The jink steal is known as a 3D skill in field hockey. The manoeuvre allows a player to gain possession of the ball from in front of an opposing player, and launch an attack.
Just as the ball is about to hit the toe of the stick of the opposition player, place the toe of your stick in front and across the opposing player’s stick. This causes the ball to rise up your stick, and over the stick of the opposition. Careening the ball into space behind you, cleverly making the steal and turning the defence into an attack.
Do you remember the old star wars scene where Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader crosses swords, which is taboo in the Star Wars world? Crossing your stick over an opponent’s in field hockey, with a successful jink steal, unlike in Star Wars is a masterful technique.
Why is the jink steal a masterful technique?
The jink steal gains you possession of the hockey ball and launches your speedy attack, in the blink of an eye. This skill needs to be practiced to fine-tune the art.
How do I perform the Jink Steal?
- Place your hands in the standard grip on your stick (right hand towards the beginning of the grip where you can control the stick)
- Approach your opponent from behind and to the side. So you are both facing your own goal direction almost shoulder to shoulder
- Cross your reversed stick over the opponent’s hook at approx a 35-degree angle, half a foot in front of the opposing player’s bottom shaft
- Ensure the stick has the flat side facing upward, with the back of the hook on the grass
- The sticks should cross like the Jedi’s.
- Timing is everything! Ensure your stick is placed just as the ball is about to make contact with their stick.
- The ball will roll up your stick and careen over the opposition’s stick.
- You then can swivel and run away with the ball.
Tips when performing the jink steal
Allow your stick to do all of the work. When your reverse hook is in position, an adept player will allow the ball to simply roll up and over the other stick without cajoling the ball with a jerk. If you try to flick the ball up you will lose control. Body position is crucial when performing the jink steal. An easy mistake to make when performing the 3D skill is to position your body incorrectly. For example, standing directly behind the stick, so when the ball rolls up the shaft and away you are in no position to swivel and chase the ball. The ball will then bounce off your leg.
Is there a way to practice the jink steal with out a third partner?
This is the best way to practice the jink steal when you’re just with one partner. Prop up a spare stick at either end by two small equal-sized cone bases, or two saucepans of about 4 -5 inches tall. Practice crossing your stick over the raised, horizontal stick at the correct angle, with the flat part of the hook facing upward. Ask your partner to hit the ball toward the middle of the raised stick as you run in from behind. Repeat the process over and over again to become well-rehearsed at the jink steal
How will I know I am performing adeptly the jink steal?
You will know when you are successful as the ball will not bounce toward you. The ball will careen between you and the opposition player. Remember to run in towards the player from behind, as the maneuver is a cunning steal whose aim is to leave the opposition flat-footed and trailing in your wake as you spin off toward the opposing goal.
The jink steal is a real jinx steal, as you become a master of deception when honing this skill. By far one of my favorite skills in field hockey, this gem is great at turning defense into attack.