I really was looking forward to kicking back into gear this week with playing more hockey. The thought was that with me playing more, I would start playing better than I was over the summer and only playing once a week. I had gotten complacent, and when I have gotten comfortable and complacent, my performance suffers. This week I thought I had more of a focus coming into both my games. I played decent, but still lost both games. I say decent because it really was a C or B- effort at the best. I just did not play the way I should have. I allowed a couple really crappy goals in both games, even though I made some very solid saves on breakaways and other prime scoring chances. Still, those crappy goals are back breakers that I should have never allowed.
I was fuming last night after our loss, and that carried over in the locker room. I had a pretty piss poor attitude about things, and really had no reason to go down that road. Its just a game, and a rec hockey league game at that. After you put things in perspective like that, it gets a lot easier to digest and move on from.
Still, this really wasn’t the way I wanted to start. I feel like I haven’t played well in the last few months, and I think one of my teams is very frustrated with me. Sure, they like me, but there is a big difference between a goalie that you just like and one you want to win with. I hate losing more than I like winning, and I have tried to build my teams with that kind of mentality. Well, if someone on the team is well liked but not performing, how long will it be before that person is kicked to the curb? Especially when that someone is me.
I am expecting a much better performance in net in all 3 games I play next week.
Starting next week, I will be playing hockey 2-3 times per week. Then, a month later, I will be teaching a class or two (don’t know how many yet) in the evenings. Shortly after that, I will be resuming refereeing adult and youth ice hockey. All this while carrying a full time job, wife, continuous learning, working out, and other responsibilities. I have been asked by many people how or why I continue to push myself that hard, and all I can say is that I enjoy it.
Sitting idle really is the most boring thing to me. Since I was young, I have always tried to better myself. To build upon a good year by surpassing it with a better next year really is something I have grown to embrace. This goes for everything from work to play. As I have gotten older though, I have found that physically, trying to do things better every year may not be the most achievable. I am not as quick as I once was. Part of bettering yourself is getting out there and honing your skills. Playing hockey once a week has not made me a better player. I was playing better when I was playing 2-3 times a week on a regular basis. Just like I will be a better college instructor when I am teaching more than once a week. Just like I will be a better referee when I ref more than once a week in the fall/winter/spring.
I realize that as I get older, my skills in net are going to diminish. I am concentrating on bettering myself right now and for the immediate future. We all should be looking to make ourselves a little bit better every day. It could be anything from physical to mental. It could be a skill-set or a way of acting. This is why I push myself and why I am going to be pushing myself hard starting this month. No more sitting idle.
That ankle sprain took me out of the working out and hockey game for a couple weeks. Since I came back, my game has been up and down. When I have played well, I have been solid. When I have sucked, it has been pretty bad. I think the biggest challenge has been to keep my confidence up. When your team is the big fish in the pond and better than the competition, then you are going to have more confidence. I cannot rely on the talent of my team alone to win games. I have to be better and get better every game.
So far, that hasn’t happened.
Two weeks ago, I had a very solid game. Tonight, I stunk up the place. That really isn’t good for the confidence of my team thats for sure. They won’t say it, but I know where the blame lies and it starts in net.
Going to start playing rollerhockey next week, and with the additional workload, I am hopeful that my game will get better. I really was playing well when I was going 2-3 times per week instead of just 1 time a week or less.