Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Goalie, help me jump this mental hurdle

Here's a thing I can't figure out: I've got this one player who gives me the serious yips when he shows up for my Monday drop-ins. It's happened enough now where I'll have such good games without him there, and such horrible games with him there, that the pattern is crystal clear to me. Dude is in my head.

The issue for me is that he's really tall and beefy, very good at hockey, basically outplays everybody on the ice every week. We have smaller guys who are really good, but they can be bumped off the puck. People basically move out of this guy's way because he's just huge and they know he's going to beat them anyway. (so, let's just say, we don't get the best defensive play when it comes to shutting him down).

He gets what feels like 10 breakaways a game and can put the puck pretty much wherever he wants (and HARD, too) and makes it look like he's just taking out the trash, it's so easy and he so bored with it. But also, he's a nice guy, and doesn't deserve the animosity I feel toward him.

Anyway, lately, he comes at me and the rink starts spinning and my brain starts zapping and I tense up because the instinctive threat level is just off the charts after being beaten by him so many times. I'm like Pavlov's Dog... it's just an uncontrollable response at this point.

I've tried being rational with myself and acknowledging the problem and saying, "Hey, it's just for fun. Don't take it personally" and "If he's that good, you shouldn't be THAT bothered by getting scored on by him" and the ol' "look at it as an opportunity to improve! Think positive!"

But I'm unable to put that wisdom to action. I just have this uncontrollable swell of GAHHHHHHHH about him and it wrecks my whole night. I honestly just get anxious just seeing him, even off the ice.

So, help me out. How do I get a grip on this? How do I circumvent the panic response so I can play his shots with a little sanity like I do everyone else's?

I think that's the part that bothers me the most about it and what sets the whole negative chain of emotions off. If I felt like I could give him my best save attempt, I wouldn't feel so bad about getting beat. But my brain just short circuits at the sight of him. I feel like nothing I do will be successful against him and that helpless feeling is super sucky and counterproductive.

I've had this problem with other players before but I always ended up finding some weakness in them that made them less intimidating to me. I've been playing with this guy for years and I've done nothing but get more intimidated.

Maybe I should do like in the Waterboy and put a crying baby face on him. Not sure that would work, since I'm not so fond of babies either.

Impart your wisdom upon me, goalies and sports psychologists!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Catching up: Tourney, League, Stuff

1. Women's Tourney

Lots of fun and I saw WAY more shots than I normally do, which was a big challenge given the 4 games in 2 days situation. I worked my can off, and so did the rest of my team. Unfortunately, the divisions were kinda off (we were more novice, the other teams were more intermediate, even though it was a Novice/Intermediate "blended" division) so my team was unable to score. Ever.

Games went 3-0, 2-0, 6-0, and 3-0. Sigh. In a sense, it frees me from feeling bad about contributing to a loss because I'm not really in a position to provide offense. But I did actually play well, especially on the first day. I think there was maybe one goal the whole weekend that I felt like I definitely should have had (was probably a foot deep for the shot), and that was in the finals game, which ended up being against the other Houston team, and by then I was on auto-pilot, I was so tired.

The 6-0 was so bad because, as the other goalie told me between the 2nd and 3rd periods, they had to score a certain number of goals to get into the championship game. I was grateful she told me that because I and the rest of my team were ready to just start swinging sticks at these girls. And they were just way better than us. Held the zone, could pass nicely. A lot of those teams have been playing together a long time. We'd had one practice and a lot more true novice players. Really only one of the other teams even had any novice players. It was tough.

But I did get MVP for our first game. Unfortunately, they don't count shots (super lame), so I have no idea how many I faced, but about 10 minutes into the first when the other team had been in our zone for 9 of those minutes, I told the girls, "I can't do this for an hour." I was sucking wind and really grateful that I've been working out quite a bit lately or I might have left the ice on a stretcher.

2. Working out lately

I was so proud of losing weight early last year and then we got balls deep (eyeballs) in moving and selling our house and it was SO fucking stressful and busy -- add in the Aeros long playoff run and a ton of real job work and organizing Camp Brusty -- and I just didn't have the focus and energy to do the preparation required to eat right and make time to exercise other than hockey. And even that suffered.

But I'm back to chipping away at it again. I've done Weight Watchers enough now that I can almost set it on cruise control and not have to be too obsessed with it to stay on program. I don't even weigh in weekly because, with working out, it makes my weight fluctuate from day to day. So I only weigh in on days where I actually feel like I've lost weight. And I'm usually right. Saves the emotional rollercoaster of "gahhh, I worked so hard, why am I up a pound!" that I'd go through otherwise.

I love my iPhone so much. It's my partner in doing this, not only because I can track my points anywhere, but because for years, I've tried to do the Couch to 5K running program. I'd start and usually get hurt somehow before getting too deep. Plus, I was having to watch the clock to time my running and walking intervals. But the app does that for me, so I just go until the friendly lady says, "Begin walking" and I think what a nice lady she is for letting me stop running. But I'm enjoying the process more than I have before. I've got great music, the app lady doing the clock watching, and so far *knock on wood* no aching joints other than the ankle soreness that won't die (but that's a hockey injury). Week 4 begins with my next run, though, and it's the biggest ramp up so far. I'm excited to see how I fare. That will be Saturday morning's adventure.

On my off days, I'm doing goalie specific training, but I'm stalled on that a little at the moment until I go to the doctor tomorrow and find out why my fingertips are kinda numb on my pinky and ring fingers of both hands. Leave it to me to have some weird shit going on. Started after the tournament, and though I don't remember getting hurt, I don't see how it wouldn't be related somehow. I just want to get the "don't worry, do your thing" stamp of approval before I do some of the things in the workouts that I know put strain on my shoulders and neck and wrists.

3. Women's League

I suppose as a "make-up" for all that effort with not much reward in the tourney and a couple of less than stellar WL seasons, the hockey gods have blessed me with the best women's league team ever this season. We have 3 excellent defensemen, one super star who just moved here from Pittsburgh, and everyone else has that tenacious honey badger spirit where they just battle hard every shift and play their positions well. It's such a pleasure. Plus, they're all fun gals and I love my captain. Nirvana!

We even had one of our D and the super star out on Tuesday, so we only had 2 D the whole game and they never left the ice. I saw a whopping 11 shots (felt like more, but shots went wide, hit posts, etc. so I was working as hard as if they were shots) and we won 1-0. Last week was a shutout, too, but I saw 4 shots and it didn't even feel like that many, so I don't take any credit for that one. This week was a full team win. Really proud of the girls. Hard fought.

4. Hockey Season

It's almost over. :( Go Kings!


  © Blogger templates Psi by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP