After my ice hockey team won on Thursday night, some of us went out for a beer and just to talk about the game. During the course of the game, I let in 6 goals, and a couple were weak. The other team didn’t have a lot of shots, but they had some good quality chances when we coughed the puck up in our own zone.
Anyway, I got to talking with another goalie who had been playing for over 15 years without the use of his legs. I really didn’t know him until about a year ago when I met him for the first time. This is the second game I have played against him. I am very impressed with the way he plays considering his disability.
He let me know what he observed at the other end of the ice. One thing was that I go down to much. That is a no brainer and something I have been working on getting out of the habit of. I have been slowly but surely, but I still go down a lot. The other thing was confidence. The captain of my team recalled a practice we had when I was facing 3 of the best players on my team on the same line. I was stopping pucks all over the place and the main reason why was because I was relaxed. It seems that maybe, in the back of my mind, I am not that relaxed in a game.
It could be a confidence problem. I really don’t know what to say to that. Even though I believe and know I am going to stop the puck when I play, maybe there is a bug in the back of my mind that has doubts. I took some of his recommendations and am going to work on doing what he says. I have always listened to what other goalies have told me. Some of the advice has been very good in the past.
I love the game of hockey and have loved it for a while now. My goal is to get better, and they only way to get better is to make small changes to your game. If I played the way I played 4 years ago today, I wouldn’t have the success I have had.