Wednesday, November 25, 2009

3 in 3s ate my brain

So, how about a little state of the union? Comparing last week's Tuesday where I didn't have a game the night before, and this week's Tuesday where I did (and it was pretty strenuous, but I played well), I'm starting to see what the problem is on Tuesdays.

Mentally, I'm just fried on day 3 of playing goal. I know my body can do it. My legs are little tired but not so much that I can't do what I need to do.

It's just that I catch myself watching. And then when I do have the game in my end, I can't react fast enough in my head, and so the body is also slow to follow.

By Tuesday, I've checked out and need a mental break from the game, and I really felt it last night.

Mr.C came to watch for the first time (on Tuesday) and felt like I did okay, especially given how fast the game was (there were some college players home for the holiday who kept the pace high all game long), but I know when I'm playing badly and I played badly.

His suggestion was to cut back to two games a week, but I just don't want to give up free ice time, and I don't want to stop novice, either. I get something unique from each night I play, and I don't want to give any of them up.

The only night I don't typically enjoy as much is Tuesday, but I had a blast last week, so I think it's more because I'm just drained and don't have much left to give them and don't play well on Tuesdays. It's definitely my hardest night of the week, so to drop it feels like a cop out. I like having that level of competition in the mix.

I love Monday. It's only an hour, but I work my can off and the people are nice and respectful and mature and supportive. Plus, they don't always need me. I assume some other goalies have first dibs, but I guess lately they haven't been able or willing to come out. I'd love to be their default goalie so I don't have to wait until a few days before (or even the day of) to find out I'm playing it.

And of course, Sundays are my "home." And much like going home, Sunday's are sometimes aggravating because I feel more pressure to be a certain way there, but there's a history and camaraderie that is comforting. Plus I get to work on things during practices that I don't get to any other time.

Sooo, giving up a night doesn't feel good to me. Which means I've GOT to find a way to stop just surviving Tuesdays, but play my best on Tuesdays. Or something closer to it.

But I'm at a loss as to how to do that. And like I said, I don't believe it's a conditioning issue. It's mental. You know how it feels when you're trying to walk in water? It felt like my ability to process the game, to react to situations, to communicate to my body to do what it needs to do, was traveling through water. Slog slog slog.

How do I unfog a tired mind and be sharp and have a high level of compete for this game? Especially when it's my hardest, fastest night of the week, my body is most tired? I guess most people would chug a Red Bull or something, but I can't have caffeine. I take vitamins, I try to eat right with a good carb/protein ratio for energy, I drink chocolate milk or Endurox after every game to try and get my muscles recovering nicely.

I've tried using Shaun's advice of having a plan, but when I'm having trouble with focus and mental clarity, it's hard to even remember the plan, much less stick to it. Maybe my plan needs to be simpler, but really, my plan last night was just to focus on staying square to the puck (as it has been all week). But that wasn't enough, as I failed to execute in other ways.

Ahhhhh, to have such problems as how to deal with too much ice time. :) Honestly, I'm grateful for it, but I really would like to represent myself better on Tuesdays, because I know I'm a better goalie than they're getting. But I've got to lift the fog to do it.

2 comments:

Goody  November 25, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

Sleep!

I know exactly how you feel. Usually my games start at an hour which I consider late - 8, 9, 10 o'clock (hey, anything past 8 is late when you get up at 4). After a full day of work, dinner, dishes, family time, etc. by game time, I'm feeling ready for bed. On the rare occasion when I get to play earlier, I find I'm not thinking "I should be over there" or "oops, that's my guy". I'm in the game rather than watching the game.

So, I'd suggest figuring out how to rest up after two nights of hockey induced insomnia.

Ms. Conduct  November 25, 2009 at 1:37 PM  

You are so right. But it is SO hard to shut down afterward. That adrenaline just doesn't wear off for a while. But you're right. I am sleep deprived by Tuesday. Okay, that's a great start. Thank you!

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