How to hold a field hockey stick

It’s basic stuff – but if you are brand new to hockey, or coaching people who are, it’s important to know how to hold the hockey stick in the correct position for moving the ball.

Picking up a stick like this allows a skill space under the arm and gives you more ball control. It stops you clogging your ball carry.

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Author: Liz Hollis

I am a journalist, media and content consultant.

4 thoughts on “How to hold a field hockey stick”

  1. I think you will find Liz, as you go through the videos in the article I sent you the link for that other centrally contracted coaches (international players and so on) are advocating a different finger v alignment – there are at least three versions – so which of them is correct or the best?

    The tape is simply twisted into a ‘rope’ which is overlaid to the desired shape and then bound over continuously with the same tape. The alternative is to fashion a shape with epoxy putty or similar and then tape over the top of it. The latter method has the advantage of not having to redo the shape any time that the tape needs to be renewed and it can conformed exactly to the shape of the supporting third finger. I have used both methods and have been doing it so long that I know ‘by eye’ the shape and thickness of I want.

    The tape is the type boxers use to bind their hands.- a white zinc oxide cloth tape with adhesive on one side. It’s thin, light and inexpensive and can be purchased in large rolls.

    The shape does not (provided it is not made too large) get in the way at all when carrying out other skills (moving the hands for hitting for example) the ‘point’ of the fits snugly between the fingers when the third finger is wrapped underneath it..

    Initially I used it as a marker and a reminder of where I wanted my right hand to be, but, I also found it useful as a ‘heel’ or ‘back-stop’ for the right hand when flicking or scooping the ball, it gives good purchase to the third finger.during these strokes.

    I have also ‘messed about’ with various additions to the top of the handle to improve the grip of the left hand, but I’ll say no more about that for now.

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    1. I should add that having experimented with all of the advised positions (this is shown in the videos in my article) the V alignment I favour least is the one shown in this video – down the centre of the back of the stick. It’s okay for over the top front of the ball style dribbling but very awkward when pulling the ball back and then taking the stick-head around the back of the ball – an essential but much neglected facet of ball control and stick-work.(that I used a lot when playing). The 1980’s ultra short head stick ‘killed’ this type of stick-work and it was forgotten by the time players came to their senses and began to favour first the midi and then the hook head stick.

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    1. Thanks Martin. I was looking at your post today with a view to adding it to this very post at a later date. My video clip is of a centrally contracted England Hockey coach so I’m happy it’s good advice but yes there does seem to be conflicting coaching regarding the left hand. Your post you link to above is really interesting and I would love to know more about exactly how you tape the stick to mark where it should be held. What sort of tape would you recommend? Does it not get in the way when doing other skills?

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