Coach Shiv Jagday: the role of stick feints during ball control, passing, receiving and dodging


Dribbling should be implemented to get one out of trouble and not into the trouble. One of the remedies from the disease 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.

Champions Trophy New Zealand 2011

These days stick feints have gone out of fashion, partly due to the game being played at such a fast pace. One only sees it once in a while, when an outstanding player implements the stick feints, at the right place and time. During the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Paul Litzen’s, the Dutch superstar of the 70’s was asked about his views of the current game status, by a journalist. This is what he had to say,

“Of course players are much faster and fitter nowadays, but they are not so clever on the pitch. It’s my opinion that players all do the same things at the same frantic speed, and seem totally unaware as to where their teammates are.”


Isn’t it true even today? You be the judge? The sad part is that, we are still moving/running, even at a more frantic speed today. Forgetting that, Slow and steady wins the race. There is a difference of 12 years, between Athens and Rio Olympic Games, and not much improvement has been seen, to what Paul Litzen’s guided us in 2004 to improve upon.

Types of stick feints:

1) Mini stick feints over the ball to control and protect it.
2) Adding tap to these Mini stick feints to add change of pace and leave the opponent wondering.
3) Selling a dummy as you are going to pass the ball towards your right with a reverse stick and going towards your left and vice versa.
4) Selling a dummy as you are going to hit the ball hard in deep defense or at the D top, when a opponent is rushing at you in panic, tapping the ball softly or dumping it towards the right in the feet of the onrushing opponent to make the next move.

When and Where to apply:

Following are the game situations, where one can apply stick feints to harvest rich dividends.

1) To change the pace and direction, with the ball, while being in contest.
2) To distract and confuse the opponent.
3) Intimidate the opponent – making him think that you are going to hit the ball and dodge him by softly tapping the ball.
4)To dodge an opponent, by deceiving him that you are going to pass the ball, and go in a different direction.

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By Pablo Mendoza

Pablo Mendoza is an FIH Hockey Academy Educator and the owner of A Hockey World. Contact: