Underwater Hockey As An Adult

How To Start Playing Underwater Hockey As An Adult?

Underwater hockey, a unique and inclusive sport, offers a fantastic opportunity for adults to dive into a new activity, regardless of age. This sport, which emphasizes skill and teamwork over physical strength, can be played co-ed and provides numerous physical and mental benefits. Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or just looking for a new way to stay active, underwater hockey is accessible, engaging, and fun.

Key Takeaways

  • Underwater hockey is a co-ed sport that fosters inclusivity and can be played by adults of all ages.
  • Essential equipment includes a diving mask, snorkel, swimfins, and a special hockey stick, with clubs often providing the necessary gear for beginners.
  • Finding a local club is crucial for learning the game and integrating into the community.
  • The sport offers significant physical and mental benefits, including improved fitness and cognitive skills.
  • Despite being a niche sport, underwater hockey has a passionate community and offers opportunities for competitive play at various levels.

Understanding Underwater Hockey

adults playing underwater hockey in a swimming pool

What is Underwater Hockey?

Underwater Hockey is a unique and exciting sport that I play at the bottom of a swimming pool. Imagine swimming with a mask, snorkel, and fins, while using a short stick to push a heavy puck across the pool floor. It’s a game that combines swimming, diving, and the strategy of hockey, but all underwater! The goal is simple: get the puck into the opposing team’s goal. It’s a fast-paced and fun way to exercise and meet new friends.

The Basic Rules

The game is played by two teams, each with six players. We all try to score goals by pushing the puck into the opponent’s goal using our sticks. The pool is usually 7 to 10 feet deep, ensuring everyone is swimming. No one is allowed to use their hands to move the puck, only the stick is used. It’s a game of skill, strategy, and teamwork, where everyone has a fair chance to play and contribute.

Equipment Needed

To play Underwater Hockey, you need some specific equipment. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Diving mask: To see underwater.
  • Snorkel: Helps you breathe while swimming on the surface.
  • Swimfins: For faster swimming.
  • Water polo cap: To protect your head and ears.
  • Stick or pusher: To move the puck.
  • Protective glove: To protect your hand.
  • Exterior mouth guard: For safety.
  • Underwater puck: Heavier than ice hockey pucks, designed to sink to the bottom.

This equipment helps keep the game safe and fun for everyone. It might seem like a lot, but don’t worry, many clubs provide the gear for beginners!

Getting Started with Underwater Hockey

adults playing underwater hockey in a swimming pool

Starting a new sport can be exciting, especially one as unique as underwater hockey. Here’s how I began my journey into this thrilling sport, and you can too!

Finding a Local Club

The first step to getting into underwater hockey is finding a local club. I started by searching online and asking around at local pools. Most clubs welcome new members with open arms, regardless of age or skill level. It’s a great way to meet new people who share an interest in this underwater adventure.

Essential Gear for Beginners

To start playing, you don’t need much equipment. A basic set includes a diving mask, snorkel, swimfins, and a stick. Clubs often provide the rest, like a water polo cap and a protective glove. Here’s a simple list of what you’ll need:

  • Diving mask
  • Snorkel
  • Swimfins
  • Stick or pusher
  • Water polo cap (often provided by clubs)
  • Protective glove (often provided by clubs)

First Session Expectations

In my first session, I learned the basics: how to use the gear, dive with a snorkel, and maneuver the puck. It was a bit challenging at first, but incredibly fun. Expect to have a blast and make some mistakes—it’s all part of the learning process.

Remember, everyone starts as a beginner, and the key is to enjoy the journey and the new friendships you’ll make along the way.

The Physical and Mental Benefits

adults playing underwater hockey in a pool

Fitness Components

Underwater hockey is not just a fun game; it’s a great way to stay fit! When I play, I swim a lot, which is excellent for my heart and lungs. Swimming helps to build endurance and strength. Holding my breath while diving to chase the puck also boosts my lung capacity. This sport requires quick movements and lots of energy, making it a fantastic workout for the whole body.

Cognitive Skills

Playing underwater hockey sharpens my mind too. I need to think fast and make quick decisions during the game. This helps improve my problem-solving skills and keeps my brain active. Remembering the rules and strategies is like a mental workout! Plus, focusing on the game helps me clear my mind of other worries.

Social Interaction

One of the best parts of playing underwater hockey is meeting new people and making friends. We all share a love for the sport, which brings us together. During games and practices, I get to interact with others, which is great for my social skills. We support each other and work as a team, which feels really good.

Playing underwater hockey is not just about the sport; it’s about the community and the fun we have together.

Mastering the Skills

adults playing underwater hockey in a swimming pool

Breath Control Techniques

Breath control is key in underwater hockey. I learned to hold my breath longer and more efficiently by practicing both in and out of the water. Breathing exercises like deep inhales and slow exhales helped me a lot. It’s important to stay calm and focused underwater, and good breath control helps with that.

Puck Handling

Handling the puck is fun but tricky. I started with basic drills to push and pull the puck across the pool floor. As I got better, I learned to flick and pass the puck to my teammates. It’s all about practice and getting comfortable with the puck at your stick.

Team Positions and Roles

Understanding each player’s role on the team is crucial. There are forwards, defenders, and a goalie. Each position has its own responsibilities. Forwards focus on attacking, defenders protect our goal, and the goalie tries to block the opposing team’s shots. Knowing where to be and what to do makes the game more enjoyable and effective.

Remember, mastering these skills takes time and patience. Keep practicing, and don’t get discouraged!

Joining the Community

adults playing underwater hockey in a community pool

Local Clubs and Teams

When I first started playing underwater hockey, finding a local club was my first step. It’s amazing how welcoming the clubs are! They often have ‘Come and Try’ events which are perfect for beginners. These events are designed to be as inclusive as possible, making it easy for anyone to get started. Joining a local club helped me feel part of something bigger, a community that shares the same passion for underwater hockey.

National and International Competitions

As I got more involved in underwater hockey, I learned about the various competitions available. There are national and international tournaments where teams from different places come together to compete. Participating in these competitions is not only about playing but also about watching others play, learning new strategies, and meeting players from around the world. It’s a thrilling experience that can really show the global scale of underwater hockey.

Building Relationships in the Sport

One of the best parts of underwater hockey is the relationships you build. Whether it’s with your teammates or opponents, you’re always learning from each other. The sport fosters a unique bond, as everyone is there to support and grow together. I’ve made some of my closest friends through underwater hockey, and it’s these relationships that keep me coming back to the pool each week.

Challenges and Opportunities

adults playing underwater hockey in a swimming pool

Barriers to Entry

Starting a new sport as an adult can be daunting, especially one as unique as underwater hockey. One of the main challenges is the contact nature of the sport, which might be intimidating. Another significant barrier is finding enough time and space to practice, as not all pools are equipped to host underwater hockey. Additionally, the steep learning curve can discourage newcomers who may feel overwhelmed by the skills they need to acquire.

Growth of the Sport

Despite these challenges, underwater hockey is growing. More clubs are forming, and awareness of the sport is increasing. However, growth is slow, and competing with more popular water sports for pool time and resources can be tough. Clubs need to focus on player retention just as much as recruitment. Most clubs gain about ten new players per year, but keeping them is the real challenge.

Playing Across Ages

Underwater hockey is a sport that welcomes players of all ages, but playing across different age groups presents its own set of challenges. Younger players may have different fitness levels or skills compared to older players, which can affect team dynamics and performance. However, this diversity can also be a strength, bringing different perspectives and experiences to the team.

Remember: Every challenge is an opportunity to grow and improve in the sport. Embrace the difficulties and use them to become a better player and teammate.

Continuing Your Journey

adults playing underwater hockey in a swimming pool

Advancing Your Skills

As I continue to dive deeper into underwater hockey, I realize that advancing my skills is crucial. I focus on improving my breath control, puck handling, and understanding of team roles. Regular practice sessions and feedback from more experienced players help me refine my techniques. I also attend workshops and watch tutorial videos to learn new strategies.

Consistent practice and learning are key to becoming better.

Staying Engaged

Staying engaged with underwater hockey involves more than just playing the game. I participate in community events and follow updates about the sport. Joining online forums and local underwater hockey social media groups keeps me connected with other enthusiasts. This engagement helps me stay motivated and informed about upcoming events and trends in the sport.

Exploring Competitive Play

Exploring competitive play is an exciting part of my underwater hockey journey. I started by participating in local club matches and then moved on to regional competitions. The thrill of competing adds a new level of challenge and excitement to the sport. I aim to improve my skills further and possibly compete at national and international levels in the future.

Competitive play enhances my skills and passion for underwater hockey.

Conclusion: How To Start Playing Underwater Hockey As An Adult?

Starting underwater hockey as an adult can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience. This unique sport not only offers a great way to stay fit and active but also provides an opportunity to join a welcoming community that values teamwork and skill over physical strength. Whether you’re looking to make new friends, challenge yourself, or simply try something different, underwater hockey is a sport that welcomes all. Remember, age is just a number in this dynamic and inclusive sport. So, grab your snorkel and fins, and dive into the exciting world of underwater hockey!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is underwater hockey?

Underwater hockey, also known as Octopush, is a limited-contact team sport played underwater. Teams compete to maneuver a puck across the bottom of a swimming pool into the opposing team’s goal using a short stick. It emphasizes skill and teamwork over physical strength, and both men and women can compete equally.

What equipment is needed to play underwater hockey?

To play underwater hockey, you need a diving mask, snorkel, swim fins, a water polo cap, a protective glove, an exterior mouth guard, and a special underwater puck. Clubs often provide the necessary equipment for beginners.

How can I find a local underwater hockey club?

To find a local underwater hockey club, you can search online for clubs in your area or check social media platforms. Many clubs welcome new members and offer beginner sessions to teach the basics of the game.

What should I expect in my first underwater hockey session?

In your first session, you will learn how to use the equipment, basic diving techniques, puck handling, and team positions. You will also play a short game to apply what you’ve learned. It’s a fun and engaging introduction to the sport.

Are there any age restrictions for playing underwater hockey?

Underwater hockey is a sport that welcomes players of all ages, including adults. There are no specific age restrictions, making it a great choice for those looking to try a new sport later in life.

What are the physical and mental benefits of playing underwater hockey?

Underwater hockey provides a full-body workout that improves cardiovascular fitness, strength, and flexibility. Mentally, it enhances cognitive skills like spatial awareness and strategy planning, while also offering opportunities for social interaction and community building.

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