INDIVIDUAL PLAYING SKILLS – PASSING
Learning of ball passing should start with a forehand pass of a standing player. A player stands in a basic position with a wide stand and sideways towards the direction of the pass. Ball is placed roughly in the middle of the blade. Bottom hand straight and stretched behind player’s body.
Player‘s weight is on a back foot. Front leg is loose and almost straightened up. Back leg during a forehand pass is meant the leg on the side of the ball. At the beginning of a learning process, the pass should be performed in straight direction and with an eye control.
Together with a ball movement, the balance (weight) is shifted from back foot to the front foot. At the moment of a ball release, the entire body weight should be on a front foot. Back leg should be an almost straightened up and front leg bent after a finishing of the pass.
„Closing“ of the ball with a blade is crucial in order to deliver a flat pass. When teaching a kids or rookies, it is important to emphasize that the movement starts behind player’s body and the passing is carried by dragging the ball and not by hitting it. Pushing a blade to the ground will provide the right ball control. It is also important to teach beginner to watch, where the ball is going respective where do they pass. Attention should be also given to the stick forth-swing so it doesn’t go too high.
A backhand pass is practiced from the other side. A player with a left stick is standing in basic posture turned with his left hip towards the pass and the other way round. Again it is important to transfer the center of gravity from the back leg to the front one (now using a left stick from the right leg to the left).
Due to its difficult execution and the low speed of the ball by only dragging it, we also teach backhand pass by hitting the ball. The ball lays in front of the players feet, he reaches out (it doesn’t have to be in the air, it is enough to swing back close to the floor) and hits the ball with the middle of the blade. At the same time the hit should be partly led in the floor, by hitting only the ball the pass isn’t that accurate.
The transferring of the center of gravity during passing practice is similar to dribbling. After mastering the skills perfectly there is no need of outstanding transfer of the centre of gravity, in a match there isnt even enough time and space to do that. While practicing we cant avoid it though. It is the only way to teach methodically correct basics to continue with practicing game activities and skills during the game, where there is less time and space.
It is advisable to carry out the practice in a short distance of the board (2 to 3meters), ideally with a straight line in the direction of the pass. After this we continue with practicing forehand and backhand passes in couples. Further it is possible to combine passes, later passing on first touch and in toward position. Afterwards we increase the distance between the players and we add activities after the pass (turning, going around a cone, etc.). The top of the methodical practice of passes are passes between two moving players. Always, when it is possible, we add shooting into passing exercises.
Carrying out an aerial pass is very similar to a pass on the floor. The contact time with the ball can be shortened, when carrying out the pass with the wrist it is not necessary to drag the ball from behind the body. The center of gravity is lowered and transfered backwards. It is possible to carry out a aerial pass by dragging or with a forehand hit, even with a less common backhand way. Aerial passes carried out by hitting the ball are usually used to quickly transfer the game or for hit-ins at the own half of the rink. It is not so accurate as a dragged pass, but it is usually more forceful and longer. The player stretches out near the floor and hits the ball with the curved side of the blade, the angle of the sway affects the trajectory.
Receiving a pass should be connected with getting open for a pass. For traditional reasons it is more connected to passing. Receiving a pass is carried out similarly as the pass itself, only in the opposite way. The player begins in the position like after releasing the pass and reverses with the stick closely in front of the ball and cushions it with the middle of the blade. The center of gravity is transfered the other way round, from the front leg to the back one. Without the backward movement of the stick the ball would crash into the blade and bounce away. To receive an aerial pass, we have to respect the rules by not jumping up, playing with hands, head, high foot etc. The most effective way is to crouch, let the ball bounce from the body on the floor and than gain control using the stick. It is possible to use the blade to control a bouncing ball in the height of the knees. It is also useful to have a leg prepared behind the stick to prevent opponent from hitting the ball.