Last Updated on March 27, 2022 by Field Hockey
It all started back in the 19th century, when field hockey started evolving in England, and evolved into what it is today. When it comes to this game, beside your skills in the field, the most important thing for your gameplay is your stick. Not only that it highlights your skills, but it also gives your performance a push when the game starts.
See Also: The Field Hockey Stick Buying Guide
In the beginning, field hockey sticks were with a Shorti head, made by hand, from the wood of young mulberry, but as the time went by, they evolved into sticks made from fiberglass-reinforced composite. This allows the players to have excellent control over the ball and perform drag-flicking, and more power when hitting.
Beside the material, nowadays, the expert players have the choice of choosing the ideal length for them, the bow position, and head shape. The expert players are aware that the stick is the extension of their arm, and how important finding the perfect stick is. Therefore, they must find a stick that is lightweight enough not to slow them down while running, but at the same time strong enough to deliver great power when it is most needed.
Characteristics of an expert player stick?
As we already mentioned, beside the skills, the most important thing for a player is his stick, and it has to highlight his skills, in the position he plays. Nowadays, you can use sticks that are still made of wood, but those sticks are usually used by beginners. When it comes to expert players, thanks to the evolution of technology, the sticks have evolved. This means that the players who are looking to get the best out of their sticks, can now choose the ones that are made of composite or fiberglass. Now, depending on what the player wants from his stick, he has to know how different materials differently influence the ability during play and stick’s feel.
For example, if you are an offensive player, you will need a lightweight stick so that you can run fast with it, right? Therefore, the best choice for an offensive player would be a Fiberglass stick, because it is light and easy to carry during the game. Another reason why experienced players love these sticks is their rigidity and durability.
On the other hand, for the elite players with fine tuned skills, the market has developed the Composite sticks. These sticks are made up of various materials, and depending on the materials and their percentage, they provide a wide range of different characteristics. Usually, the composite sticks are made of fiberglass, carbon, Aramid, and Kevlar combinations. For example, the higher the amount of carbon in the stick is, the more rigid it will be. On the other hand, if you want the stick to be light, you should look for a stick that has a high percentage of fiberglass. Just like with any other sport, and the equipment that follows it, choosing the perfect equipment is not a simple and short process. The player needs to try out different types of sticks, to find the one that best suits his personalized needs.
What makes an expert player?
Journal of Sport Science has conducted a study which has shown that Field hockey is an analytical game that is highly structured, and that the players in this game have to be able to deal with fast changing and complex environment. If a player wants to be an expert, and to be successful, he has to have perfect timing, and to execute the right action at the perfect moment. This means that the expert players are capable of making great tactical decisions. This further means that the player has to have the knowledge to decide which strategy is best suitable for a given situation, but also to decide if that strategy can be executed successfully within the limits of the movements that are required by that action. In order to take their game to a top level, players have to perform under high pressure, so it is no wonder that the elite players are well known to have psychological characteristics such as confidence, motivation, mental preparation, anxiety control, concentration, and team emphasis.
Does the position the player plays effect the stick at expert level vs. beginner
When it comes to player positions, we all know that not all sticks are suitable for all positions, and that goes both for expert and beginner players. But, when it comes to how the experts handle the stick during the game when compared to beginners, it is obvious that the expert player stick needs to withstand some additional force during the game. The dribbling and direction changing is much faster on an expert player level, the shots are stronger, meaning that the blocks suffer more impact than in the beginner level games. This all means that the expert player field hockey sticks need to be more durable and more versatile.
Are the sticks good for expert player drills?
The usage of new materials in field hockey sticks has allowed the game itself to evolve and become unbelievably quick and powerful. Nowadays, the field hockey sticks are capable of withstanding great pressures from hitting and tackling, but also offer the precise feel that is crucial for control of the ball. It is more than obvious that the today’s design of field hockey sticks comes from the latest material science research.
Top 4 Field Hockey Sticks for Expert Players
Here are some of the top models of field hockey sticks for expert players, as of 2016.
With this stick, the Grays manufacturer has once again showed why they are considered to be one of the best in this business. The GX 10000 is well known among expert players, and once you hold it in your hands, it will be immediately clear why. The entire stick is very light, but what sets this one from the rest, is the fact that it has a balance point that makes the head feel unbelievably light. This results with maximum responsiveness and speed while controlling the ball. Another great characteristic of this stick is that it offers great power when hitting the ball, and you will be amazed with the amount of acceleration the ball receives. However, you need to be careful with the jumbow, because it is known for lifting the ball if you don’t strike it correctly. The stick is made of 90% Carbon and 10% Aramid
STX Surgeon 500
The STX Surgeon model was presented back in 2013, and it was built especially for offensive players. This stick is very lightweight and low profile, and within the Surgeon line, there are 3 different models to choose from. The one we are reviewing, the 500 model, is for expert players, and it is 95% carbon made, meaning that plenty of power comes from your shot, but it also provides unbelievable stick control, and thanks to it’s Karakal grip, which allows a perfect grip control in all weather conditions. It doesn’t matter if you play in the rain, or in the desert heat, it will stay in your hands all the time. Furthermore, thanks to the textured toe, even though the stick is 95% carbon, it will not make the ball bounce off the stick when capturing it or while dribbling, thanks to the 5% of Aramid. The stick has a 24mm Late bow handle, and is durable and lightweight at the same time. As for cons, we were not able to find any, which is a great thing!
This Field Hockey Expert Level Stick is not the latest model available on the market, but the fact that it is still used by international top players, justifies its place on our list. It is 80% Carbon and 15% Aramid, which gives it an extra stiff power rating, and an amazing balance to weight ratio. Thanks to an improved feel area, the stick greatly absorbs the initial contact with the ball, and delivers a soft feeling. Furthermore, it comes with edge protection, 20mm bow with Carbon-X heel. This stick is definitely one of the best field hockey sticks for expert players available on the market.
The Gryphon Taboo Blue Steel Pro field hockey stick by TK, is a stick that has expert player “written” all over it! This is a stick that will improve even the expert player’s game. It offers great feel and unbelievable amount of power. If you have aerial skills and a dynamic ball control, the Blue Still Pro will amaze you the first time you try it. It makes lifting the ball extremely easy, and thanks to its composite construction, it is a stick that is really built well. It has the late type, bow, and the 24mm makes it ideal for fast passing and dribbling.