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The role of stick feints during ball control, passing, receiving and dodging in hockey

A Stick feint is a skill which has not been given its due share and chance to grow, and show its worth. We are taught dribbling the ball in the traditional way, named the Indian dribble. And in some cases, it results in unnecessary over dribbling. There has to be a move, and a strategic plan behind the move.

Dribbling should be implemented to get one out of the trouble and not into trouble. 

One of the remedies of over dribbling is to introduce stick feints, as it encourages the player to look up and scan the field, apart from also controlling and protecting the ball in tight game situations. In the olden days, when India ruled the world of hockey, the players had a very different way, a style and technique of dribbling the ball. 

They simply rolled the ball on their stick and used the stick feints and body feints to baffle the opponents and mesmerise the spectators.Sadly the current generation of coaches and players have difficulty understanding the true value of stick feints while dribbling and when to apply. Where to carry the ball, in relation to one’s body, given game situation and their playing position is another important aspect. Following is a comparative analysis study to elaborate my point. 

Comparative analysis of the style of play of Father and Son: Dhyan Chand versus Ashok KumarI often analyse the great hockey player Dhyan Chand’s style of play/dribbling and that of his son Ashok Kumar’s. 

When you analyse it closely, there is a world of difference in their strategic thought process, decision making and technique.No wonder Dhyan Chand helped India win three Olympic Gold medals and his son none. Yes, you can argue that the game changed and improved in the 70’s from the 30’s. The 70’s was the decade when Ashok represented India. Following were the key features of Dhyan Chand’s game while playing as a CF:#1 Play first time #2 Simply roll the ball and feint the stick over the ball as needed #3 Make return passes – give and go – with his inners on the left and right#4 Eliminate opponents on the run, as the situation demands#5 His dodges were penetrating, just like a knife cutting through butter#6 He had very clear mental pictures in his mindIt is very hard to describe in writing. The two video links below of Dhyan Chand show the legendary Indian’s masterful stick control:


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