Well, I'm finally not too tired to post my experience on day 1 at the camp. I got some food and took a power nap and feeling much better.
We started out the day today with an ice time right away at 9:30.
The break down of the goalies in the camp was different than I thought it would be. I gathered we had a couple of no-shows for whatever reason so that left us with 17 total I think. We had only 3 adults and one was a buddy of mine so that was fun. The other guy I had never met but he was super nice and great to have in the locker room. He had solid black modern Warrior gear which looked awesome. There were 2 older teenagers and I gather one, at least, is in the WHL. He was clearly the stud of the whole group and was so technically efficient and sound all day. It was great watchin him work. The rest were all kids, I'd say roughly ages 8-14. So that was the crew. Lots of younger goalies, 2 junior teenagers, and 3 adult beer leaguers. Oh, and I was the oldest goalie in the camp...more on that later.
First ice time was no pucks and just all skating. We were assigned on one of the 3 line in the middle and just did repetitive, back and forth skating drills: C cuts both symmetrically and on both sides individually down the line, upright shuffles down the line on both sides, symmetrical butterfly drops and up skating backwards, pendulum slides down, and assymetrical butterflies on both sides. These drills, for me, were particularly brutal and in retrospect if I could do today over I would not do the repetitive back and forths on the line. I would do each drill once and best I could and sit out. I think I overdid myself with the skating stuff the AM. They are all awesome drills and obviously super important...there is a reason goalies do them. Skating is the foundation of everything we do and without it, we are done. Well these drills obviously focused on proper, efficient, powerful technique and I definitely learned a lot and addressed some things I have been wanting to improve, so that was good. It was just the repetitive sets and the cardio that kinda wrecked me. I'm 38 and although I play 3 times a week most weeks, that stuff is a whole other level of physically demanding. I wish I had an opportunity to do it 15 years ago.
Before lunch we did dry land stuff, mostly stretching and tension release stuff but we also did the tennis ball drop game: coach has 2 tennis balls, 1 in each hand and holding them in position to drop at shoulder level You are in goalie stance and making eye contact with him and using your periphery vision. Random drops from either hand with finger lift fake outs. Catch it, you get back in line. Drop it, you are done. It was awesome because the adult goalie who I had just met made it to the final two and lost to a kid. The kid won a jersey.
Lunch break and then ice time again, this time with pucks.
First we did some angle work and lane work with pucks as markers in an arc. This was all about footwork and shuffles with great instructions on angles, depth, and squareness.
This was all about calm, efficient, intentional deflections. Points were made about how as goalies we spend way too much energy and use our bodies way too erractically and we need to focus on making saves with intention and smart deflections. No lunging, flailing, extending. Use your gear and body as a backboard, more or less.
Low stick deflections on both sides were rounds 1 and 2 and high blocker and high glove rounds 3 and 4. I definitely caught myself making saves with my pads on the ice and acknowledged that I try that way too much instead of using my stick, especially on my blocker side which is my dominant leg. But I adjusted well and began to do the drill correctly after the first or second rep of that round. Blocker was next and I did really well for this round. I had a couple of shots sneak in from the target (we were instructed to shuffle in to position, extend our leg and blocker in anticipation to practice deflections) and had to readjust to make some ribcage, chicken wing saves which I did and got props for that.
Same drill but glove side for round 4. I lined up for this drill but had to bail out. I got really overheated at this point and was getting really bad stomach cramps. I retreated to the bench and chugged some water and took my mask and gloves off to cool down. The coach came over and checked-in and I told him what was up and needed to make sure my blood sugar stayed stable. He reassured me and told me to take my time, pace myself, and just get from this what I can. I really appreciated that conversation.
At this point one of the kids then skated over to the bench and he was sorta puking a bit and was crying. I checked on him and he was out of water so I got someone to fill his bottle. He was definitely not feeling good but after some water, he was back at it, like you'd expect a kid to be. It was great.
More of the same for dry land stuff after this skate and that was a wrap. I undressed slowly and could not wait to get outside. I was pretty tired and getting sore and really overheated and dehydrated. Got some water refills and drove home.
That was day 1. Awesome camp so far and the coach was really, really great. The camp is well structured and well sequenced. I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for the next 2 days. We don't get a heads up on what stuff we willl do but it will fall into the exact same format for each day. My plan, if there is more AM skating, is to take it easy and not destroy myself so that I can better take advantage of the afternoon. At this point in my life it doesn't serve a purpose to wreck myself with cardio and deplete my energy so long as I gain the actual skill being taught.
Now after dinner I feel like my legs have been run over by trucks over and over again but the rest of my body feels fine. I am getting some cramping in my right toes but that's getting better as I drink tons of water. I feel good about my decision to attend this camp, but at the same time, this is the most acutely aware of my age and my limitations as a type-1 diabetic that I have ever been in my life. It's sort of a bitter pill to swallow, but it is what it is. At least I'm trying, I guess. I'm wondering to myself if private coaching would have been a better choice for my time and money so that I can more customize a program for myself and my body and abilities? Who knows. Perhaps later on . For now, gotta keep going with this camp and just be better about pulling the plug when needed. Peer pressure was definitely coming into play here which would not be the case with private coaching.
Oh....so me and the 1 adult guy with all black gear were the only 2 with solid bases not white. The coach asked me about my gear and my mask and he knows the guy who painted it. That was pretty neat.
The all black Warrior guy actually has a game tonight which is just insane to me. You couldn't pay me enough to play a game tonight. Anyways.