Out of all the players on a hockey field, goalkeepers require the most kit. Being properly kitted out is essential as it helps prevent injury.
While some of the more serious injuries happen in ice hockey rather than field hockey, having the right kit will keep you protected and at least offer some protection from serious harm.
The key items in every hockey goalkeeper’s bag are an abdominal guard or box, leg guards, body armour, padded shorts, kickers, arm and neck guards, and a helmet. Gloves are also essential, and many of the top goalkeepers opt for additional pelvic guards or boxes and knee protectors.
That may be the kit that a goalkeeper needs, but there are also some essentials to remember when taking up this position.
A proper fit saves you every time
Ill-fitting gear can be as bad as not wearing any, or even worse. Your kit should always fit you properly and not be too small or too big. When you stand up, there shouldn’t be any part of your body that is not protected or doesn’t have padding in front of it. Kit that is too small is dangerous as it won’t cover you properly, whilst kit that is too big can cause you to fall or come loose very easily.
Test your manoeuvrability
Kit shouldn’t be overly bulky or hinder your movement too much; goalkeepers need to be quick off the mark. You can test your gear when following instructions in a field hockey training drills video such as those available at www.sportplan.net and see whether you can still move with ease.
Kit to enhance performance
Depending on the level at which you play hockey, your kit should enhance your performance wherever possible. It should not slow you down, and it should offer you the best in performance so you can play with confidence. Cheaper kit may be as good as the more expensive version, but if you are serious about your game, invest in the best high-performance padding you can find.
Check your kit every time
Before you go into the net, make sure that your kit is on correctly and that straps are done up tightly. A quick check could help you avoid a serious injury by ensuring your padding and protection do their job.