Not my week

I really have to pick up my efforts because this week was pretty bad when it comes to hockey.  I really wasn’t sharp on Monday which resulted in a one goal loss.  Then tonight we lost 4-2 off a bad deflection off my own player.  Obviously, the deflection I can’t control, but through the course of the game I have to make some key stops and I haven’t done that the last couple weeks.  Either I was sitting too deep in my net or not playing the angles like I should.  It really is tough on my teams when I let in shots I should stop, and I cannot blame them for my mistakes.  I just have to play better.

The break from ice hockey and reffing is a very convenient one right now though.  Every weekend was busy with reffing, and now I have my weekends open.  Every Tuesday and Thursday was busy with ice hockey, and now we enter playoffs where I am going to get a little rest before our games kick in.  Soon the session will be over and I will be able to rest an extra day out of the week.  When it comes to reffing though, lacrosse will be starting up in the next week or two.  I really cannot wait to do that again this year for the next couple months.

My real break will be this summer.

Its going to be a different summer

This week I found out that I am going to get a semester off from teaching.  That is a full semester off after teaching for a full year and a half.  It just surprises me that I have been teaching this long without a break.  At first, I like the idea of a break.  Now, I am wondering how I am going to keep myself occupied over the summer in that time slot.  I have always prided myself on being productive.  Now, I am faced with some downtime and I really don’t know what I am going to do.

This week was great to me for the most part.  I really didn’t play well on Thursday, but I didn’t need to when my team dominated the top team in the division.  I really have to continue to pick up my game with playoffs coming up in ice hockey.

No reffing for the next couple weeks.  Lacrosse reffing starts up in the next three weeks.

And its over….

It really was a great season.

I got done reffing my last hockey games of the season last night when I finished a trio of sled hockey tournament games.  I reffed 7 games over the weekend, which was a lot of fun, but the end of the season signals the beginning of lacrosse reffing in a couple weeks (after the snow melts).  Lacrosse reffing is nothing like reffing ice hockey though.  Right now, it feels great to be done.  In the summer, I will be looking forward to the ice hockey season starting out again in September/October.  I am sure I will get some ice hockey games to ref in the summer, but in the meantime, I am going to enjoy the small break before lacrosse.

The lacrosse scrimmage that was scheduled for this weekend is looking like it is cancelled due to the snow and the field conditions if the snow was cleared.  This means I can relax and probably do my taxes which will be a blast to complete.

As for hockey, I have 4 games this week.  I really am looking forward to playing, especially after playing so well on Thursday last week.

A hectic weekend

The youth hockey season is almost over, and there aren’t a lot of games to go around.  With 150+ referees in the West Michigan area, you would think that I wouldn’t be working very much.  I swear I was offered to referee 12 games this weekend.  As it turns out, I reffed 7 and felt like I had done my part.  Back about 20 years ago, I probably would have enjoyed doing 10+ games in a weekend (if I was reffing back then).  Today, it is more quality than quantity.  I don’t ref for the money exclusively.  I ref because I enjoy it.  If I am doing 10 games in a weekend, I am not enjoying it by the end of the weekend.  Case in point, I reffed 10+ games in a tournament last year, and by the end of the weekend, I was happy to not ref for 2 weeks after that.  When you reach the point of burnout, its easy to just put things on hold and walk away.

This is why it is great to not exhaust yourself when you referee.  Being a good ref requires you to be fresh and clear minded.  Many refs do it for the money.  I do it because I love it.  There is a definite need for more referees that have a passion for refereeing and the game itself rather than the paycheck that comes along with it.  Maybe if I am still reffing in another 15 years then I can start lecturing to refs about this.  Until then, I am going to be low man on the totem pole, and not regarded as an expert.  Ah well…..

So far I have nothing to ref this weekend and part of me is happy to have the extra time.  I probably will take any games that are given to me because the end of the season is close at hand.  Once the youth hockey season is over, absence is what will make the heart grow fonder.  I will then wish I had games to referee come June/July (when I am done reffing lacrosse).

I am really looking forward to playing goal this week.  I have 4 games on the schedule, and I am sure to get a workout in all of them.

I am not a top tier goalie anymore

No, this isn’t a depressing post, but merely just a statement.  Back about 5-7 years ago when I was playing in the top divisions in hockey, I considered myself to be a decent goalie.  Especially when my teams were doing very well and I could help achieve a championship.  Today, at the ripe age of 41, I am not as fast as I used to be.  Yet, here I am, still playing in the top divisions and doing pretty well.  My intermediate/advanced ice hockey team is sitting in 2nd right now while my Wednesday intermediate/advanced team is tops in the league.  I know most of it is being on the right team, but I do feel like I am losing a step at times.

Last night, the team we played against really gave us a run, but we took the lead and never trailed in the game.  I was very happy with the end result, but some of the things they were doing to score goals really made me think about how much slower I am today.  The passing plays across the net that I couldn’t slide over and get to, or how slow I was to react to those great chances were what I noticed the most.  Yes, I stopped a couple breakaways and had some good glove saves.  I am also certainly very happy about the victory too.  I just know that I could have shaved off a couple goals if I reacted a bit quicker than I did.

I suppose beggars can’t be choosers though.  Here I am and playing this kind of hockey at my age.  That alone should be a victory for me and I should be happy about that.

Tonight I have some project work to do for my day job and then back on Friday to host a suite at the Griffins game.  This weekend is going to be crazy with what will be my next to last weekend of ice hockey reffing.  I hope to fit in some Titanfall, Battlefield 4, and Borderlands 2 into the mix this weekend as well.

A win is a win I suppose

My Tuesday hockey team won 7-5 last night and while it was a win, I really didn’t feel I played the best.  The other team capitalized on their chances, and I feel there was one shot I should have had.  It was a shot from the right faceoff circle that I didn’t come out enough on and I wasn’t centered to the shot either to boot.  There was a nice goal that they scored on me that went bar down.  It was almost like the Yzerman goal against the Blues in game 7 of the conference quarterfinals back in 1996.  The rest of the goals were just great plays to guys left alone in the slot.  I still expected to play a bit better than I did though, especially against a team that is close to us in the standings.  There are harder teams I am going to have to play against so I hope I bring my A game for those.

Last night I downloaded the Titanfall Beta but I probably won’t get a chance to play it until this weekend.  Titanfall is going to be just one of the many games grabbing my attention this weekend though.  I am planning on doing some Borderlands 2 and Battlefield 4 as well.  With me refereeing this weekend, I know that will bite into my available free time for gaming, but that is ok.  My ice hockey reffing jobs will go down considerably in March, with Lacrosse reffing going strong in April and May.  I really am considering taking the summer off from reffing and teaching.  Yes, I have games I want to play, but I really need the time to recharge my batteries.

Long term goals

When I started this blog entry, I was thinking about so much that I haven’t accomplished and how bad it has been the last couple days in terms of my crappy play in net and losing one of my ice teams I played on last season.  Those things hurt, and then I started thinking about everything that I have accomplished in the last couple years.  Then I factored in everything I wanted to accomplish in the last 20 years.  Now, things don’t seem so negative.

When I set out to embark upon getting my MBA, I took a long good look at what I wanted to accomplish.  I wanted to teach.  I wanted to get into management and bring up people who have been in the technology trenches for so long and make them leaders.  Most importantly though, I didn’t want to sacrifice what I have loved to do, which is referee and play hockey (along with a Tough Mudder and some distance running).  Now that I have been playing pain free hockey for the last couple years, it really has been a lot of fun to strap on the pads and keep going.  When it comes to all these goals, I am right where I want to be.

  • I have that leadership position I love.
  • I will have my MBA in 3 weeks or so.
  • I have a couple hockey teams I love playing on.
  • I am refereeing adult and youth hockey on a regular basis entering my 4th year in the USA hockey program.
  • I completed my first tough mudder in April and am going to do another one in June 2013.

Finally, everything is coming together and I am excited about what the future holds.  What are going to be my next goals though?  I would love to find another ice hockey team to play for, and get back into my distance running that has taken a hiatus due to my injury earlier this year.  The other ice team may or may not happen, but it would be nice.  Aside from that, after hitting 40, I am just going to bask and enjoy what I have done so far.  What a ride.

Acceleration Training: Day 1

Yesterday I started my first acceleration training at Acceleration of Grand Rapids.  I was anticipating a much more productive day there, and it turned out to be more frustrating.  The skating treadmill there is not the easiest to skate on for me, and I spent the whole first day just getting used to it.  I have many years of bad habits to kick when it comes to my skating, and the only way to fix those bad habits is to kick them to the curb with hard work.

This is what the treadmill is like that I skated on. Its not an exact replica, but its pretty close.

By the time I did the workout, which also included work on the exercise bike and a core workout with crunches and such, I was pretty wiped out.  I played hockey that night too which just was a little too much for me to handle in a day.  If anything, this workout regimen just woke me up to the fact that I am not in the best of shape.  It really is time to turn things around and start working out more.

Still, it was a great workout and I am looking forward to my next appointment.  I signed up for 17 more sessions on this, so it is my hope that it will improve my skating by the time I am done in the next 3 months.

A strong second half

After dropping both of my games last week, I took the holiday and the off week to concentrate on other things.  My next MBA class started up.  I also had my level 3 USA Hockey closed book test and class to work on as well.  Playing hockey has really been the furthest thing from my mind.  This weekend, I have already started thinking about the second half of the season and the two teams I am playing on.  Even while I sit here in the hotel room in Traverse City getting ready to go wine tasting on Saturday and Sunday, my mind is on hockey.

I think the break is what I needed to get re-energized.  Next week, the real work begins.  My MBA class will be in full swing, my two hockey teams will be looking to rebound after tough games, and I will be continuing to get ready for USA Hockey reffing to kick back in.

Another big game

I played solid again yesterday in a 6-4 victory.  After turning in a solid performance the night before, I knew it was going to be critical to keep the momentum going in the positive direction.  It was an ominous beginning as they took a 2-0 lead early in the first period.  My team stepped it up though and really served notice that we were the top team in the division.  When the game was over, I was pleased overall with our performance.  At the same time though, I knew that we could play better.

I just hope I can take this roll I am on into playoffs on Sunday with my ice team.  I really haven’t played my best for them the last few weeks.  My turnaround this week may be a big key to a strong game on Sunday.  Lets hope for the best.

Now my attention diverts from playing goal to reffing.  Tomorrow I will be getting my skates sharpened at lunch and doing the lunchtime skate at Walker.  I will be reffing games in under 2 months, so it becomes important for me to be ready when that time comes.  I figure with me skating about 3 times per week, I should be prepared in time.