After a series of subpar games, I had a solid game in net last night in a 5-3 win.  I was sharp right out of the gate and didn’t let in a single bad goal.  As normal, there was room for improvement, but I just felt good about having a solid game.  The last couple weeks my performance in net has been less than stellar which is not where I wanted to be.  I am going to take this momentum into the game tonight and then into the playoff game on Sunday.

On another “finally” moment, I have been working on my website.  Last night I fixed a couple problems with the photo gallery and now I have some administrative work to finish.  The album names need some fixing and I need to add some descriptions as well.  Still, moving from gallery2 to gallery3 will be a worthwhile upgrade when its finished.  I just have a bad taste in my mouth from having to move without using the migration tool.  Its extra work I didn’t expect to have to sink into my website.  I hope that gallery3 to gallery4 will be much easier.

Lastly, this Friday I am going to dedicate three days per week at skating more aggressively.  With reffing starting up in about two months, I have to shake the rust off, put the skates on, and keep working hard.  The only way to do that is to skate more often with all my ref gear on.  I will probably stick out like a sore thumb, but at this stage, I really don’t care.  My focus is on getting ready for the new season.

Physically drained

For the first time in the last few months, I am feeling physically drained today.  I took some pain killers for my pounding head, and they aren’t helping very much.  Maybe its because of the start of a new hockey season and I have played three games in the last four evenings.  It doesn’t matter how I got here, but I am already thinking about what I can do to recover.

I am really not a person that looks forward to a weekend or time off.  Work is enjoyable to me, and I enjoy every day that comes my way.  Today is slightly different because of my lack of energy level.  I think this weekend I am going to rest up and get ready for a new week.

Last night when I got back from hockey, I spent some time looking into android/iphone centralized management.  I really don’t like Blackberry Enterprise Server, and with more users wanting to have more capabilities on their phones, this seems like a natural progression.  When I looked at the clock last night and it read 10:20pm, I should have went to bed.  Instead, I stayed up and continued my research.  This is probably part of the problem.

My hockey teams did ok this past week.  I went 1-2, and with ice hockey playoffs starting this week, I am really eager to make a more positive impact.  Especially since I really didn’t play that solid in a 5-3 loss in my last ice hockey game.  I didn’t play exceptionally well in either of my roller games this week.  I am also looking to rebound stronger next week in that area.

Even with all the hockey games I am playing, I am still very much looking forward to reffing again.  My USA Hockey seminar is in about a month.  I will have some time to really read through the new rules before the seminar starts.  This year is going to be my defining year in reffing.  All I have to do is not only pass the level 3 closed book test, but also pick up my efforts to get games.

Early to bed tonight.

A solid return

I had a great return to the hockey rink on Sunday, but the result was not what I wanted.  Lost 5-3, and while I was upset with the end result, I was more upset at every bounce that went against me.  A couple shots went by even after I got pieces of them.  Maybe if I am on my game, we win that game.  Still, how often am I on my game now that I am pushing 40.

Still, it was good to get out there and play again.  The last two weeks have been filled with everything but hockey.  Starting a new job has taken a good chunk of time out.  I should take more time out for hockey on the break between seasons, but with USA Hockey refereeing starting up here in a couple months, I really don’t have a lot of motivation to do so.  Refereeing is something I really enjoy and it seems that during the summer months, I have a limited time I am away from skating and playing hockey.  In the fall, winter, and spring it seems I am always on the ice.

Looking forward to playing later this week that’s for sure.

The year in review

I had many goals set for myself this coming year.  I thought I would go through each one of them and set new ones.

1. Achieve 25 rollerhockey championships.  At the beginning of the year I had 23, so I thought that 25 was going to be obtainable.  As it turns out, I now have 27 which is far more than I ever could have thought possible.

2. Win my very first ice hockey championship.  This did not come true, not even close.  I really missed my opportunity in 2008 when I laid an egg in the finals.  Maybe this year will be different.

3. Get one year closer to my MBA degree. One year closer, but still not scheduled to graduate until 2011 or so.

4. Keep up with technology.  Achieved and still working on it.

5. Get plenty of sleep every night. Achieved for the most part.  I need to get to bed sooner every now and again, but I am achieving my goal.

6. Never forget your friends and family.  Achieved and still working on it.

7. Take good care of my knees.  Achieved, but I really need to decrease my playtime a bit.  I just love hockey so much.

Now I set my new goals for this year.  As normal, I will set my goals high.

1.  Achieve 30 rollerhockey championships.  This is going to be much harder than winning 2 to get to 25 last year.  The issue here is that I am not fielding teams to win championships alone.  In the twilight of my playing days, I want to play with my friends.  I have no interest in playing to win championships anymore.  If the championships come, they will be by luck, not by design.  Still, I have a good shot at getting 28 in January, so I am hoping I get lucky this coming year.

2.  Win my very first ice hockey championship.  I don’t know how I am going to get there, but I won’t get there unless I keep playing and working hard.

3.  Get one year closer to my MBA degree.  Target graduation in 2011-2012.

4.  Keep up with technology.  Same as last year.  I have to keep up with the new tech that comes out and be tech savvy.

5.  Get plenty of sleep every night.  7 hours minimum is important for my health.

6.  Never forget your friends and family.  Same as last year, but I will be improving that.

7.  Take good care of my knees.  I may actually reduce my playtime this coming year.

8.  Hang out more with my friends when I can.  I have to make a push to go out more with the friends that I have.  I have shunned them in the past and that isn’t a good thing.  When given the opportunity to hang with them, I am going to do it.

9.  Improve my skating.  This leads into being a better referee.  One thing that I got hit with this year was my average skating.  I want to do more travel games next year and the only way I am going to get those games is to get out there and keep skating.  I plan on attending power skating clinics and/or acceleration skating program.  I want to be a 100% better skater next year.

10.  Improve my refereeing.  I have come a long way this year, but next year I want to be even better than I was this year at reffing.

11.  Achieve level 2 refereeing certification.  I should be able to get there next year with some studying and hard work on the ice.

Have a great new year!

Controlling your own destiny

In hockey, its always better to control your own destiny when it comes to making playoffs.  Its always better to not be chasing a spot and be the team that has secured one.  So far, two of my three teams control their own destiny.  Marketlab and Malys are in good spots right now and with limited games to go, they both should make the playoffs.  Who Cares made a good move today with a 1-1 tie with the first place team overall.  I couldn’t be more proud of Who Cares after the game today.  Many players made sacrifices during the game that enabled us to get key points toward a playoff spot.

Controlling your own destiny also means that you are in control of your life as well.  I have made great strides this year in becoming a better person.  Not only in a hockey sense, but also in a life sense.  I am now refereeing on a regular basis which fuels me to get better at it so the kids, parents, and coaches are satisfied with my hard work and dedication.  Work is going very well in addition.  I have made great strides this year in my personal life and look to make many more next year and many years to come.

I watched Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” on Youtube a few weeks ago and I was floored.  For those of you who haven’t watched it, please take the time to do so.  It really did put a new perspective on life for me and fueled my desire to make the world a much better place and at the same time, achieve my childhood dreams.

I have achieved so much this year, and I will post more about that as I look back and reflect upon the year that was.  I am not just talking about in a hockey sense, but in a total life sense.  For now though, I am going to bed.  I am really going to be happy with 5 straight days off to rest and relax.  Well, with all the traveling I have to do, I won’t be resting that much.  I sure am going to get as much in as I can though.

The beat goes on

I spent the weekend just resting for the most part.  The days were very nice to spend outside anyway, so I mowed the lawn one last time and then proceeded to break the lawnmower.  Then I tried installing a new head on my trimmer which didn’t work either.  So I decided to put that kind of work down and just rest.

The pulled muscle in my leg only seems to bother me when I am playing in net and doing things like leg lifts.  Its obvious the muscle is still strained or something else is going on that I don’t know about.  If I keep having problems like this, I am going to be forced to make some decisions I didn’t want to make, like resting next season instead of playing.  There is part of me that wants to have this checked out at the doctor.  After all, it has been 6+ weeks since I first felt it give.  At the same time though, I really haven’t rested it like I should.  Resting it would be no skating at all for a period of 2-3 weeks.  I just don’t have the patience I guess.  I have been stretching my legs out really well before skating on them.  I am sure while I am skating out playing today I will be just fine.  Its when I strap on the goalie pads is when I will start feeling it again.  I am confident that it will get better soon and I will cross the line of taking time off later if it doesn’t heal.

I reffed a couple games this weekend and had a lot of fun doing it.  The more games I work, the better I become at not only position, but doing the little things right.  I continue to work on my skating as well so I am a much stronger skater come next season when I hit level 2.

I was recently asked where I want to be when I ref hockey games.  Some people do it for the paycheck.  I am doing it because I enjoy it.  Working with the kids is where my love for the sport still is.  Just like when I coached mites and squirts years ago, reffing that age group is where I want to be.  Even when I hit level 2 next season, I will be looking at doing the younger kids, but adding travel hockey to my list of things I want to do in that age group.  I should be able to achieve that goal.

You never know, I may find myself coaching again down the road.

I am pretty happy with the way things are going.  Sure, I would like to ref more games, but I will get there soon enough.  Patience is a virtue.

The shiny new toy

Lately, it has been all about refereeing to me.

First it was how can I get started.  I study up for the USA Hockey test and get my certification.  Then it was how soon can I get started.  Games are starting to come out and I have at least one game per week so far.  I would have had more if I could have reffed on Saturday this week.  Unfortunately I have hockey to play on Saturday and I am not available.  For as much as I want to ref, I can’t push playing hockey off.  I can ref for the next 10-20 years.  I won’t be playing hockey for that long.  At least I don’t think I will be playing.

Some people have told me that refereeing is like the shiny new toy.  It wears off on you quickly.  Well, here I am really enjoying it because it is new.  Then I wonder if it will fade out too quickly.  Will I get burned out on reffing?  I guess time will tell.

I am not going to let the fear of burning out stop me from getting as many games as I can.  The more games I do, the better I will be in the end.

Adventures in Refereeing

After many months of preparation, I have refereed adult inline and a squirt ice hockey game.  Both of which were incredibly fun to do and my first reffing assignments to boot.  I have a lot to learn, the first of which is to adjust to skating on something other than goalie skates.  Even my ice hockey forward skates are taking some getting used to.

My positioning is pretty good.  My situational awareness is also very good.  I was calling offsides today very accurately.  With all the positives, there are a few negatives.  I will keep improving my skating, as well as my play awareness.  I have to be aware on who scores the goals and has the assists a lot better than I did today.

Overall, it was very productive.  I can’t wait until I ref inline on Monday and Wednesday, and then ref ice hockey again on Friday.  Lots of opportunities to improve and show what I can do.