Thursday, July 2, 2009

Goalie camp; Havlat gone Wild

So, I've had a little surprise bit of fun and learning this week on the goaltending front. I've been heading out to SLICE to watch a goalie camp going on there each night this week and luckily, the main instructor is quite loud so I've been able to pick up some good stuff and, delightfully, not actually have to do the sweaty work. (Don't worry, my time will come.)

And work it is... these kids are working their tails off and seem to be pretty coachable. Unlike some people who are of an age where being told what to do just pisses them off. *looks around innocently* I'm happy to sit in the stands, enjoy the frosty air, and take a lot of mental notes. Plus, even the littlest of the kids out there would make me look like an idiot. I spend enough time doing that already.

I'm picking up some good stuff though. Things I hadn't really thought about because I'm still so in a place where even the basics of the position are really challenging. Like stick position when dealing with passes out from the corners to the front of the net.

Tuesday, I had to laugh because one of the things the instructor pointed out was to not "admire" your rebounds into the corners. I'm SO guilty of that. Like, I'm still so amazed when I actually get in front of a puck that unless the next danger is really on top of me, I do tend to just watch it go and not follow it and get re-set.

Amazing the number of little details are involved in playing goal well. I'm so busy with the low-hanging fruit still, I can't even absorb some of it in a useful way.

Here's the thing about goaltending. People who don't know the position think that getting hit with the puck is the sickest, craziest, hardest part of the job. I'm here to tell ya, for me, it's the LEAST hard part of the job. In fact, it's my favorite part of it! Means I made the save if it's hitting me that hard. Pain goes away. Goals don't. The worst pain is the crick in your neck as you watch the puck go in your net.

The hard part, at least physically, is the movement. There's so much leg and core strength you have to have (and I don't have yet) that is critical to movement in the crease. And I think one of the best things I'm coming away from this camp with is big time motivation to build that strength. In fact, I'd say that is my #1 training priority, above all else.

Which is awesome because when I look at how much I need to learn, it overwhelms me to the point where I end up doing nothing at all. Kinda like when you're $100k in debt... what's another grand? So, gaining some clarity around my training priorities has been a tremendous benefit.

As a result, I've ramped up my off-ice work and hope to get it even more focused over the next couple of weeks as I figure out the best ways to kick my own ass. Which also means I'm not sleeping well because I'm so sore all the time. But it's a good sore (except for my stupid motherfucking knee that feels like it's on fire when I wake up in the morning).

Found an amazing collection of strength training exercises here, grouped by sport (including hockey!) or by muscle group.

Anyway, one more night of goalie camp tonight, but before that... more squats, lunges, and abs!

Did I mention Brusty's one of the instructors? What a sight for sore eyes. And hey, it's totally not stalking if you're invited!

---------------------------------

Free Agency opened up yesterday. Were you aware of this? Apparently it's kind of a big deal. :)

Anyway, Gaborik is now a Ranger, which will be fun to watch. Marty Havlat was dissed (and is tres bitter about it) by Chicago, so he signed with the Wild last night. That'll show 'em, Marty! It's one gimpy sniper for another, but I already like Havlat better than I ever liked Gaby. Nothing aloof about a guy who tweets his displeasure at the way his former team treated him. Bring it, bitches! Can't wait to play Chicago next season...

And maybe, being a fellow Czech, he'll be a good example for Cracksquirrel. Oh, who am I kidding?

I'm also pretty excited about the Wild signing Greg Zanon from Nashville. Apparently he's a shot blocking FREAK, which is totally the way to my goalie-lovin' heart. And we didn't have to give up Ryan Jones to get him! Go Fletch go!

Hopefully some moves to benefit glorious hockey team Houston Aeros will come in the next few days. I see that the Ottawa organization has already started picking up some free agent help for the farm, so I'm getting antsy on that front. Shocker, I know.

5 comments:

Erin  July 2, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

I LOVE reading your blog! Have a great holiday weekend! :o)

Ms. Conduct  July 2, 2009 at 8:27 AM  

You too, Erin! Thanks for reading. :)

artsnhockey  July 2, 2009 at 9:16 AM  

Cool stuff! Go for IT!

buddhafisch  July 2, 2009 at 10:44 AM  

Pumped about Havlat signing. Fletch has already shown he is 1000x the GM "He who shall no longer be mentioned" ever was.

You should try and get an email interview with your new GM... Hall? Hill? All these new faces... I bet he would be glad to talk to you. Maybe you could ask when the free agents start rolling in to Houston.

Ms. Conduct  July 2, 2009 at 10:48 AM  

So I can say, "Are you the one who gave the Aeros their crapass schedule last season?"

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