Playing professional field hockey requires a lot of effort and skill, as well as proper field hockey equipment. Crowd cheers and crisp shots usually come to those players, who master their skills over many years, with hard work, skill and practice. Many field hockey experts and aficionados will say that this sport is not so much about power, as it is about technique and finesse. In order to be successful at it, you need to be steady with your stick and your hands and wrists.
The importance of gear
However, not everything depends on your skills and experience. Field hockey success also largely depends on the type of gear you use, especially the sticks. There is not the slightest doubt that a hockey stick plays the most important role, since it is, after all, the prime accessory that all field hockey players use. Thus, to make your game performance complete, it is very important that you choose the most appropriate and the best field hockey stick. With this article, we will try to explain to you some of the basics of hockey sticks and what you should pay attention to.
Both the right-handed and left-handed players use, basically, the same type of hockey stick, mainly because it requires both hands to be properly controlled. Every stick features a shaft and a grip, along with a curved hook and a flat area at the end of the shaft. The players grip their sticks by using their right or left hand, positioned at the base of the grip, and the other hand, near the top of the stick.
When choosing a field hockey stick, make sure to pay most attention to the weight. A stick needs to be heavy enough, in order to give that necessary power to your shots, as well as light enough, so that you can hold it comfortably. Professionals usually use medium-weight sticks. However, in the end, it all boils down to the position you are playing at. Forward position players prefer lighter sticks, for smooth and swift movements.
On the other hand, defender position players usually opt for heavier sticks, which allow them to make powerful hits and block hard shots. Lastly, midfielders mostly use medium-weight sticks, since they equally provide both benefits, maneuverability, and power. If you are a novice, try starting with a medium stick and then decide whether you want to switch to heavier or lighter models.
The exact length of the field hockey stick should be closely related to your skill level and height. If you are professionally into field hockey, you should use a longer stick, so as to ensure a better reach around you. However, if you are a novice or a rookie, it would be good for you to start with a shorter stick, one that barely reaches above your waist. After you have acquired some skills and experience, consider switching to a longer stick, with lengths of no less than 35 inches and no more than 38 inches.
The toe style
Lastly, pay attention to the area with which you hit the ball. There are four main types: the Maxi, the Midi, the Hook and the Shorty. The Hook is the most curved one and is usually recommended for highly skilled players. The Maxi is slightly less curved and is best used on turf. The Midi has a moderately curved aperture and mostly preferred by midfielders. Last, but not least, is the Shorty, which features a lightly curved aperture and is best used for dribbling.