26 July 2023
Hockey is a great team sport for children to take part in. It has many benefits, not just in terms of health and general athleticism but in confidence and personal development. Your child will learn how to work well as part of a team and develop essential social skills that will be useful to them as they progress through life. Hockey is a highly competitive team sport, and early involvement and coaching can even lead to eventual competition in the Olympic Games. We have collated some points to consider about hockey below.
There are estimated to be around 118,000 people across the UK who play hockey - or field hockey, as it is sometimes called to differentiate it from ice hockey. There are multiple clubs and age-differentiated leagues for children, so they are not playing against physically larger and more experienced opponents. It is normal for Team GB to do very well at the Olympic Games in this sport because of the popularity and quality of players that they can choose from.
London is very well-served for junior hockey clubs, with many excellent options for your child to get involved. There are also a large number of teams the length and breadth of the UK that young people are able to join.
If they have played a little at school and are showing prowess and interest, joining one of these teams can really bring on their game. They will be working directly with the qualified coaching staff, and this can only help them to learn the skills that they need to improve.
In these times when young people are often focused on computer games and indoor pursuits, hockey gives the chance to go to a patch of green space and run around in the fresh air. The health benefits from doing this on a regular basis are immense, with muscle building and cardiovascular health being at the forefront of these.
Playing outdoors with others also fosters a healthy sense of rivalry and competition, which young people can channel into other aspects of their lives. It is not uncommon to make hockey friends as well forging healthy rivalries that will last well into the teenage years and will spur on your child to achieve greater success. Friendships are great but never underestimate the power of spite as a motivating factor!
If you want your child to enjoy hockey and to succeed at it, the best thing you can do is to ensure that they have good kit. Some kids are discouraged when the heavy ball hits them in the legs, or they get hit by sticks, so safety equipment shouldn’t be skimped on. This goes doubly if your child is the goalie, as that can be a dangerous job! It is definitely worth investing in decent protective clothing and a stick that is the right size for them.