Dribble your way to glory

We tell you about the main types of dribbling techniques predominantly used in the world of field hockey.

Before you get the spectacular and booming shots going on a hockey field, you might want to consider enhancing your dribbling skills. Whether it’s dodging opponents, moving towards the goal or creating space for passing opportunities, quality dribbling will stand you in great stead.

Simply put, it’s manoeuvring the ball using short, skilful taps with the stick! We have for you, six of the best dribbling techniques!

Straight Dribble

PRAKASH SINGH / AFP

The straight dribble allows you to control the ball best and is the most common dribble that players use. In order to straight dribble, the stick must be in front of you but slightly to the right of your body. Remember not to let the ball lose contact with the stick. Just run forward while keeping your head up so you’d know where to pass.

Loose Dribble

PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP

The loose dribble is similar to the straight dribble but instead of keeping contact with the ball, you continually tap it forward while sprinting. This allows for quicker ball advancement up the field. Your stick must also be in front of you but slightly to the right.

Indian Dribble

INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP

The Indian dribble is one of the most difficult dribbles to defend against due to the constant movement of the ball. Use your left hand to rotate the stick 180 degrees but keep your right hand loosely in place for control. With the ball and stick in front of your body, push the ball flat to the left. Rotate your stick again and push your ball flat to the right. To dribble, just keep pushing the ball to the left and right!

Dribbling Pull-Back

INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP

The dribbling pull-back is executed together with a straight dribble and is perfect for shielding the ball from defenders. As you straight dribble, rotate the stick to the front of the ball and pull back before continuing forward. Remember to keep the stick in contact with the ball at all times! You can keep pushing forward and pulling back as long as you want till you want to pass it off or even shoot for goal yourself.

One-Handed: Right Hand

PRAKASH SINGH / AFP

This dribble only makes use of your right hand and you can only execute it if you’re on the right side of the field. Position the ball on the right side of your body, using the sideline as another shield for the ball. Run and move the ball up the right sideline, without losing contact with your stick.

One-handed: Reverse Side

This is just like the one-handed right hand dribble, but you execute it when you’re on the left side of the field. Using a one-handed reverse grip, position the flat side of the stick forward. The ball must be kept on the left side of your body, away from opponents. Run and move the ball up the left sideline, without losing contact with your stick.

So if you’re dreaming of unleashing the big glamorous shots, consider dribbling as the small steps towards that dream.

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