Playing professional hockey is not a child’s play. The crisp shots and cheering from the crowd comes to those who master the sport over the years, with practice, skill and hard work. As it is said, field hockey is all about art and not power, so you need to be sound at your skills and steady with your wrists and the stick. Though, besides skills, it involves some technicality as well and a lot of it depends on the type of gear you choose. Out of all, the hockey stick plays the most vital role as it is the prime accessory with which you play the game. Thus, to complement your game, it is essential that you chose the right twig to play with. Here is a brief description about the kind of hockey sticks (twigs) preferred by Indian players. Have a look at hockey stick for beginners for more info on this.
Both the left-handed and the right-handed players use the same type of stick as you need to use both hands to control it. It features a grip and a shaft, at the end of which is a flat area and a curved hook that faces the right. Players grip it using their right hand positioned at the base of the grip and the left one near the top of the stick and the flat area of the stick is meant to hit the ball with.
The foremost aspect while choosing a hockey stick should be its weight. It should be light enough for you to hold, and heavy enough to give the desired power to your shots. Most professionals opt for a medium-weight stick, however it all depends on the position you are playing at. Forward position is complemented by a lighter stick as it can be moved swiftly and easily, whereas a defender would prefer a heavy stick to stop the powerful shots and ensure hard hits. Midfielders use the medium weight as it gives the benefits of both, intensity and maneuverability. If you are a beginner then you should go for this, until you decide what your forte in the game is.
The length of the hockey twig is closely related to your height and skill. If you are a professional player, the stick needs to be longer to support a better reach around you. But for beginners it is better to take a stick that reaches just above your waist. Later you can use a longer stick. A 36-38 inch stick will suit the average Indian height.
It is the area with which you hit the ball. It is available in four types- hook, maxi, midi, shorti. The hook has the most curved aperture and is used by highly skilled players and defenders as it provides a large surface area for hitting or receiving the ball. It works best on a grass surface. Maxi is slightly less curved than the former, it is used for aforementioned purposes but it performs best on a turf. Midi is moderately curved, it is useful for midfielders as it can easily swivel around the ball and can stop moderate shots as well. Shorti is a lightly curved stick which is ideal for dribbling. It is used by the attack line players.