From our coach, Pixie Jones
(see 'Documents' for an easy-to-print PDF version)

Pre-Season Coaching tips

The following two comments have been heard on the lawns at times and I hope this is of some help.

“I keep missing my roquets on the same side”

If it is not the alignment of the shot that is incorrect, it is most likely to be that the mallet is being diverted during the swing by the player pushing with the bottom hand.  To correct, check your stalking, then your foot placement.  Both feet should be facing directly forward, equal distance from the mallet, with toes facing directly forward. Try bringing the hands together.  If this is not an option, loosen the grip on the bottom hand to assist with the follow through.  If your bottom hand grip is too tight on the mallet, it can cause the mallet to move to the side by a couple of degrees.  If you hold your mallet still, then tighten your grip, you may be able to see the mallet turn slightly!!

“My mallet twists in my hands”

You are not hitting the ball in the middle of the mallet face.  The force of the impact on the ball causes the mallet to twist in the hands.  To correct, stalk the ball more carefully, making sure that the mallet will strike the centre of the ball and swing smoothly from the shoulders watching the exact point of contact with the ball.  If you can keep your upper body perfectly still, except for the shoulder/arm movement, until you have finished your follow through and brought your mallet back to the starting position, you should have fewer off-centre hits.  If this does not work you could be tightening your lower grip.  Try as above.

From our coach, Pixie Jones                                                                                                   (see 'Documents' for an easy-to-print PDF version)

Practicing for success

In any sport, the most pleasure one gets is the pleasure that comes from being successful.  This is also true when practicing.  In the young year 8 netball team that I coach, the girls all had to raise $50 and one child’s mother hit upon the idea of getting family members and friends to pay her daughter for each set of goals she shot.  Starting at shooting 5 goals in a row without missing, next 6 in row then 7 in a row until she gets to 30 shots put up in a row without a single miss.  She will be very successful.

We can practice for success ourselves with our hoop running and roquets, both very important aspects of association and golf croquet. Take 8 balls and place them one at a time a short distance in front of a practice hoop.  If you can fire all 8 balls successfully through the hoop, bring the balls a small distance back and try again.  When you get to 100 successful hoops run, start again on a small angle.  You will notice a huge difference in your confidence when next you play a game.  

Do a similar exercise to improve your roqueting.  Put 16 balls a small distance apart and start your sequence by hitting 8 roquets out of 8.  Bring them a small distance further apart and off you go again.  See if you can successfully get to 100 roquets.  You will probably find a distance in both of these exercises where you start to come unstuck.  This will be a distance which needs a lot more practice to become 100% successful.   Start again at your “comfortable” distance then move the balls a smaller distance apart than before.  Keep being successful in your practice.  You may not get paid to do it but the reward will be success in your game.