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What are the Best Hockey Sticks for Defenders?

5 min read

Choosing the right type of hockey stick for the position you play in can have a significant impact on your performance, whether you’re a striker, midfielder or a defender. While many hockey players seem to believe that picking the right stick for a defender is a basic choice as they do not have the need for “advanced” skills midfielders and strikers often need, carrying the right stick for your needs and skill level may change the way you play in many different ways. 

However, using a wrong type of stick can also cause a whole host of problems, especially if you are a beginner and especially if you are a defender. This is why we’ve prepared a set of tips and tricks that will help you choose the best hockey sticks for defenders, as well as the top sticks for midfielders and strikers. Read on! 

What is your best position?

To seasoned hockey players, talking about their position is as important as discussing sticks and favourite skills. It becomes a part of your hockey identity. However, if you are an amateur, you may be less familiar with the concept of positional play and the right way of determining it for yourself. 

So, what are the positions on a field hockey team? Simply put, a team is divided into the positions of strikers, midfielders and defenders. Their roles can each be summarised as follows:

  1. Strikers – Are the attack weapons of the team. It is their job to score goals;
  2. Midfielders – Are the link between strikers and defenders. They play mainly in the middle of the field and are required to both defend and attack, but mainly to get the ball to the strikers;
  3. Defenders – Are the defensive stronghold of the team. A defender's key role is to stop the strikers from scoring

Depending on where you play hockey in the world, or who your coach is, the teams make up of strikers, midfielders and defenders vary greatly.

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of different formations and combinations that a team can play. One of the more traditional formations for example, the 3-5-2, consists of three strikers, five midfielders and two defenders.  

What different types of sticks are there?

Most hockey sticks these days are made with a bow height of 24 millimetres. While the bow height largely stays at 24mm, the position of the bow on the stick varies greatly. There are several different types of hockey sticks that offer different points of positioning the bow, and are in turn used for different purposes and skills. Here are the three main stick types: 

  • Mid Bow offer the least amount of lateness in the bow, typically the curvature of the bow is positioned towards the middle of the hockey stick. Hockey players usually use these sticks to hit and pass the ball hard and flat and sometimes to flick the ball for an aerial pass. When a ball is struck with a good Mid Bow stick, it tends to travel flat and hard and doesn’t tend to go in the air. 
  • Pro Bow typically has a bow positioned slightly further down the stick than a Mid Bow, but not as low as a Low Bow, and are most often used for flat shots, as well as those aerial passing and 3D dribbling skills. Pro Bows offer a good balance between the consistent flat passing of a Mid Bow and Aerial advantages of a Low Bow.
  • Low Bow features a distinctive bow curved more towards the bottom of the stick. A Low Bow allows for more loft when hitting, passing, flicking or dribbling. A Low Bow stick is typically used for drag flicking specialists, but can also be used for a variety of other purposes. These sticks tend to be great for launching overhead passes and smashing the ball into the net, but it can be more difficult to keep the ball on the ground when you want to. 

What stick should I use if I am a Defender?

As a defensive player, you should strive to improve your game even further by using the right type of stick. While you don’t have to use every stick type available, you should know what each stick brings to the table and how you can use them to achieve the best results. 

Typically, defenders use sticks that will provide consistent execution of their key skills, mainly flat passing and hitting. We recommend choosing sticks that are appropriate for defensive players, for example if flicking the ball is not one of your main skills, a Low Bow may not fit your style of play. 

What are the best hockey sticks for Strikers?

Many Strikers like to experiment with different kinds of sticks, and most can be spotted with both a mid and low bow in their bag. While it’s great to try different things when you first start playing, you should know which type of stick is best suited for each circumstance if you wish to improve. 

In general Strikers, like the other positions, should opt for sticks that are designed for executing their most valuable skills. For instance, Low Bow sticks that have a lower positioned bow give more loft, meaning that the player will have an easier time getting the ball airborne. If this is how you want to score your goals, or you are a drag flicker, a Low Bow is a good option. Additionally, a higher loft makes the stick more forgiving for dribbling, enabling players to get the ball up off the turf much more easily, making it harder for defenders to steal the ball away.  

The best hockey sticks for strikers are those that can be used to match your skillset. However, if you haven’t already developed the skills, it’s often better to stay away from Low Bows, as they can be quite frustrating for players without the right skills already in place.

If you are still undecided on what type of stick will be best suited for you, check out a stick quiz for some answers.

Where to find the best hockey sticks for Defenders

At Maverick Hockey, we specialize in designing and manufacturing hockey sticks that enable players of all positions to improve their performance and find confidence quickly. Our sticks include Mid, Pro and Low Bows, all made with 90% Carbon. 

If you are looking for the best sticks for Strikers, Midfielders and Defenders, don’t hesitate to check out the sticks on our website. All of our products are backed up by a 60-day money back guarantee, and can be purchased safely through our online payment system that uses encrypted SSL security. Get in touch with us today! 

Also in Blog

Field Hockey Positions Explained
Field Hockey Positions Explained

6 min read

Not too long ago, learning about the roles of the various field hockey positions was pretty simple. Because there hadn't been any significant changes to the rules of hockey for such a long time, the way the game was played had not adapted much either which also meant the positions and their roles stayed more or less the same.

Things were so stagnant you could buy a musty old book on field hockey from a second hand book store and you would be very close up to date with the latest in hockey rules, skills and positioning. 

Then came the development of composite hockey sticks,  as well as changes to the rules to the 11 a side game to make the game faster, and the increased popularity of artificial field hockey fields. These factors all changed the way the game is played there are now many different formations for teams to adopt and adapt to their needs.

The good news is that even though the outdoor hockey game has undergone significant changes, the basic traditional positions (which we will discuss below)  remain as relevant.

Can a hockey stick be too light?
Can a hockey stick be too light?

2 min read

This is a question that comes up all the time. Luckily, I have done a tonne of testing with different hockey sticks of all brands and types with their actual weight and their balance.  The balance is how the weight is distributed throughout the stick and is better defined as how a stick feels.  

When designing a hockey stick we use balance as a key factor to guide our design process in terms of how we want a stick to perform and how we want the hockey stick to feel.

To answer the question directly, can a hockey stick be too light? 

YES, absolutely!

Since composite technology has advances over the last few years, sticks have started to get "lighter" and I remember being stoked to see how I could hit a ball harder and do skills quicker with an ultralight hockey stick.  But to my surprise it didn't work out that way, the hockey stick didn't let me smash the ball anywhere near as hard or do skills as quick as I can with the Iceman Pro Bow.

The reason why I didn't like the ultralight stick was because the balance was too light. When we design a hockey stick we work on a heavier weight with a balance more towards the head of the hockey stick, which typically has delivered the best results for our hockey stick design. 

If the stick is too light, or the balance is more towards the grip of the stick, when you swing the stick and it makes contact with the ball you will not have the same amount of force behind the stick, but also the stick will feel extremely light. This means is you won't be able to feel where the head is and will likely feel like the stick is swinging in the air and out of control.  

For our hockey sticks we want a weight of around 520-560 grams.  

On the flipside, a hockey stick can be too heavy.  If all the weight is distributed at the head of the stick, it can result in a loss of power due to the slower swing speed of your stick. The other disadvantage of a stick that is too heavy is that your stick won't be as maneuverable to perform quick dribbling, trapping and tackling skills. 

Want to improve your game? 👇

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