MENTAL preparation and decision-making was the major focus of the first NIAS boys’ hockey camp under new head coach Sam Lobsey.
The 17 players aged 13 to 16 were inducted into the program last week, although had their first team run on Sunday at UNE.
“The exercises today are about making choices and reading the game,” Lobsey said.
“At this age they can rely on natural skill and talent.
“When they hit rep sides and older teams, the skill level evens out and it becomes a mental challenge.”
The morning was broken up into three different sessions, with speed training and fitness first.
They then moved on to basic technique, trapping and striking the ball, as well as awareness of opposition in attack and defence.
The training run finished with team play where possession was the key.
“It’s about using possession to get into the circle, not individual play,” Lobsey said.
“It all comes back to that mental game, patience and reading the play.”
Assistant coach Greg Doolan was also on hand to check out the new squad.
The former head coach is very impressed with the players available this year.
“It is a very handy squad,” Doolan said.
“I think it would be one of the strongest in the state.”
The squad will have one more training session in Tamworth before breaking for Christmas.
Early next year the team will travel to Newcastle to take on Hunter in two games.
A team from UTS Sydney is also travelling to Tamworth in April to take on the NIAS team.