The Flicka Stick
The hollow in the stick allows better control of the ball which enables the player/coach to control the speed and direction of the shot to a greater degree than is possible with the conventional hockey stick.
When I first started to use the flicker stick most of the shots veered to GK’s left (flickers right). Many players I asked to test the stick also seemed to have the same problem when starting off. This problem was easily corrected by releasing the ball sooner than what you would do with the conventional hockey stick.
I would advise anyone using the flicker stick to concentrate on control of the ball at slow speed before trying high speed flicks as I and a number of other players experienced some difficulty with accuracy when initially using the stick. Pay attention to the area behind the goals to ensure player/spectator safety.
Once you have mastered the technique you will be able to place the ball anywhere in the goal from any position in the circle and give the goalkeeper an excellent workout.
Goalkeepers facing drag flicks at penalty corners will benefit hugely as the pace of the ball is far greater with the flicker stick than with the conventional hockey stick. This makes for improved aerial saves, overall agility, hand eye co-ordination and reflexes.
Another point in favour of the stick is that the person using it does not have to use a large amount of energy to give the goalkeeper a good workout.
This all weather mat is made of a durable rubber compound which is designed to deflect the ball off fin-like protrusions in unpredictable directions and heights when placed in front of the goals.
The boomerang shaped mat remained secure on the turf regardless of the speed or amount of shots deflected off it.
This is a very portable and convenient piece of equipment and a great aid for goalkeepers.
Shots need to be hit flat on the surface of the turf in order to get optimum defections. Younger players had a problem making contact with the mat as they felt it was too short, this could be contributed to skills still being developed. This problem can easily be rectified by using two mats next to each other.
Some senior players were hitting shots over the mat but this posed no problem to goalkeeper as the shots were still accurate, this also made for variations in the shot and goalkeepers had to watch the ball at all times and not focus on the mat.
The mat was also placed at various distances from the goalkeeper depending on ability/experience of individual. Speed variations also affected the flight of ball when making contact with the mat. The mat was used in conjunction with other drills involving more players eg. One hitter from circle edge, players on either side of goal getting rebound shots.
After personal use I found that the mat performed as it was designed to do and improved my overall performance. The feedback from various other coaches and goalkeepers who used the mat during training sessions confirmed this opinion.
This mat is designed to improve agility, deflective shot saves and reaction time of the goalkeeper. It’s a great asset and should be considered as an essential piece of training equipment.