How to use the Reverse Stick in Field Hockey

The reverse stick can be used to pass, hit, shoot, or flick the ball. The right side of the field is generally considered to be a team’s “strong side.” The right side of a player’s body is also known as the strong side. Reverse hits are taken off the left side (weak side) of the field and with the reverse stick (weak stick). Being able to give hard passes with your strong side is important, but being able to give powerful hits off of your weak side will give you and your team an advantage.

Reverse hits use a more advanced skill set than forehand hits. For most people, the reverse stick is harder to use, because it needs more power from the arms. For that reason, accuracy and power are harder to achieve when passing with the reverse stick.

If you end up mastering these hits, they can be valuable tools when you want to take a quick, unexpected pass or shot on goal. This guide will teach you ways to become skilled with both forehand and backhand hits. Mastering both will help you become a well-rounded player who is able to play both sides of the field.

Reverse Pass

Because your reverse side (left side) is generally weaker than your right side, use the reverse pass for quick, short-distance passes. This pass is hard to defend because defenders are rarely expecting it.


  1. Rotate the stick into the reverse-stick position.
  2. Place yours hands apart and in the basic grip.
  3. On the dribble, position the ball in front of you and on the inside of your lead foot.
  4. Both feet should be positioned at a 90-degree angle from the target.
  5. The lower down you place the right hand the more power you will generate.
  6. Keep your weight over the ball.
  7. Keep your arms away from your body.
  8. The backswing should be short and compact.
  9. Tap the center of the ball with the bottom of the shaft of your stick.

Reverse Upright Hit

This hit is best utilized on the left-hand side of the field and as a last resort. It can be used as a cross from the left wing to the center of the field. Reverse upright hits require a high level of skill because the move has a high margin of error. Some references to reverse stick grips will be discussed in this guide. For a full explanation of these grips, check out the guide titled “How to Hold a Field Hockey Stick.”


  1. Rotate the stick into the reverse-stick position — flat side facing the right.
  2. Place your hands in the double-v grip a few inches from the top of the stick.
  3. Position the ball in front and slightly to the left of your right foot.
  4. Both feet should be positioned at a 90-degree angle from the target.
  5. Point the toe of the stick toward the ground.
  6. Rotate your shoulders to the left on the backswing.
  7. Keep the stick upright at impact.
  8. Keep your backswing short and compact to reduce hitting time and margin of error.
  9. Strike the ball with bottom of the stick.

Reverse Hit (Drive)

This hit can be deadly for shots on goal. Many defenders will try to push you toward the sidelines while defending the goal. If you can master the reverse hit off your weak side, the defender will be out of position to defend you. If the goalie is set up for the shot, she will have to quickly readjust herself to react in time to defend the shot. It is a good skill for offenders to have in a time of need.


  1. Use the frying-pan grip for this move.
  2. Start with your body parallel to the target and the ball off the right foot.
  3. The stick stays in contact with the ground through the entire swing.
  4. Keep the backswing short.
  5. Hit the middle of the ball with the toe edge of the stick — this will give you more power than using the inside edge.

The Scoop

This reverse lift is used for aerial passes on the dribble from the left side of the field. The pass is very difficult to perform properly and is rarely, if ever, used by beginning players. This move is useful in lifting the ball over opposing players to center it or as a lifted shot on goal.


  1. Rotate the stick 180 degrees over the ball into the reverse-stick position.
  2. Place your hands in the basic grip.
  3. Keep the ball level with your front foot.
  4. No backswing in this pass.
  5. Place the stick underneath the ball.
  6. Lift upwards with the right hand while pushing down with the left.

Switch Things Up

Keep these skills in your back pocket and be ready to use them when the opportunity presents itself. Being unpredictable will give you the advantage in field hockey. If you keep the defense guessing as to what you’re going to do next, you’ll be able to get past the opposition consistently.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Work on these passes before using them in a game — that way you won’t make mistakes when it counts!

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