Many students at schools and universities play hockey, as it is an exciting team sport. It can be fast-paced, and you need a lot of skill in controlling the ball, passing and outwitting your opponents.
Games similar to hockey using balls and curved sticks have been around for more than 4,000 years, but the modern game has its origins in the English public schools of the 19th century.
Obviously, practice is the key to improving your skills, and there are some drills you can perform to improve techniques. These could include hitting the ball, dribbling with it, practising penalty shots, practising goals or learning how to defend.
These drills can be carried out with two players or among the team.
Getting the Right Hockey Equipment
As well as practising, other ways to improve your skills include learning from others, improving your strength, improving your response time – because hockey is a fast game – and using equipment which fits properly,
Once you start getting into the game, you will need to invest in the right equipment. You don’t need much, but hockey does have equipment which is unique to the sport.
Hockey equipment in the UK is widely available. For a start, you will need a hockey stick, which is curved and has one flat edge with the other being round. Although traditionally made of wood, hockey sticks can also be made of fibreglass or carbon fibre.
A mouthguard is also important to protect your teeth if you should be hit by a flying ball or stick. You need a mouthguard to play in professional games, but it is good practice to use a mouthguard in all games for safety reasons.
It is also advisable to wear shin guards, although this is not necessary. Often this is down to personal preference, but anything which helps to protect your legs against the ball has to be a good thing.
Goalkeepers also need special equipment. Since new rules were introduced in 2007, goalkeepers must wear a helmet, kickers and leg guards. You will notice that many goalkeepers also wear other equipment to protect them, such as padded shorts, gloves, chest guards and arm guards.
You do not need too much equipment, unless you are the goalkeeper, and your stick should last a long time if you look after it.
You can look online for advice on where to buy hockey equipment in the UK.
Playing Hockey Is Good for You
Once you get into hockey, you should notice many positive improvements to your mental and physical well-being.
As with other team sports, hockey is good for developing a positive attitude and communication skills. By working together, you will improve your sense of responsibility and team spirit. As it is a fast-paced sport, you should also find that you can think quicker on your feet and are quicker at making decisions.
Another important benefit is that you should be leaner and trimmer as you burn up all those calories while running around the hockey pitch.