Field Hockey New Coach Toolkit

A curated guide for people brand-new to field hockey coaching — covering the basics!

Home » Resources » Field Hockey New Coach Toolkit

Are you a coach or parent who is brand new to the sport of field hockey? We want to help you get to know our great game!

Review the segments within each section of the New Coach Toolkit to gain a basic understanding of field hockey’s rules, technical skills, and practice and game management. You can WATCH curated videos, READ online articles, EXPLORE digital resources, and DOWNLOAD helpful guides. LEVEL UP with more advanced resources.

All of our curated YouTube videos are easily accessible through our New Coach Toolkit Playlist.

Quick Facts to Get You Started

Did You Know

Field hockey is the third most played sport in the world!

Did You Know

On average, players travel more than five miles during the course of a field hockey match.

Did You Know

Field Hockey is the national sport of The Netherlands, India, and Pakistan.

Rules of Field Hockey

Once you get to know them, the rules of field hockey can be quite simple! Review suggested videos and articles below to grasp the rules, what is allowed, what is not, and what can happen in each area of the field.

Keep in mind…in the United States we have slightly different rules based on the level — there are international rules, collegiate modifications, and additional high school modifications based on which state you are coaching in. Once you grasp the international rules explained below, be sure to reference the official rules in your area and level of play.


NFHCA basic field hockey pitch diagram with descriptions for new coaches


  • 5 Things About Hockey [2:25] — a very simple introduction to the rules of the game
  • Hockey Rules [17:30] — this is the most up-to-date video that covers the field hockey rules you need to know
  • How to Hockey, Hockey Basics [2:30] — this video is produced by our international governing body, the FIH, it is slightly out of date, but is a quick overview of general hockey rules
    • Hint, Hint: In this video, when they say “Football” they mean soccer
    • Keep in mind…In US High School field hockey, “meters” are measured in yards. For example, “15-meters” is 16-yards
  • How to Hockey, Umpire Signals [1:38] — another video by the FIH that explains umpire hand signals
  • How to Hockey, Self Pass [1:00] — this FIH video briefly shows how players use the self pass on free hits


Level Up

Field Hockey Skills

Field hockey is a sport that offers athletes the opportunity to be creative with endless variations of skills — there are always new skills being invented! But, every hockey player should begin with a grasp of the most fundamental attacking and defensive skills. Starting with the way they grip their stick.

Review the suggested videos and PDF resources to understand how to teach the basic skills of field hockey.

NFHCA basic field hockey technical skill diagram with descriptions for new coaches


Download & Read

Practice and Game Management

The first step in becoming a field hockey coach is understanding the basics of the game, but the equally important second step is being organized for games and practices. It’s easy to have a plan with our practice and game management guides.



  • Substituting Field Players [1:55] — Skip the first 25 seconds of this video to get to a clear description of how to substitute field players during the game
    • Keep in mind…this video from Brisbane refers to “short corners” which is another name for what we call “penalty corners” or just “corners”
  • Substituting Goalkeepers [2:36] — Skip the first 25 seconds of this video to get to a clear description of how to substitute goalkeepers during the game
  • How to Hockey, Penalty Corners [1:36] — a quick summary of what penalty corners are
  • Penalty Stroke [3:28] — watch Jeroen Hertzberger break down the basics of a penalty stroke
  • Shoot Out Thrill — FIH Pro League Spain vs India (Men)


  • Explore the NFHCA Drill Library for drills to use with your team! Members get access to the full Drill Library and all of the NFHCA Drill Booklets.


Level Up

Watch Top-Level Games & Highlights