Very difficult decisions

I am once again stuck with some very difficult decisions that I have to make in terms of playing hockey. These decisions I am going to be making are emotional ones, and odds are they will upset some people. They must be addressed because I am to the point where I am just spent physically.

Right now, I am playing 6 hockey games per week.

Donkey Punch, Malys, Stick Heads, Kodiaks, Structural Standards, and Marketlab.

My promise at the beginning of the season was to play with as many friends as I can before I am done playing. I have achieved that goal, but I have sacrificed something else. My body is sore and emotionally I am just spent. My struggles this season have a lot to do with being drained. Therefore, I have some very tough decisions to make that are going to upset a few of these teams. Not this season, but for seasons after that.

If I was to cut down to 4 games per week, I think that would be a lot more manageable.

2 thoughts on “Very difficult decisions

  1. avatarDavid Whalen

    Wow! 6 games a week. That’s quite a bit for a goalie. No wonder why you’re drained. I grew up in Michigan and have been playing hockey since I was about 8 years old. I’m now 40, and have found over the last several years that in order to play good consistently at goalie I’ve had to cut down how much I play in one week. But this year I found a good mix for me at my age. I stretch every night, but I only play twice a week. I play ice hockey in the B division on Sunday nights and I play inline in the B division on Thursday nights. The middle of the week I get a few nights of skating as I am the goalie coach for my sons ice hockey team.
    Not only is the physical aspect of the game catching up with me, but now more than ever its the mental focus. I could probably play 3 or 4 games in a week, but I know that my mental focus would start to wane and I would play sloppy and let in goals that I normally would not. At my age less is better in order to be consistent and have a great game every time.
    You have to do what feels best for your body and mental focus as a goalie. But if you’re feeling drained, it could be that you may have to cut back just a little in order to be refreshed for each game.

    Dave

  2. avatarChristopher Brian Dudek Post author

    David,

    I am greatly impressed that you are still playing goalie at age 40. Especially in the B division which I would assume is intermediate level. Ice hockey is challenging to play at that level for me. Of course, I have only been playing organized hockey for about 9 years now and ice hockey for only 6 of them. I never even skated before I started playing goalie. Go figure!

    Seriously though, two times a week is probably where I want to be. The problem as I see it is that I want to play as much as I can before the clock runs out on me. That clock being my playing days. So I push myself more than ever. That push has resulted in me tiring very easily as the seasons wear on. The playoffs are a very big drain for me by the time they are all said and done. I want so much to compete though, and I do know when I am no longer able to play it will leave a void inside me that is going to be impossible to replace. Maybe I will start coaching again like I used to or take up another sport. The problem is that I have had so much success playing hockey that doing something else is not going to replace it.

    So, in short, the fear of not being able to play anymore as I get older fuels me to play more now. That isn’t the right reason and I am realizing that now.

    The mental aspect does concern me as well. From a confidence and focus standpoint, I usually play my best hockey right around playoff time. Regular season though I am up and down. I think this is what you mean by mental awareness. If I was only playing in a couple leagues, this wouldn’t be a problem I don’t think. It has been a long time though since I have played in 2-3 leagues in the same season.

    I have already made the decision to start dropping from some of these leagues. I don’t know what cuts I will make in the end, but this is the last season of this kind of thing.

    Thanks so much for your input. I appreciate it.

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