Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What's that smell? The new goalie

Well, that was weird. I knew playing all women, especially at a novice level, was going to be really different, but I didn't think I'd have so much trouble adjusting. Needless to say, I had a crapload of trouble adjusting.

It's so slow, and I think it's sort of human nature to operate at the pace of those around you. Some sort of innate mimickery that just happens. Unfortunately, just because they're moving slowly getting the puck into shooting range, the physics of a 6 oz puck moving on ice doesn't (don't?) really change, so it moves relatively quickly compared to everything else.

But the shots are slower/weaker so they do different things when they hit you. Like, rebounds bounce off you and just die. I think I froze a record number (for me) of pucks tonight. Or rather than hitting your stick and having the momentum to deflect away, it just bounces over the stick and slides into the net while you stand there with your thumb up your ass. Ugh.

I let in 3 in the first period and then 2 more in the next two periods (which are 13 minute stop-time periods). At least 3 of them were so soft, I wanna take up cutting myself just to replace the pain with something less awful.

Doesn't help that I'm playing too deep. Doesn't help that I'm really tentative in my movement because of my knee. Doesn't help that I was wearing my new chest protector for the first time and it was pushing my mask up and interfering with my vision downward and just generally making me uncomfortable.

I was just out of sorts and definitely a bigger mess than I usually am. Plus it was my first time with this league and I was feeling nervous and pressure to play well and was much too tight mentally and physically, especially in the first period.

But I'm not climbing the walls just yet. I know I'm a better goalie than I was tonight. I just need to figure out how to separate myself from the skaters and just focus on the puck.

It's all good though. The girls all seem nice and I'm sure it will become more fun as I adapt and get to know some of them. If I look at it more as a social thing and not so much a "growth as a goalie" thing, maybe it will feel better. I dunno. We'll see.

Regardless, that's my last game until next Tuesday. I graduated from physical therapy today, but Ingrid insisted that I give myself a week to rest and get my knee feeling better. And I think I need the mental break, too. I'm creeping into that "bad feelings" place about playing goal and I don't like that place. I'm not having fun right now and I miss that.

What is fun though is watching my beautiful Blue Jays beat the snot out of the stanky Yankees. Bring that home run derby shit, jaybirds!


maalivahti  August 4, 2010 at 9:10 AM  

Absolutely, if you're not having fun and feeling negative, take a breather. I know EXACTLY what you're talking about with playing at a slower pace than you're used to. I haven't figured out the key yet though.

Nick  August 4, 2010 at 12:38 PM  

Reading about your experience reminded of this thread on the goaliestore board: You might check it out as it sounds a bit like what you're going through.

Ms. Conduct  August 4, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

Thanks Nick, I think Moose mentioned that very thread to me but I was too lazy to look for a link.

I think the suggestions of using the slower speed to work on form, positioning, and other fundamentals is good. The girls aren't super serious about the score, so I probably shouldn't worry about that so much (plus I play for different teams all season, so my suck is spread evenly throughout the league).

SouthpawTRK  August 4, 2010 at 6:54 PM  

I'm sorry that you had an uncomfortable game the other night in your women's league. However, things will get better and the fun will be back once you get to know the tendencies of your new team mates. Take care and best of luck with the next game.

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