Germany’s women’s hockey team is aiming for a medal at the World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands. The quarter-final against New Zealand is on Tuesday (12/07/2022, 5 PM). A tactical strategy from national coach Valentin Altenberg, which can be used in other ball sports as well, will help the German team.
Just before Christmas. World Cup quarter in Qatar. National coach Hansi Flick’s German footballers are in top form. And offer Antonio Rudiger and Nico Schlotterbeck as the twin leads.
Are you crazy? After all, it seems completely unrealistic and under no circumstances will it happen to footballers in this form in December. The same thing happened with the German women’s national hockey team.
Dragged from defense to attack
Nike Lawrence and Hannah Granitsky have been the most important defensive leaders in the German team for years. At the World Cup tournament in the Netherlands and Spain these days, they are promising national hockey coach Valentin Altenberg by storm.
Altenburg is thus pursuing a clear goal: “Hockey has long been characterized by counter-attacking. So our front line plays an important role in making sure our entire defense is there.”Traitor.
Two defensive specialists as first defenders
That’s why he made two trained defenders into strikers. Lawrence is the first German to attack the opponent in the center, while Granitsky defends in the front, mostly on the wings.
“I don’t care where I play. Setting up and scoring a goal is just as emotional as defending a goal.”Granitsky said “Hamburger Abendblatt”.
He conceded only four goals in four World Cup matches
For Hamburg’s Granitsky and Cologne’s Nike Lawrence, the move to the new position was certainly a big adjustment. “Something like that doesn’t even work at world-class standards.”, also knows the national coach. But his idea is working in this World Cup.
In fact, the German team defends very well and has only conceded four goals in four matches. Granitsky and Lawrence operate as favored interceptors, anticipating passes from opposing defenders early, perhaps because they know from their own experience that defenses like to play strong.
Option for other ball sports too?
But it wasn’t just the two new strikers who had to be replaced. “In the beginning I was always looking behind me and just looking for Nike”says midfielder Annie Schroeder. “At the same time, I’m thankful for the defense in front of me because it gives us an incredibly high level of security behind us.”
The German team did not concede a goal in the Round of 16 1-0 against South Africa, as they did in the last group match against Ireland (3-0). Altenberg, the national coach, believes his tactical strategy can be transferred to other ball sports as well.
Less chance of penalty corners for the opponent
“This is conceivable in other sports as well.”He says. “However, hockey is unique because here it makes a big difference whether you defend the opponent in front of you or just in your own shooting circle.” After all, there is always the danger of penalty corners in the circle, which causes a lot of goals in hockey.
The German team is already certain to attack again with Granitsky and Lawrence in the quarter-finals against New Zealand. Maybe it wasn’t just defensive action for either of them. Penalty corner specialist Lawrence has already scored three tournament goals. Hannah Granitzki wants to follow: “I’d be happy with a cupcake”she says.
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