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The value of an under-filled drop in


bunnyman666

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Some people will roll their eyes. If you are one of those, please go be with the cool kids. 
 
Now that I have rooted out the riffraff, I have had two drop in sessions outside of my Sunday group that there wasn’t enough for a game of any sort. We had a two on two yesterday for a few minutes. But the cool thing was me working on my crease awareness and anticipation. Anticipation can get you burnt, but more often that not, learning how to anticipate a shooter’s movements can keep the puck out of the net. These sessions were exhausting, as it was 100% on all the time. I feel that last week’s training session netted a better game last Sunday. My zone awareness and anticipation skills have always been decent from my days of a play breaking forward (as a winger, I played like a third defenceman), but up close in the scramble, I’d get beat badly if I didn’t end up with control of rebounds after the initial shot. 
 
I look forward to these as long as there is at least one shooter.

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Younger kid here:

I absolutely love drop-ins whether or not I know anyone there. Gives me a chance to kinda let loose and play some hockey nobody truly tries at. This means I don’t have to worry about getting hurt and I don’t have to worry about letting any dumb goals in because it simply doesn’t matter. For those of us still playing competitive hockey, drop-in is a very welcome change of pace. I’ll still occasionally work on the technical aspect of my game during drop-in but I won’t bag myself ever. 

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I really like pick up games.. the only time it kind if sucks is when the sides are totally uneven where 2 or 3 on 1 or 0 is coming the whole time.. or when guys don't even try to do anything defensively or the Cherry picker that hangs out behind the play all day... 

Did I just say I really like pick up games 🤔🤪

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I'll sit with Coop on the cool kids bench here, for the most part.

I play regularly at a private, organized pick-up game.  We have 22 total people and we play as though it were a real game, minus anything needing refs/linesmen.  We often keep score.  These are really fun and really useful for me.  For me it's important to have the edge of competition in place for me to get in the zone mentally and take it seriously, but given it's a pointless pick-up game where we are just playing for fun, it's a great opportunity not so much to "work on things" but take risks.  I play the puck a lot and playing the puck well involves a lot of risks, which are, well, risky in real games.  I think the reason I am successful and effective playing the puck is I developed the skills and managed the risks of doing it at these pick-up games over the past 10 years or so with this group.  Learning awareness of risk, risk mitigation, and dealing with the consequences of failure while playing the puck takes years of development and a lot of mental/emotional work.  Overall, this has been my primary benefit of organized pick-up games with friends.

Outside of this, I never play pick-up games and generally find them to be pointless and not very fun, especially when they are under-filled.  The worst ice time I can think of, for me, is with 4-12 ish skaters who I am not friends with and they want to "play hockey." That scenario does nothing for me, I learn nothing, I can work on nothing, and it's not fun.  Random shots, repeated breakaways, 2v2/3v3 half-ice hockey does nothing for me and I don't enjoy it at all.  I can see this working if i was with friends and we could plan some deliberate, intentional drills like: line up 10 pucks in the slot, shoot hard blocker.  Repeat to glove.  Repeat to chest. Repeat to left pad, right pad. etc.  That'd be the only way an informal, under-filled scenario would be useful and fun for me.

If I do want to "work on things" like mechanics, movement, etc. I will go to a stick n puck (not sure what you call these in Canada) where it's open ice but "playing hockey" is not allowed.  I will often go to these and take 0 shots because I am just doing things for myself on ice at these.

Anyway, good topic.  Thanks for posting this.

 

Edited by seagoal
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It’s funny this thread came up. I just played at a drop-in on Wednesday. It was an irritating experience. Most of the drop-ins are. Teams are almost never even. There’s always someone who wants to play with their friend and is unwilling to switch teams even if they are too potent of a tandem. Or there’s someone who claims they don’t have a different jersey to switch sides. Little to no defense is played. Everyone saves their energy to play offense. The drop-ins are an hour and a half here. They’re barely tolerable for the first twenty minutes. 

Perhaps, it’s an age thing. Maybe if you’re young, have boundless energy, and are super flexible it can be a good experience. I am none of these things.

I wish I could enjoy them, but history has shown that I cannot. I’ll probably stick to league play and organized rental groups when I can. 

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2 minutes ago, WillyGrips13 said:

It’s funny this thread came up. I just played at a drop-in on Wednesday. It was an irritating experience. Most of the drop-ins are. Teams are almost never even. There’s always someone who wants to play with their friend and is unwilling to switch teams even if they are too potent of a tandem. Or there’s someone who claims they don’t have a different jersey to switch sides. Little to no defense is played. Everyone saves their energy to play offense. The drop-ins are an hour and a half here. They’re barely tolerable for the first twenty minutes. 

Perhaps, it’s an age thing. Maybe if you’re young, have boundless energy, and are super flexible it can be a good experience. I am none of these things.

I wish I could enjoy them, but history has shown that I cannot. I’ll probably stick to league play and organized rental groups when I can. 

Funny and well put, sir.

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I went to drop-ins when I started goaltending, because nobody gives a shit if you suck at one of those. It did get me up to speed, for certain, but they're not particularly enjoyable. Especially under-filled shinnies, because then the guys coming in on you are just fucking around and trying stupid shit you'll never see someone successfully pull off in an actual game, because they aren't going to have half a minute to meander down the ice kicking the puck around like a soccer ball. Either that, or they're taking slapshots from the slot off a centering pass from the corner, because the rest of your "team" is hanging out at the blueline waiting for a pass.

Good cardio, though.

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Just now, CJ Boiss said:

Good cardio, though.

That's probably the only benefit of drop ins. I've been doing a lot since our Province re-opened two weeks ago. Partly due to getting my conditioning back to a not-so-terrible state, but also because I was devoid of ice for months that I'm going to take any opportunity to get out there.

It's been a major help to burn off the rust, but man I'm already getting bored of them.

 

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I used to hate drop in hockey. But as ice time has definitely become premium, I take what I can get. 
 
The intention of my original post was more of a lemonade from lemons rather than saying that I prefer drop in compared to an organised game with players of comparable skill level. I do not. But I was able to work on things that I wasn’t able to and felt that the time spent was beneficial.

Edited by bunnyman666
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3 hours ago, Scythe said:

I really like pick up games.. the only time it kind if sucks is when the sides are totally uneven where 2 or 3 on 1 or 0 is coming the whole time.. or when guys don't even try to do anything defensively or the Cherry picker that hangs out behind the play all day... 

Did I just say I really like pick up games 🤔🤪

The O-fest isn’t much fun, admittedly. But let’s face it, the focus in the pro game is to score and score more. The worth of a defenceman is now measured by goal scoring ability, not by how many plays they can break up. I guess it’s not surprising that scoring is the major focus.

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45 minutes ago, WillyGrips13 said:

It’s funny this thread came up. I just played at a drop-in on Wednesday. It was an irritating experience. Most of the drop-ins are. Teams are almost never even. There’s always someone who wants to play with their friend and is unwilling to switch teams even if they are too potent of a tandem. Or there’s someone who claims they don’t have a different jersey to switch sides. Little to no defense is played. Everyone saves their energy to play offense. The drop-ins are an hour and a half here. They’re barely tolerable for the first twenty minutes. 

Perhaps, it’s an age thing. Maybe if you’re young, have boundless energy, and are super flexible it can be a good experience. I am none of these things.

I wish I could enjoy them, but history has shown that I cannot. I’ll probably stick to league play and organized rental groups when I can. 

I prefer an organised group over drop in. I am more in the camp of trying to enjoy drop ins and use them to my advantage. If I can get something out of it, it’s a good experience.

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