Some players are so diligent to avoid wrist action that they try to
keep the wrists absolutely stiff, and allow no movement at all.
will not work.
by John Riches
At times I have been asked by people I coach to show them exactly what they should be doing with their wrists, as they feel that something is wrong with the way they are using them - and there usually is. Most players are told, before they have been playing for very long, that no shot should be played with the wrists. Instead, the mallet should be swung from the shoulders in order to make use of the full weight of the mallet.
The hands should move forward together during the stroke, rather than only the bottom hand pushing the mallet forward while the top hand remains still or even moves backward. This is why a "hands apart" grip is not recommended: the temptation to push with the bottom hand and cause the wrists to work against one another is too great for most players to overcome. However, there is nothing wrong with having your hands apart provided this temptation can be consistently resisted.
All of this is excellent advice. The wrist muscles should never be used to push or accelerate the mallet forward in any single-ball shot. They should provide no additional force whatever in addition to the natural swing of the mallet moving forward under its own weight.
Players who adopt the Solomon grip with only the two thumbs behind the mallet shaft are especially likely to be tempted to use wrist action (when instead they should be using a higher backswing) to provide the force needed for a long rush or roquet. Unfortunately, by using the wrists they tend to lose direction, as it is difficult to correctly time and co-ordinate the muscles in the two wrists to work together.
Those who use the Irish grip with the palms of both hands behind the mallet shaft will tend more often to use unwanted wrist action in playing hoop shots or short roquets, when the backswing is shorter and insufficient to take the wrists back naturally to a fully "cocked" position.
The Standard grip is a compromise between these two extremes, and is the one recommended for most players. Some players, whatever the grip, are so diligent to avoid wrist action that they try to keep the wrists absolutely stiff, and allow no movement at all, particularly for hoop running and short roquets. This is taking things too far in the opposite direction. The wrists should be permitted to be "cocked" backward, offering no resistance to the backward swing of the mallet; but neither should they provide any assistance to the forward swing. They should remain cocked at least until after the mallet has contacted the ball.
Try running hoops by allowing the wrists to gently cock backward as
the mallet moves back, then move the hands slowly forward with the
so as to maintain the wrist position as the mallet head moves through
ball, before allowing them to uncock during the follow through.
addition to sticking in fewer hoops, it should enable you to run your
with better control, instead of going through so far that you risk
the return roquet.