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IQ proves valuable for Rutgers on hockey turf

When it comes to field hockey, one applies their IQ in the same way as real life, but there are different levels to doing it in field hockey.

“There is game sense, time management and being able to understand how to control the game,” senior midfielder Sophie Wright said of the Rutgers field hockey team. “Having the ability and confidence to do that is huge in this game. As a player, you want to run the show the way we [the team] can do rather than the opponents.”

In a game of field hockey, there is constant motion throughout each half with no breaks. Players have to be able to absorb the information in front of them and act on it.

IQ is something that is learned and developed over time. Head coach Meredith Long feels that there is no better way for her players to learn than to put real game situations in front of them throughout practice. 

“We coach IQ,” Long said. “We have some that do get it naturally and some that need to develop a bit more. We are constantly trying to put them in training where they have to make decisions like managing a game, or a one-goal lead, or being a goal down.”

Long feels a combination of game experience, training environment and analyzing game footage improve a player’s IQ. 

The more a player applies what she learns in practice, the more polished she is out on the field and gets a better grasp on the game.

“On the field, to be able to pre-scan the scheme or play and take in the information off the ball is huge,” Long said. “Then the player must apply that information when they have the ball to make plays.”

Having a high on-field IQ helps players know where to go on defense or offense and where they can best position themselves to have an impact for their team. 

“Experience really helps build game awareness,” Wright said. “The more you play, the more you learn and the better you get.”

Poor IQs hurt a team’s overall performance, as the players are all over the field and are not executing to the level they can. 

“You have to have a good game sense IQ,” said senior midfielder Jenn Staab. “You can tell if they have it or they do not.”

But sometimes having a higher IQ does not always win the game.

“I definitely say that having more heart wins every time,” said Wright. “If you want it more than the other team, you are going to win the game.”

For updates on the Rutgers field hockey team, follow @TargumSports for updates.

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