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Playing badly, getting frustrated. Any tips?


motowngoalie

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Broke a nearly new Warrior STR over the crossbar this morning. I got super frustrated for not playing that well, but I've never broken a stick before. Now I'm pissed at myself, mostly because I don't have the $100 to buy a new one at the moment.

Hockey felt like a chore today and that has me a bit worried (I'm only playing 1 day a week). I've been doing a lot better in the last year or 2 not letting bad goals/games get to my head, but I feel it creeping back in the last 2-3 games. The worst part is I've mostly been playing pickup with friends, so there's like zero at stake. No clue why it's affecting me, but I just don't want to lose the enjoyment I get from playing goalie. Any tips/suggestions....?

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Pick up can be extremely frustrating. Rarely ever any defensive play and guys try stuff they never do during real games which leads to unexpected plays that are hard to read and lead to "bad goals".

While playing pick up I generally pick 1 thing to work on and treat it as a practice session. But playing too much pick up can get frustrating for sure.

If possible I'd suggest a league team where there is bragging rights guys will try harder to play defense and plays tend to be easier to read.

Just what I've noticed from personal experience.

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I agree that pick-up hockey is a low-reward endeavor for goalie stats. Anything less than 5 or 6 goals given up over 60 minutes of ice time is stellar. Kapz suggestion of working on one thing is excellent. The game (or practice) within the game, so there is bound to be some redemption even if the goal tally isn't working in your favor.

No cameras, no contracts, no sponsors, no fans should mean it is all for enjoyment. I used to get very upset, too, breaking many sticks and shooting the puck over the glass. General nonsense on my part. As I get older and my body breaks down, I have to manage the expectations. If I'm not having fun, then why did I buy all of this stuff, do all of that stretching, go to the gym, do pre- and post- game off-ice routines, study new techniques, commit to multiple teams, bring the beer, or give any of it my best?

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Struggling can make us hate the game, its why I don't play golf anymore because I know 20min into it I'm going to be throwing clubs despite how much I love being on a golf course.  Like the others have said, pickup is probably the worst way to gauge your performance and can be very frustrating and humiliating for someone who takes their play as serious as you seem to.  Take a break or just skate out for a while for a change of pace.  Or work with a goalie coach and try and build some confidence.  

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Funny but crude GIFs guys LMAO!!!

@motowngoalie Stop competing with yourself and just play. Laugh shit off, don't take count of the score and raz on the guys when the opportunity is there. Goof around.

Consider that you're only playing 1 game a week. That's like trying the break the 1 hour record in track cycling when all you do is take a stroll in the neighbourhood on the bike once a week. It's clear that your performances won't be TSN material.

If anything, use that time to work on your game WHILE having fun. If being that much better is more important to you, add a game or 2 a week to up the skills.

I myself notice a hell of a difference when I have a 2-3 games/week season versus a 2-3 games/month one, it's natural and expected.

Getting frustrated is human, but don't beat yourself up so much on this. Enjoy the moment. Be happy you got to suit up and step on the ice. 

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I feel the same ways at times... Only if I'm giving up ugly goals.  I get frustrated when I feel I should have had a shot, gave up a bad rebound or just screwed the pooch.

Last night I subbed and we lost 7-4... 3 goals were breakaways, 2 were 2 on 1 and the last 3 were off rebounds on 3/4th chances.  I feel like I can improve but the team kept telling me how well I played and asked me back for another game next Wednesday.

@Kapz nailed it.  Use pick up as practice... And nothing more.  I do the same where I'll work on positioning, or RVH... Whatever I feel I can improve my game.  Even limit my save selection to try and build repetition.  Lots of goaltending success comes from being able to always repeat good habits and movement.

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You could try picking up a different ice time here or there, just for a change of pace or scenery.  Agreed with others about picking a thing to work on and focusing on that.  Playing against just a different group though can give you a bit of a refresher in your abilities, give you different situations to read etc.

10 minutes ago, coopaloop1234 said:

Have you tried not sucking? ;)

"That's a bold strategy, Cotton.  Let's see if it pays off"

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To the OP - find a team and play some games. Only playing pickup will eat at your soul.

It's like riding a moped. Kinda fun at first. But after a few minutes it gets old and you just want it to end. By the time you get where you wanted to go, you're tired, feel beat up and your ass hurts.

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Another point to the change of scenery, or even just pulling the plug.  I went through a period of playing on a bottom division beer league team that was basically just a revolving door of Kijiji call-ups organized by a guy that I knew who ran a weekly pickup session.  I should have known better, since I stopped playing his weekly pickup due to the caliber of play, but my usual men's league team had just folded and I was itching for a team.

There wasn't a complete lack of skill, but the constant unfamiliarity with each other created one of the worst team experiences I've ever had.  Every attack was deliberately skating wide and then weakly throwing the puck across the front of the net, with no net-front presence.  So we'd score at most 2 goals in a game, if that.  There was no breakout, they'd give up breakaways from our own blue line because forwards flew the zone as soon as the D got the puck.  No positioning, bad habits (waving sticks at shots from the point and deflecting them in, or messing with my vision, standing at the far post on a wrap around so I bump into them etc.), saying after the games "Oh we almost had them" after getting thrashed 6-0 or more.  It got to a point where the other teams wouldn't even take normal shots, because they knew all they had to do was hold the puck for long enough, someone on my team would screen me ant they just shoot around/through them, or pass back door to the wide open winger (or 2 or 3).  I'd face like 10 shots in a game, give up 5 or 6.

I did that for 2 years, realized my fundamentals were shot, and just had to pull the plug.  Luckily a guy I used to play with needed a goalie on his other team and I played with them last winter and again this winter.  Spent all last season a half to full step behind the play, jumping back into A division hockey, but was way happier.  Also started playing in other new pickup sessions this summer against better players and that helped a ton.  Get lit up by guys for the first half hour (or full ice time), then start catching up and it feels like a new normal.

You may not need to pull the plug, but at least remind yourself what else is out there.  (This sounds like relationship advice haha)

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One minor thing I find helps is....sharpen your skates. 

Seriously, everytime I find myself in a rut coincidentally I also haven't had my skates sharpened in a long time. 

On freshly sharpened blades, suddenly my movements are crisp and fast again and I find that really helps mentally keep me focused in the game (even if it's a slow game without much action)

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Figure out a way to stop thinking about it... 

1. Listen to songs on the way to the rink that will get stuck in your head during the game. Singing / humming them will distract you - Jack Nicklaus 

2. Wiggle all your toes on both feet right before they enter the zone. This messes with your senses and will clear your head - Navy Fighter Pilots 

3. Figure out something to deeply visualize which isn't hockey during the game. Example; trying to visualize a past sexual experience can really clear your head - Golf book 

4. Constantly remind yourself this i supposed to be fun and force yourself to smile - Duarte 

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1 hour ago, TheGoalNet said:

3. Figure out something to deeply visualize which isn't hockey during the game. Example; trying to visualize a past sexual experience can really clear your head - Golf book 

But getting a boner inside your cup HURTS like a mofo if you’re a triple cupper like I am!!!!!

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I got torched last night. Thought of this thread. My team was good a few seasons ago - but due to attrition, we're terrible.

After a few clappers from about 8' out... I kinda was trying to avoid getting hurt by pucks. I took one off the outside of my knee that went in that sealed the deal that it wasn't a fun night.

My goal is to not pay for this season. I'm 2 weeks in and haven't paid anything yet. Figure after week three, they'll stop asking at the front door. Yeah, we have to pay in these parts. Looking at my team last night... it's not worth $300 for this. 

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