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New to field hockey and you are entering or already in high school?

Updated: May 17

For many people, field hockey is a sport that they start later in life. Many players don't pick up their first stick until high school when they decide to give their team a try. So, if that's you, what do you need to get for that first day of field hockey?


I wrote an article for those new to field hockey at the younger age, but as a teenager who will play against more experienced teams, more physical players, and let's be honest, it will be more dangerous, your equipment needs are a little different.


If you're looking for an online field hockey resource, longstreth.com is a common site, but my biggest recommendation would be https://painandgainsports.com/. Pain and Gain is a store run by a knowledgable staff who will help you as a beginner or advanced player. It's the first place I turn for equipment for my high school team. Don't be afraid to email or call and talk to the owner. He is a big help. Every item listed below has an amazon link, but you can find all of these same items at painandgainsports.com as well, and for comparable prices.


What you need:


  1. A stick. That's obvious. You'll definitely need a stick. Because you don't have a lot of experience yet, you won't want to spend a ton of money or a get a fancy stick with a bow (the curve at the bottom of the stick). A bow is intended to help you with aerial, 3d or fancy skills. You're not there yet and getting a stick that is too advanced for you will not make you better. So, let's stick to the basic sticks just like the younger players, focusing on price, length, and in your case a little bit more carbon might be good to keep the stick light and little more durable. If this is your first stick and you are buying it to play outside on the field with your high school team, make sure the stick says "Outdoor." Don't accidentally buy an "Indoor" stick. People make this mistake often. Trust me, you won't be the first.


2. Shin guards. This is the big difference from the young, new players. You need hard shin guards. You need shin guards that will protect you from hard hit balls. See my blog on shin guards.


2b. Hox Socks. When you buy the hard shin guards, you will need to wear thin socks underneath to prevent rashes. Again, see my blog on shin guards.


3. Mouth guards. You can use the same link as the "New to field hockey" but....get more than one. You will be thrown out of a game (and likely practice) if you don't have a mouth guard, and if you're in high school, you're old enough to be responsible for this. Buy two or three mouth guards and always have a back up ready.

There is really only one kind of mouth guard that the kids like and that's the SISU brand. They are incredibly thin, easy to mold, and also have options for braces.

While I am not a dentist, orthodontist, or an oral surgeon, I've been told that despite the narrow depth of the mouth guard, they still perform the basic duty of the mouth guard, which is:

A) helping prevent concussions when biting down forcibly, and

B) helping prevent the shattering of teeth if a player is directly hit with the ball.


Parents, I've seen it happen. That ball is hard. It will shatter teeth and bones, and a mouth guard will hopefully, at the very least, keep the teeth in tact. (I'm sorry. I'm not kidding)

SISU Mouthguards:


4. Water bottle.


5. Optional items: Gloves. I provide a link here for a glove with 3/4 length so the tips of their fingers are still exposed. Some like a fully covered glove. The choice is up to the player. The glove helps protect your left hand and fingers when doing a block tackle. Some can't imagine playing without it. Some can't imagine playing with it. It's a personal choice.









6. Optional Items: Masks. If your player is on a defensive corner (What's a defensive corner? OK. I'll work on another blog for that) they should wear a mask for protection. This is a controversial subject in the field hockey world. Some coaches believe that wearing the mask restricts the player's vision and thereby puts them in an even "more dangerous" situation. Some, like me, believe you should wear a mask. Period. If wearing a mask makes it "more dangerous" than why do goalies wear masks?

If a goalie is covered top to bottom to protect against a ball coming at their face, and your daughter is standing next to that goalie, do you want her unprotected? I have seen teeth knocked out. Cheekbones shattered, and more than enough bloody faces. Wear a mask. That's my opinion. I stand by it.

So, where to buy masks? There are different kinds.

These are the most common masks you will see.



Grey's "clear" mask - most popular longstreth.com

Vlack mask - recommended painandgainsports.com

CAN NOT USE IN HIGH SCHOOL

These really aren't "clear". They get scuffed and then very hard to see through. My high school players do NOT like them, and complained about not being able to see anything that isn't right in front of your eyes, the place a ball rarely is.

This the mask preferred by my high schoolers. They say they can see down and see the ball on the ground better with these

These masks are what collegiate players wear. They are not allowed for high school players. I only include them to show you that at a higher level protection is needed. Why this level of protection is not required in high school and in this case restricted I do not understand.

There are many mask options on Amazon. They are as good as the first Greys option above. A mask is a personal preference, so just because I recommend one doesn't mean it's best for you.

Amazon mask options:


7. Secret items some experienced players have:

A) Pre-wrap. I think this fad is coming to an end, but some girls still prefer to have prewrap on their head, like a headband, to keep their hair out of their face.

Hey, you do you.

B) Hair twisties. As a coach this is the second most requested item. "Coach, do

you have a hair twistie? Do you have something to pull back my hair?" Buy a bunch. Shove 'em in your bag. You'll thank me later.













C) Electric Tape. Yep, that's what I said. Electric tape is the tape you need for the very top inch of your field hockey stick. This strip of tape comes off all the time, and the girls ask me for some constantly.







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