Speaking of underwater hockey, the sports I’ve been doing regularly these past 6 months, will always contains of joy and excitement. Basically I do love watersports, especially swimming. My late dad was a swimming athlete, he trained me since I was a kid, though I always refused to join a swimming club, but I really enjoy being in the water. Later on, swimming was the only sport I do, appart from basic basketball or bicycling –these two sports had been abandoned since I went to college. I moved to Jakarta for work, one day I went to an island trip and meet Nino. Nino is the guy who’s responsible because he dragged me into freediving and this weird sport: underwater hockey.
|this is how you would look like|
The player will have to wear swimsuit, gloves to protect the playing hand, polo cap to protect the ears, mask, snorkel to help them breathe, and fins to help swimming faster. Simple? Yes it is. Then after you are ready with your gear, time to hit the pool. The game is played by 2 teams (usually black versus white), black team will wear black polo cap and black stick, likewise the white team. Each team consist of up to 10 players, 6 player and up to 4 substitutes. The six player will divided as forward (left – center – right) and backward (left – center – right). The objective of this game is just like land hockey, dribble the puck into a goal. It’s easy!
*wait actually it is not that easy! Because we have to hold our breath underwater! The game is in the bottom of the pool, you have to go down! No scuba and oxygen tank like divers do, because those apparatus will complicated your life, well I mean you wont be able to move agily with those stuff, so forget it.
Holding breath, but also swimming fast, you wonder where the fun is? I love it when I duck dive until I touch the bottom of the pool.. when I rush into the puck..blocking an attack, passing to my team mates, going up for a little oxygen, then go down again.. and little bubbles burst in front of your mask... Adrenaline is calling J. Ok I know, it seems not that easy, but it’s also no that hard. Even me, a lazy girl who don’t do much sport can do this. The excitement is …ME GUSTA! Also, women are still rarities creature in our club. Only 5-10 active member now, we still approaching our dream to have Indonesian 1st female underwater hockey team.
So you might questioning again, if we have no women team, then whom I play underwater hockey with? Again it’s easy question, I play with the rest of the member, who are….MALE! yay, another me gusta? No! they are stronger and faster.. it took me like forever competing with them until I can finally posses a puck. I’m still passing frustrating practice days, low days, when I thought I will not make it through the game. But, remember, it is a teamwork sports. Your contribution is worth, no matter how small it is, no matter is someone recognize it or not.
At the 1st time, I remember, I felt soooo lazy to go down, I didn’t want to get hit by my opponent because I know I was less fast, less powerful than them. My team mate said to me “Don’t be lazy, don’t be useless, just go down and head off opponent. You will simply block their way, and they will lose momentum, your team mates will back you up to chase the puck”. Then I did, and I saw the other can approach the opponent easier, because I made our opponent slower down their speed. I really did nothing, I just head them off. Really. But I knew I contribute, and my team mates back me up, oh really touching wasn’t it? *.*
Off course I don’t want to be a statue in the bottom. I (try to) work hard, sometimes take extra practice in the weekend to gain better performance and skill.. watching coaching videos, I am still fighting until now (conditions apply, LOL), but I know I slightly get better, but still not good enough *hahahaha poor you little girl! I am not ambitious to be a professional athletes, no. I just do it for fun, but I wanna play it the right way.
If you are in Jakarta, and curious about it, simply come to Krida Loka (Senayan) Swimming Pool every Monday and Thursday evening. We start practicing at 7 pm. Jakarta Underwater Hockey is a fun club, fun people, err no, they are family, they are so nice with newbies so don’t worry J you can ask for twice-free-trial before you really decide to join the club or not. Got more question? Post to me, or do the social media magic in Facebook or Twitter.. see you at the bottom of the pool!