What are the Best Hockey Sticks for Defenders?
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:
- Strikers – Are the attack weapons of the team. It is their job to score goals;
- 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;
- 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!