Don’t know the difference between a strike, flick and back pick? Underwater hockey player Andrei Savu helps explain the lingo of the sport:
Flutter kick – A style of swimming in which one leg kicks up while the other kicks down. Good for acceleration and maneuverability.
Dolphin kick – A kick in which both legs stay together. This technique yields faster speeds than a flutter kick.
Flick – A pass that launches the puck to another player. A very strong flick can move a puck about 12 feet underwater.
Outside flick – A flick performed with the front edge of the stick, usually directed forward.
Inside flick – A flick performed with the inside edge of the stick, usually directed sideways or backward.
Curl – A defensive maneuver in which a player turns underwater and curls his or her body around the puck to ward off opponents.
Back pick: A technique used by a player anticipating an opponent’s curl. The player waits in the opponent’s blind spot, and once the curl is performed, the player can steal the puck by surprise. This is how forwards play defensive roles.
Common training exercises:
TOFU – Three laps on the surface of the water and a fourth lap underwater
SASD – Strike and stay down (sprint to the middle bottom of the pool, then slowly finish the lap underwater)
BOGDAT -- Breathe once, go down and touch (touch the bottom of the pool two to three times per lap, with a single breath at the surface)
ASAP – As slow as possible (swim 25 yards underwater as slowly as possible)
For more information about the sport, check out the United States Underwater Hockey’s website, www.usauwh.org.