How to Use Your Stick to Dribble the Ball?

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How to Use Your Stick to Dribble the Ball?

In field hockey, the ball is simply referred to as a field hockey ball or a field hockey game ball. The ball is made of hard plastic that can withstand the pressure exerted on it by the hockey sticks used to move it around during the game.

Learn how to dribble the ball with your stick. This is a fundamental skill in the field of hockey. Experiment with different ways to use your stick. If you want to improve your passing, practice alternating from side to side. You can then try dribbling the ball with your foot. There are numerous approaches that can be taken. In this article, we’re going to learn some techniques. But, first, understand.

What Is Field Hockey Dribbling?

Dribbling is a field hockey technique that involves moving the ball forward with small touches of the hockey stick. While it is considered an essential skill, it is also one of the most difficult to master, necessitating a great deal of practice (source).

Dribbling is the act of moving the ball while in motion and requires mastery of control, speed, and constant, fluid motion. The key to dribbling is to touch the ball lightly without losing control and to travel at a comfortable pace so that you can stay in stride while moving with the ball.

Here are a few of the most common approaches. Follow these tips to improve your game and become a better field hockey player.

Dribble Straight

The straight dribble gives you the most control over the ball and is the most common dribble used by players. The ball never leaves your stick, allowing you to keep it safe from your opponents’ grasp.

To straight dribble, you’d need to use the basic grip. Your stick should be directly in front of you, but slightly to the right of your body. Keep the ball in contact with your stick at all times. Simply run forward while keeping your head up to see where you can pass.

Because this dribble employs the basic grip, it is simple to transition into passing (GC220) or shooting (GC218) while dribbling.

Dribble Loosely

The loose dribble is similar to the straight dribble, except that instead of maintaining contact with the ball, you constantly tap it forward while sprinting. This allows the ball to move up the field more quickly.

The basic grip is used, as with the straight dribble. Your stick should be in front of you as well, but slightly to the right. Tap the ball a few feet in front of you and keep sprinting after it if you want to cover more ground.

If you’re worried about losing possession of the ball, you should use smaller taps to keep the ball close to your body.

Indian Dribble

The Indian Dribble is one of the most versatile dribbles. You’ll be able to easily get past opponents once you’ve mastered this dribbling technique. Due to the constant movement of the ball, it is also one of the most difficult dribbles to defend against.

Using a basic grip, rotate the stick 180 degrees with your left hand while keeping your right hand loosely in place for control. Push your ball flat to the left with the ball and stick in front of your body. Rotate your stick once more and push your ball to the right flat. Simply keep pushing the ball to the left and right to dribble!

Pull-Back Dribbling

What if you’re being pursued by an opponent? You’d need to be able to keep possession of the ball while also making progress. The dribbling pull-back is ideal for shielding the ball from defenders in situations like this.

The dribbling pull-back is performed in conjunction with a straight dribble. While straight dribbling, rotate your stick to the front of the ball and pull back before moving forward. Remember to always keep your stick in contact with the ball! You can keep pushing forward and pulling back as long as you want until you’re ready to pass it off or shoot for a goal yourself.

Right Hand, One-Handed

This dribble requires only your right hand and can be executed only if you are on the right side of the field. Place the ball on the right side of your body, using the sideline as another shield. Run up the right sideline while maintaining contact with your stick.

Reverse Side, One-Handed

This is identical to the one-handed right-hand dribble, except you can only do it on the left side of the field. Position the flat side of the stick forward with a one-handed reverse grip. Keep the ball on the left side of your body, away from your opponents. Run up the left sideline while maintaining touch with your stick.

Now that you’ve studied the various sorts of dribbles, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice with some dribbling activities.

Aerial Dribble 

Aerial dribbling is a technique that helps to improve hand-eye coordination. It is rarely used during a game, although it is frequently used during training and drills. This approach is continually tapping the ball into the air with the hockey stick while balancing it on the flat end of the stick hook – it’s as simple as that.

Once you’ve had some practice and experience with aerial dribbling, you can incorporate aerial passes into a field hockey game. However, because of its proclivity to quickly evolve into risky play, umpires regularly monitor this type of tactic (source).

In Field Hockey, How Do You Dribble?

To dribble confidently in field hockey, the player must master several essential abilities at the same time. Let’s take a deeper look at the skills that you’ll need to master in order to dribble well.

The grip, or how you hold the hockey stick, is at the heart of dribbling, however, it is important to understand that field hockey only allows right-handed sticks (source). Left-handed players, on the other hand, may have an edge when using right-handed sticks (source).

Placement By Hand

When dribbling, the player holds their left hand near the top of the stick, securely clutching it, while their right hand is loosely placed lower up on the grip, just before the flat section of the stick. The grip material at the top of the hockey stick allows for a better hand position and grasp on the stick itself.

The player must face the curved part of the stick with the thumb and index finger of both hands in a V-shape. The right hand of the player is primarily responsible for support and control, and it should not move on the hockey stick during the dribble.

The player twists the stick with their left hand, moving the stick to move the ball from left to right, doing the majority of the work.


The athletic body posture should have a broad base, with feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent almost squat-style. It is critical to shift the weight to each foot while moving the ball, matching it to the side of the ball on which you touch your stick.

When the ball is on the left side, for example, your weight should be on the left foot, and vice versa.

Position of the Ball 

The ball position should always be around one foot away from the player’s feet. The player will then flip the hooked end of the hockey stick to shift the ball from one side to the other. Hold both elbows away from the body, bent on the left, and extended on the right (source).

The basic grip is used in the dribbling technique illustrated below, also known as the straight dribble.

The Most Common Error 

The most common dribbling mistake is to focus solely on the ball without looking up to see where they are heading. To avoid losing possession while dribbling, it is critical to scan your surroundings, keep a watchful eye on the field, and keep track of the ball at all times.

When you scan the field for opponents, team members, and the goal while keeping a tight watch on the ball, this is referred to be “split vision.” It is critical to have a good vision in order to carry the action forward and keep possession (source).

Dribbling is essentially about muscle memory and effortless action. The more you practice, the more automatic your dribbling becomes. It will become as natural as walking over time.

We don’t even think about which foot goes first or that we need to put one foot in front of the other – it just happens.

Keeping a View of the Field

The ability to watch the field while dribbling is a valuable talent in field hockey, as well as other sports, and has a substantial impact on all facets of the game. While we’ve already discussed the importance of split vision in dribbling, there are a number of additional aspects that influence field hockey vision.

Visual Education

Because vision is so important in field hockey, vision training programs and drills have risen to prominence in recent years. Several studies have found that vision training increases the visual ability and performance of field hockey players and should be regarded as a crucial training technique (source).

Hockey players who have a full perspective of the field can make smart decisions in game situations depending on what they can take in as a situation unfolds. A dribble may be required in some situations, while a pass may be required in others. With time, understanding, and experience, the ability to make that decision grows more comfortable.

Visual Capacity

Because field hockey necessitates exceptional hand-eye coordination, it is recommended that you have your eyes tested by an optometrist. This will rule out any obvious and potentially simple-to-resolve concerns.

It is critical to developing adequate hand-eye coordination because it transfers information from your eyes to your body and influences body control and timing. If necessary, having the proper eyewear might be crucial for depth perception. Players can use depth perception to assess distance, speed, and direction.

You must also be able to maintain discipline and concentrate. Visual concentration assists players in remaining focused on the ball in the face of on-field distractions.

Visual Ability

Proper eye-tracking reduces head movement when tracking objects and allows for speedy decision-making while keeping balance.

Dynamic visual acuity is a complex visual skill that includes tracing a moving object while moving your head at the same time. This competency is extremely complicated and necessitates rapid observation and processing of information (source).

Peripheral vision is essential for detecting moving objects that appear out of the corner of your eye. This is very useful for goalkeepers, but it is also useful when making a lead run to the goal. It allows you to keep an eye on the other players.

Finally, visual reaction time is constantly at work on the field. It is your ability to put what you perceive into action that is important. The faster this process can be completed, the better.

Should You Dribble the Ball on Which Side of the Stick?


Keep the ball on the left side of your body, away from your opponents. Run up the left sideline while maintaining touch with your stick.

What Exactly Is Reverse Dribble?

When done correctly, a reverse spin dribble protects the ball from the defender by maintaining the dribbler’s body between the defender and the ball. A reverse spin dribble’s footwork is merely a reverse pivot.

Is It Better to Dribble High or Low?

Keep the Ball Low: When dribbling the ball, you want to keep it below your waist. The higher you dribble the ball, the easier it is for the opponent protecting you to steal it.

What Exactly Is Pace Dribble Change?

A change of speed dribble is utilized to throw your defender off balance while you advance the ball with a high dribble. When you slow your momentum while propelling the ball forward and relax your torso, you will notice a difference in tempo.


In field hockey, dribbling is a deceptively difficult talent to perfect. While dribbling is commonly thought to be a simple skill, it actually comprises a complicated and diversified skill set that includes abilities such as grip, body stance, and ball location. To excel in all of these at the same time, players must be constantly stimulated and practiced.

Dribbling necessitates full control of the ball while moving at rapid speeds in small places and dodging opponents. To excel at dribbling in field hockey, you must cultivate your vision, speed, ball control, consistent practice and training, and confidence.

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