Hurling Skills

(Coaching Points are adapted from the FUNdamentals Manual, written by Terence McWilliams)

The Ground Strike

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Keep your eye on the sliotar when striking

Hands:

  • Move from Ready Position to Lock Position
  • Hold hurl with right hand on top and left hand below ready to move to the ‘locked’ position by sliding the non dominant hand down the hurl
  • Lift the hurl until it is above the head with the bas horizontally above the left foot (Right hand top)
  • Bend the arms at the elbows, the right elbow is raised out to the side bringing the left elbow in front of the chest
  • Swing the hurl downwards in an anticlockwise arc with a ‘wristy’ action
  • Strike the sliotar ‘flat on’ with the bas of the hurl in front of the left foot
  • It is the hands that generate the speed of the hurl by pulling the hurl through at maximum speed
  • The left hand pulls the hurl forward and leads the hands in the follow through

Feet:

  • Shoulder width apart with the shoulder in line with the target
  • The right hip is moved to the side to give the body a banana shape
  • Bend the knees as you strike
  • Body weight is transferred from the right to the left as the swing is completed
  • It is the hips that make the swing… Left hip turns and swings forward carrying the shoulders and arms with it
  • Repeat above while walking slowly forward attempting swings from both sides

Common Faults:

  • Lifting the head too early
  • Not using a short wristy swing with a good follow through
  • Feet in the wrong position and knees not bending
  • Hands not in the right place and elbows not bending

The Roll Lift

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Bend the knees and back to bring the head own over the sliotar

Hands:

  • Let players use a shorter grip when learning the skill
  • Both hands face down towards the bas – thumbs on top of the hurl
  • Right hand turns hurl with its toe facing right
  • Place the centre of the bas firmly on the sliotar
  • Keeping the hurl as close to the ground as possible roll he sliotar towards you
  • Withdraw the hurl from the rolling sliotar at speed and scoop the toe of the hurl under the sliotar up into the left cupped hand

Feet:

  • Move to lifting position – Bend the knees and back to bring the head over the ball
  • Place the non dominant foot alongside the sliotar
  • The sliotar should be in front of the left foot
  • Let inexperienced players kneel on both knees initially when attempting the role lift

The Jab Lift

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Bend the knees and back to bring the head down over the sliotar

Hands:

  • Use a shortened grip for more control
  • Move from ready position to the lifting position

Feet:

  • The left foot is in front of the right foot in line with the sliotar
  • The hurl is held outside the hip with the toe facing to the right
  • Keep the hurl as parallel to the ground as possible
  • Jab the toe of the hurl underneath the sliotar
  • Release the weaker hand from the hurl and allow the sliotar to fall into the cupped left hand

Tip: Encourage players to take the sliotar as close to the ground as possible.

Solo Run

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Key Coaching Points:

The solo run is used for keeping possession and invading the opposition’s territory.Balancing the sliotar on the hurl is an important introduction to the solo and striking the sliotar from the hand.This skill helps to develop hand eye coordination.

Head:

  • Try to keep head up to scan the situation ahead

Hands:

  • Point the hurl forward with the bas flat and the toe pointing away from the body
  • Hold the hurl straight with both hands about hip height in a stationary position without the sliotar
  • The dominant hand should be at the top and the other hand half way down the hurl
  • Beginners may wish to use a ‘shortened’ grip i.e. both hands are further down the hurl
  • When you become more comfortable running whilst soloing, you should try it with one hand

Feet:

  • Initially just try this skill at walking pace, then increase the pace as you become more comfortable with it

Body Catch

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Watch the flight of the sliotar all the way into the hand

Hands:

  • Hold hurl in dominant hand with a shortened grip if necessary
  • The non dominant hand and forearm are held across the base of the chest in preparation for the dropping sliotar on the chest
  • Raising the shoulders helps to cushion the impact of the sliotar on the chest
  • When sliotar strikes chest, cushion sliotar by withdrawing chest backwards
  • On impact the left hand quickly covers the sliotar to the chest and grips in hand

Feet:

  • Get your feet behind the flight arc of the sliotar, one foot in front of the other, knees bent
  • Stay on your toes in order to change your body position if necessary

High Catch

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Watch the sliotar all the way into the hand

Hands:

  • Raise the hurl above you head and release the non dominant hand just in front of the hurl for an opponent coming from the rear or behind the hurl if the opponent is challenging from the front
  • Use an open hand with fingers pointing upwards facing the sliotar
  • The ball is caught against the fingers – The hand itself is in a cupped shape
  • Relax the cupped hand on impact to cushion the sliotar and close the fingers on the sliotar
  • Pull the ball down quickly and move off

Feet:

  • Position your feet in line of flight of the ball and be on your toes ready to react to any changes
  • Keep feet shoulder width apart with knees bent

Hand Pass

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Key Coaching Points:

The hand pass is used to make a short distance pass to a team mate.  It is useful when you are under pressure from an opponent as it is harder to block or intercept.

Head:

  • Scan for players in a better position than you who you will make the hand pass to
  • Keep your eye on the sliotar until it is on its way

Hands:

  • Hold the hurl in the dominant hand with the sliotar in the non dominant hand
  • Toss the sliotar up with the non dominant hand to below shoulder height
  • Use the base of the fingers to strike the sliotar
  • Move the hand from the shoulder and strike through the sliotar towards the receivers hand or chest
  • Shorten the hurl grip if necessary when hand passing

Feet:

  • Try to keep a strong stance so you do not lose balance when hand-passing

Ground Block

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Key Coaching Points:

This skill is used when two players compete for a ground sliotar coming between them. The aim is for one opponent to prevent the other from striking the sliotar.

Head:

  • Watch the approaching sliotar and your opponent in order to step in at the right time

Hands:

  • Reach with dominant hand and place the heel of the hurl into the ground as this prevents hurls from being damaged
  • The hand should be held strong in order to take the force of your opponent’s hurl
  • Keep the handle well held out from your body to prevent your opponent’s hurl sliding up your hurl

Feet:

  • If right hand top lead with your right foot and place it just in front of the sliotar
  • The heel of the hurl is placed to the side of the foot with the handle of the hurl placed out from the body
  • Move the sliotar away from your opponent as you screen the sliotar by pivoting on your left leg

Hooking

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Watch your opponents hurl to time the placing of your hurl for the hook and decide with which foot and hand to lead with

Hands:

  • Hurl is held in the strong hand at full length with the toe pointing up. When hooking, hurl should be held above the opponents elbow
  • During the downswing place your hurl with the toe facing upwards underneath your opponent’s hurl

Feet:

  • Player about to hook stands a hurl plus an arms length behind and in the middle of his opponent’s back
  • If opponent aims to strike off his right side step your right foot to his right side and vice versa for the other side
  • Reach in with a long last right stride

Frontal Block

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Keep the hurl in front of the head at all times
  • The head should usually be lower than the opponent’s hurl
  • Eyes open on hurl and opponent’s sliotar

Hands:

  • Hurl is held at full length, hands tight together with thumbs pointing towards the bas
  • Hurl held in front of the face at all times for protection
  • Reach forward by setting your hurl on the bas of your opponent’s hurl sliding your non dominant hand back towards the dominant hand
  • Try and keep contact with your opponent’s hurl and sliotar

Feet:

  • Move in directly in front of your opponent about a hurl’s length away
  • Step in your dominant foot in an astride position as your opponent throws the sliotar up
  • Kneel with the back knee almost touching the ground for greater reach
  • Move in after the block and move the sliotar away to a free space with your foot or hurl to take possession

Overhead Block Down

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Keep your eyes on the sliotar at all times

Hands:

  • Both thumbs should be pointing up the shaft of the hurl
  • Arms should be full extended to meet the sliotar at the highest point
  • Sliotar should be contacted on the downward  ‘arc of flight’ with fully extended hurl
  • Use a wrist action to bat the sliotar to your team mate

Feet:

  • Move feet to judge the arc of the sliotar
  • Jump if necessary to meet the sliotar at the highest point

Striking from the Hand

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Key Coaching Points:

(Right Sided Strike)

Head:

  • Look up at the target before striking and keep a mental target in your head where you  want the ball to go – Keep your eyes on the sliotar

Hands:

  • The ball is held in the cupped left hand i.e. non dominant hand with the elbow slightly bent
  • The right hand firmly grips the hurl in an upright position in front of the dominant right shoulder with the bas above head height
  • The left shoulder is in line with the target
  • Swing the hurl downward with a wrist action
  • Strike the ball between knee and hip level

Feet:

  • Adopt the ready position with the shoulders and feet in line with the target
  • The feet initially may have to ‘side follow each other’ in the stroke i.e. The right foot moves behind the left foot as the ball is tossed in front of the left knee
  • As the left hand moves to the lock position the left leg slides forward so that both feet are in an astride position ready for the strike
  • As the strike is made the body weight is transferred from the right foot to the left foot
  • Bend the knees as you strike the ball
  • When ready attempt to strike the sliotar without crossing the feet i.e. one foot follows the other

Common Mistakes:

  • Striking too early or late
  • Throwing the ball too high or not high enough
  • Throwing the ball straight up or too far out in front of the body
  • Attempting to strike too hard or easy
  • Failing to keep the eyes on the ball at all times

Doubling the Sliotar in the Air

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Focus on the arc (flight path) of the approaching sliotar

Hands:

  • Move to the lock position as the sliotar drops
  • Use a shortened grip if necessary especially if striking from over your shoulder
  • Swing on the sliotar at the highest point with a wristy action
  • Rotate the shoulders and swivel the hips to aid the striking action

Feet:

  • Move underneath the ball so that the feet are in the right position
  • Get the feet and hips in the intended path you hope to strike
  • The position of the dropping sliotar will determine whether the sliotar is hit from the dominant or non dominant side

Sideline Cut

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Keep your eye on the sliotar when striking

Hands:

  • Move from Ready Position to Lock Position
  • Hold hurl with right hand on top and left hand below ready to move to the ‘locked’ position by sliding the non dominant hand down the hurl
  • Lift the hurl until it is above the head with the bas horizontally above the left foot (Right hand top)
  • Bend the arms at the elbows, the right elbow is raised out to the side bringing the left elbow in front of the chest
  • Swing the hurl downwards in an anticlockwise arc with a ‘wristy’ action
  • Strike the sliotar with the bas angled to generate the height on the sliotar
  • It is the hands that generate the speed of the hurl by pulling the hurl through at maximum speed
  • The left hand pulls the hurl forward and leads the hands in the follow through

Feet:

  • Approach the sliotar by taking 3-4 shuffled steps with your left foot staying in front
  • On impact the right foot should be behind the body to allow the angle of the hurl to slide under the sliotar
  • Bend the knees and elbows to create the angle to lift the sliotar off the grass as you strike
  • Body weight is transferred from the right to the left as the swing is completed

Common Faults:

  • Lifting the head too early
  • Not using a full wristy swing with a good follow through
  • Feet in the wrong position and knees not bending
  • Hands not in the right place and elbows not bending

Free Puck

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Look up at the target before striking and keep a mental target in your head where you  want the ball to go – Keep your eyes on the sliotar

Hands:

  • Bend knees and elbows to get close to the ground for the lift.
  • Lob the ball up to shoulder/head height and forwards. (Either a roll or jab lift may be used for taking frees, whichever the player feels more comfortable with.)
  • Open the shoulders and make a full back swing.
  • Strike though the sliotar at between hip and knee level.
  • Follow through for maximum power and accuracy.

Feet:

  • Feet should be shoulder width apart with the sliotar positioned just inside the left foot.
  • Feet, hips and shoulders should all be aligned towards the target.
  • After lobbing the sliotar, shuffle the feet across to meet the sliotar and strike.

Common Mistakes:

  • Striking too early or late
  • Lobbing the ball too high or not high enough
  • Lobbing the ball straight up or too far out in front of the body
  • Attempting to strike too hard or easy
  • Failing to keep the eyes on the ball at all times

Just for Fun – Reverse Flick & Strike

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Key Coaching Points:

Head:

  • Look up at the target before striking and keep a mental target in your head where you  want the ball to go – Keep your eyes on the sliotar

Hands:

  • Bend knees and elbows for stability and balance.
  • Open the shoulders and make a full back swing.
  • Strike though the sliotar at between hip and knee level.
  • Follow through for maximum power and accuracy.

Feet:

  • Trap the sliotar between the middle of your two feet
  • Hop your feet up towards your right hip and release the ball into the air
  • Land with your feet spread wide for optimum balance

Common Mistakes:

  • Striking too early or late
  • Lobbing the ball too high or not high enough
  • Lobbing the ball straight up or too far out in front of the body
  • Attempting to strike too hard or easy
  • Failing to keep the eyes on the ball at all times