an exciting prospect due to the lack of familiarity with the hitting style. After which we began the “Magic Hockey” session to encourage the players to reveal their creative side with tricks involving keeping the ball in the air, round the world and getting the ball in the hook. All of which is not common in the popular game of indoors that seems to dominate Swedish Hockey. Then we progressed this to our version of tennis hockey where a game was played to show off what they had learnt during magic hockey. Again the more experienced ones were very keen to progress onto the aerial technique where a lot of which got the pattern of movements very easily. During this time the younger children were enchanted with the new game they had learnt, with the most common phase of the day being “let’s play bulldogs again”.
The group then enjoyed a one hour break, where a very kind pizza delivery man brought the group of 17 a pizza each which went down a treat.
Throughout the second half of the day the emphasis was placed on the coaching side of things, with an attempt to inspire and guide new coaches to hopefully carry on the good work the Nordiac Caravans had already produced. During the session a brief was given similar to that of a theory session to instil confidence in the young coaches so that they could deliver a drill effectively. All the young coaches thrived on the challenge and used all the information given to them and successfully informed players about the activity and also imposed questions on the players to why they were doing the drill in relation to a game like situation.
Finally we ended the day with a competitive game, where conditions were imposed to force the players to use the skills previously taught. They did not fail in impressing us with the amount of information and techniques they remembered. In summary all the players soaked up all the information given and demonstrated a clear progression from the start of the day.