Monday, October 13, 2008

Hockey Weekend Wrap-up/Catharsis

I need to ramble about my own hockey playing for a bit. If you're here for Aeros stuff, just skip it. This blog is part journal of my novice hockey experience, and this is from that part of my hockey life:

So, not only did regular season start for the Aeros and the Wild, but I actually played hockey twice this weekend. Once with the Play Like the Pros program at the Toyota Center and then our regular league tonight.

While it was a novel experience to play at the TC and the Aeros staff really goes to a lot of effort to make it comfortable and fun for everyone, I really didn't get into it that much. The green team sucked. I mean, we sucked HARD. I've never seen us our team play so poorly. Of course, I always suck, so really, I just sucked with brighter lights and more people watching (lots more came to the game the last time they did it... it was a sparse crowd yesterday). Not sure it was worth the cost, honestly, but I'm glad I did it once.

And then tonight we had a practice and then 30 min. scrimmage. Practice was good but frustrating. I'm such a miserable fucking puck handler, it's not even funny. You know how if you have two magnets and you put like poles facing each other, they'll repel each other? That's how the puck and my stick blade are. I feel like I have a learning disability. (Is lack of any athletic instict a learning disability?) Everyone is patient with me but at what point do they think I'm just not trying? *sigh* And then during the scrimmage I had a really sweet shot lined up and I just mothereffing WHIFFED that thing like it wasn't even there. AUGH!!!!

My teammate, Dave, who very kindly was trying to get me the puck and I fouled it up pretty much every time, but especially this time, gave me some advice, and then Coach Stalin gave me some even better advice. And we had a little breakthrough in her teaching me where she realized you have to tell me WHY I need to do things a certain way (like approaching the puck to hit it with the blade ALREADY ON THE ICE). She'd been telling me that but I didn't really see the value in it. Well, now I do. It was like the non-shot heard round the world.

Anyway, I plan to practice my puck handling this week in the garage. And I told Coach Stalin that I was going to come home and write, "I am NOT Jon Awe." 100 times. No slapshots for me yet. Blade on the ice.

I'm still struggling with my feelings around playing hockey, I have to say. I'm frustrated that I don't seem to have even the slightest offensive touch. I feel stiff and stupid with the puck. I love to skate but I hate dealing with the puck. But I love hockey (in case you hadn't noticed) and I'm learning a lot from the experience, I just don't think I have an ounce of killer instinct and I think you need that as part of your make-up to be a good hockey player. I'm more of a slow, deliberate, thoughtful type of person. The kind who makes plant trellises out of copper piping and fittings or does lovely paintings or mosaics. That's my zone. But those don't have anything to do with hockey, so I don't do them anymore. I guess I could make a hockey mosaic... or do the Wild logo out of copper pipes... but you get my drift.

Never the less, I'll forge ahead. As I told Mr. Conduct last week when I was dreading going to hockey (like I always spend Sunday doing), "It's when you don't want to go and do anyway that really tests your character." I even almost considered "accidentally" leaving my skates at home. That's how much I was dreading it. Add my angst to the fact that I woke up this morning with a hitch in my giddyup... something is wonky in my right hip, though I didn't fall or anything Saturday, so I don't know what the problem is. It's hurting less tonight but we'll see how it is tomorrow.

Anyway, that's enough angst, isn't it? If you've made it this far, you get a gold star.


buddhafisch  October 13, 2008 at 10:15 AM  

First, I would like my gold star as soon as possible, please.

Second, puck handling takes time. A lot of time. Ridiculous amounts of time. Do you play an instrument? If not, have you ever tried to learn? It's the same idea. You are teaching yourself to do something the mind and body to not naturally do.

All I can say is practice. Go out witha ball and stick in the drive way. Practice, practice, practice.

As for the killer instinct, and needing to be slow and deliberate. Slow and deliberate are what you should be in practice. Especially as a novice. Again, back to the instrument... say a guitar. You don't pick up a guitar and play Clapton. You pick it up and play "g". Once you learn how to play, you rip Clapton a new one.

Thinking during practice is OK. During the games, let it all out, quit being afraid to make a mistake (you learn better from them anyways) and play with your heart. Skate hard, and leave it out there, and your team will be just fine with your progress.

No one is asking you to be Ovechkin, are they?

Oh, and don't dread going to hockey. Hockey should be a release, not a stressor.

Ms. Conduct  October 13, 2008 at 10:33 PM  

Thanks for the pep talk, coach. :) I emailed you your gold star, yo!

And yeah, I played saxophone as a youngster, but it came to me pretty easily. That's the thing... I don't usually stick with anything that doesn't come to me naturally, so I'm way way out of my comfort zone.

I'm in Dory mode about it... Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. :)

hipcheck  October 14, 2008 at 11:56 PM  

Stick with it, sooner or later it will all come together and you will be on a hockey high. (someone beat me to all the good advice :P)

I was talking to my friend the other day and she thinks I would be a forward. I was disappointed, I want to be a dman (or would it be dwoman?).

Ms. Conduct  October 15, 2008 at 12:07 AM  

Yeah, you'd start as a forward and move to D when your skating is good enough. That's what Coach Stalin did on our team. You have to be a pretty good/fast skater to be an effective D and be able to skate backwards pretty well. Forward is easier to learn at first and less risky for the team. In our league, the newest people play wing, the better players can play center, and the best players (coaches, mentor-types) play D.

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP