Despite its unusual nature, underwater hockey is a unique water sport with a myriad of benefits. Whether you’re an ice hockey player looking for a new challenge or a scuba diver seeking an exciting underwater activity, this action-packed game promises not only fun but also an opportunity for physical and mental development. But what are the real benefits of this sport?
Let’s dive in and discover the thrill of underwater hockey!
Underwater hockey, also known as Octopush, isn’t your average sport. Its origins can be traced back to the 1950s when a group of British divers invented it as a training exercise. Today, it’s a recognized sport with world championships and clubs all over the globe including the United States.
Played at the bottom of a swimming pool, it’s essentially hockey but underwater. Two teams of six players each, donned in diving suits and masks, vie for control of a puck, using short sticks. The aim is to score in the opposing team’s goal. However, unlike ice hockey or other more traditional sports, there are no breaks in play, and the game requires players to hold their breath while diving to the pool’s bottom.
It’s a test of strength, skill, and endurance, making it a sport that offers numerous physical, mental, and social benefits.
Underwater hockey is a full-body workout. As you dive, swim, and chase the puck, you’re engaging every muscle group, which promotes overall fitness and well-being. It’s a fantastic way for divers to stay active, especially during the colder months when open-water diving may not be feasible.
One of the key aspects of underwater hockey, and indeed any form of diving, is breath control. Players often have to hold their breath for extended periods during the game, improving lung capacity and strengthening respiratory muscles. Regular underwater hockey training can also improve cardiovascular health, as the sport demands a high level of physical exertion.
Moreover, the game involves a significant amount of swimming, which is known for its low-impact nature. Compared to other sports like running or traditional hockey, underwater hockey is easier on the joints, making it a suitable option for players of all ages.
Playing underwater hockey isn’t just about physical prowess. It requires strategic thinking, quick decision-making, and the ability to remain calm under pressure – literally. It’s akin to a game of chess, where players must always stay one step ahead of their opponents.
The necessity of holding your breath while in action also creates a unique mental challenge. It requires discipline and focus, enhancing your concentration and stress management skills. As you become a more experienced player, you’ll find yourself more capable of handling pressure situations — a valuable skill that extends beyond the pool.
Underwater hockey also fosters a sense of camaraderie, teaching players the value of teamwork and cooperation. As with many team sports, it cultivates a sense of belonging, which can positively impact your mental well-being.
While the idea of holding your breath underwater and chasing a puck might sound daunting, rest assured, underwater hockey is a safe sport. Before you start, you’ll undergo diver training, learning the fundamentals of recreational diving, including how to use a diving mask, diving suit, and the basics of decompression.
The game is played in a controlled environment – a pool – making it a safer option than other forms of underwater sports such as cave diving. All players are equipped with safety gear, including a diving mask and a water-filled glove for protection.
In addition, diving instructors and referees keep a close eye on the game, ensuring the safety of all players. And remember, you’re never alone in the pool – the spirit of teamwork extends to safety as well.
To wrap it up, underwater hockey is much more than a quirky sport. It provides a unique combination of physical workout, mental stimulation, and social interaction. It’s a chance to improve your fitness, sharpen your strategic thinking, and create lasting friendships. So why not give it a shot? Whether you’re an experienced diver or a sports enthusiast, you might just find your new passion in the fascinating world of underwater hockey. After all, who said workouts need to be boring? Dive in and enjoy the thrill of this unique water sport!