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night-timer 12-14-2011 08:39 AM

Attitude towards less-skilled players
 
I have been recently playing in several social leagues and at pick-up hockey where quite a few players, sometimes the majority, are more skilled than me. I can feel self-conscious playing in or against these teams, as though I am letting the team down or causing frustration for them.

Then again, last night my social league team lost 4-Nil. Okay, I didn't score a goal, but neither did the better players on the team.

It's just that a week ago, a guy on my team in a pick-up session almost wanted to "start something" with me in the carpark after the game because I had screwed up a few plays.

I am grateful for the advice I get from better players and I know I'm not the team's greatest asset, but how should I approach playing on these teams? Endlessly apologizing gets me nowhere. Everyone tells me you've gotta play against stronger players to challenge yourself and improve.

noobman 12-14-2011 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by night-timer (Post 40930845)
I have been recently playing in several social leagues and at pick-up hockey where quite a few players, sometimes the majority, are more skilled than me. I can feel self-conscious playing in or against these teams, as though I am letting the team down or causing frustration for them.

Then again, last night my social league team lost 4-Nil. Okay, I didn't score a goal, but neither did the better players on the team.

It's just that a week ago, a guy on my team in a pick-up session almost wanted to "start something" with me in the carpark after the game because I had screwed up a few plays.

I am grateful for the advice I get from better players and I know I'm not the team's greatest asset, but how should I approach playing on these teams? Endlessly apologizing gets me nowhere. Everyone tells me you've gotta play against stronger players to challenge yourself and improve.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Oh man, you get a few clowns like that. If someone's going to be a hothead just tell him to get bent and move on with it. The guys that blow up at weaker players are usually the marginally skilled guys. Players who really know what they're doing seem to be a lot more patient with guys just starting out. You get a few elite players who can't turn it off, but for the most part they realize that they had their time and that what they're doing now is just for fun.

I play with a clown who will throw his head up in the air and scoff every time he doesn't get a pass, but then he'll only pass the puck to his two friends on the ice and considers defense the art of grabbing onto the opponent's jersey so he can't skate forward.

It can certainly be discouraging when things aren't going your way, but stick with it. Most of all, don't lose your confidence. I've had it happen to me, and I've seen it happen to others... weaker players who feel bad about not being up to snuff with the competition seem to be afraid of the puck. They shy away from the high traffic areas, don't open up for passes because they don't want the puck, and when they finally do get the puck they're afraid to generate a rush and start over-passing.

SouthpawTRK 12-14-2011 11:03 AM

Don't let that one ****** bag shake your confidence or make you feel bad. There's always going to be one guy (hopefully not more) on the ice; whether it's a pick up game or your local beer league; that acts like they are going to be scouted for the NHL. Just keep having fun and try to keep advancing your skill set.

Stickmata 12-14-2011 11:35 AM

If you're gonna make hockey a life long passion, you have to learn to ignore the a-holes early. Hockey's not a game of perfect. Don't waste time apologizing. Just play and have fun.

The only piece of advice that I'd give is when you're playing above your skill level, focus on defensive responsibility first and skate hard. A weaker player that plays smart and plays defensively can still add a lot of value to a team. And hockey is a team sport. Usually it's the a-holes that are first to forget that.

Doctor No 12-14-2011 11:38 AM

If folks are skating hard, I'm supportive, whether or not they are good.

If folks are lazy, I'm hard on them, whether or not they are good.

You're going to find ***** in this sport, just like any other sport. Ignore them (hard advice to implement, I know).

ChiTownHawks 12-14-2011 11:38 AM

There's really nothing you can do in that situation other than walk away. I can't believe people like that actually exist. I am one of the better players on my team and I have a couple guys who really struggle on my team and I would never speak to them like that. The only thing I harp on guys for is not hustling and that all happens on the ice. I would never get on a guy for not being good enough, ever.

It is tough to put yourself out there in the first place and everyone starts somewhere. I think guys forget this a lot of times.

adaminnj 12-14-2011 12:06 PM

O heck I have been playing net for an afternoon shinny game as a curticey and once in a while I'll get some a$$wipe coming to me saying "you should have stopped that" or "what the hell" or something like that and I first say "Where where you? why did that shot happen at all" There are almost always one on every pad of Ice. If the guy your dealing with is unreasonable and insists on pushing the issue bring up the attack in the change room with the rest of the team and see if you can get him to lighten up.

wahsnairb 12-14-2011 12:09 PM

we have all, at some time and some level, been a struggling skater and a struggling player. If someone is giving you ****, just avoid them. you will get better and you will remember how these goobers treated you and some good will come from it when you're helpful to someone worse than you instead of being an ass.

good on you for pushing yourself.. i know a lot of people who stay in their comfort zone and dont improve.

NewJackEdwards 12-14-2011 01:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noobman (Post 40932849)
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Oh man, you get a few clowns like that. If someone's going to be a hothead just tell him to get bent and move on with it. The guys that blow up at weaker players are usually the marginally skilled guys. Players who really know what they're doing seem to be a lot more patient with guys just starting out. You get a few elite players who can't turn it off, but for the most part they realize that they had their time and that what they're doing now is just for fun.

I play with a clown who will throw his head up in the air and scoff every time he doesn't get a pass, but then he'll only pass the puck to his two friends on the ice and considers defense the art of grabbing onto the opponent's jersey so he can't skate forward.

It can certainly be discouraging when things aren't going your way, but stick with it. Most of all, don't lose your confidence. I've had it happen to me, and I've seen it happen to others... weaker players who feel bad about not being up to snuff with the competition seem to be afraid of the puck. They shy away from the high traffic areas, don't open up for passes because they don't want the puck, and when they finally do get the puck they're afraid to generate a rush and start over-passing.

Sounds like the Friday afternoon pickup game I play in. Its ridiculous.

And to the OP, don't let them bother you too much. It's not worth your time.

r3cc0s 12-14-2011 01:21 PM

the problem with hot tempered idiots, is that they get way too much into the game... perhaps how they were taught in when as a minor player.

again, as stated above, usually those players are just marginally better, as the "elite" ringers are heads an tails better stakers and protective puck players that they can make up for your deffencicies and are typically more patient.

that being said... the worst is playing with the "beginner" who thinks they're better than they are, and get "upset" - like slapping their stick against something, just cause they didn't get a shot off or didn't recieve the puck or turned it over.

the beginner who doesn't move his feet, doesn't work himself hard, and as a result thinks they can stay on the ice forever cause they're not tired pisses me off.

the beginner who skates as hard as he can, is a "pest to the other team"
looks to get mixed up in the play and skates back when he turns over the puck and is huffing and puffing hard when hes back on the bench, I give my thumbs up to!

rinkrat22 12-14-2011 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doctor No (Post 40937107)
If folks are skating hard, I'm supportive, whether or not they are good.

If folks are lazy, I'm hard on them, whether or not they are good.

You're going to find ***** in this sport, just like any other sport. Ignore them (hard advice to implement, I know).

best advice you are gonna get,right here, and the best attitude to have.

Maccas 12-14-2011 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by r3cc0s (Post 40941355)
the problem with hot tempered idiots, is that they get way too much into the game... perhaps how they were taught in when as a minor player.

again, as stated above, usually those players are just marginally better, as the "elite" ringers are heads an tails better stakers and protective puck players that they can make up for your deffencicies and are typically more patient.

that being said... the worst is playing with the "beginner" who thinks they're better than they are, and get "upset" - like slapping their stick against something, just cause they didn't get a shot off or didn't recieve the puck or turned it over.

the beginner who doesn't move his feet, doesn't work himself hard, and as a result thinks they can stay on the ice forever cause they're not tired pisses me off.

the beginner who skates as hard as he can, is a "pest to the other team"
looks to get mixed up in the play and skates back when he turns over the puck and is huffing and puffing hard when hes back on the bench, I give my thumbs up to!


This, I consider myself to be one of the "Beginner who skates as hard as he can" and my newer teammates certainly agree with me. I am regularly sweating buckets and absolutely shattered at the end of a session even though I am probably one of the fittest people on my team. My actual hockey skills are relatively poor but I am an average skater who never gives up on a play. I am that guy who chases in when someone dumps the puck or puts pressure on the D trying to break out and then is still able to get back without being too out of position.
My previous team only ever looked at the points column and sadly my poor shooting really let me down on this front so although I could skate rings around a lot of players on that team they always looked down on me for that reason.
Its amazing what a difference getting a good bunch of guys can do.

Wedontneedroads 12-14-2011 03:01 PM

Once you set a standard for yourself, I expect guys to play to that standard. If your standard is lower than someone else that's fine, just play your best, and skate your hardest. Also, don't take a 2 minute shift. That's a surefire way to get on ppl's radar.

Don't listen to the aholes out there trying to act like they are in the NHL. Enjoy the game, and if you don't enjoy it on your current team perhaps try and find a different one that is more about the beer, and less about the league. ;)

r3cc0s 12-14-2011 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maccas (Post 40943411)
This, I consider myself to be one of the "Beginner who skates as hard as he can" and my newer teammates certainly agree with me. I am regularly sweating buckets and absolutely shattered at the end of a session even though I am probably one of the fittest people on my team. My actual hockey skills are relatively poor but I am an average skater who never gives up on a play. I am that guy who chases in when someone dumps the puck or puts pressure on the D trying to break out and then is still able to get back without being too out of position.
My previous team only ever looked at the points column and sadly my poor shooting really let me down on this front so although I could skate rings around a lot of players on that team they always looked down on me for that reason.
Its amazing what a difference getting a good bunch of guys can do.

don't worry about goals..

if you're a two way player, you take up time and opportunity from opponant's game. +- is hugely important

when I play with beginners I will try my best to feed the puck to the slot where someone will fight for the puck, causes traffic down low, and if the puck comes back I have time to skate to it, before it coming back out of the blue, and if it does... takes their wingers time to get back to me, where I can make a pass back, or bring it back in myself while everyone scrambles out of the zone.

yes, that's when I play D :)

keup257 12-14-2011 06:20 PM

What about the other skilled players? Do the just ignore what the jackass says?

You shouldn't listen to that guy. Just work hard, give your best and try to get advises from the more skilled (and helpful) players.

Stick To Your Guns 12-14-2011 06:24 PM

The only players I get frustrated with are the really bad players who cherry pick. There's one idiot who's terrible in my pick up yet he just floats a long the blue line waiting for a pass. Besides that I have no problem with new guys. I do get upset during my pick up when the teams are unfair, like when my teams full of new guys and the other team is better. It's just not fun hockey.

emgsa85 12-14-2011 06:55 PM

Like others have said here.... don't listen to the guy and play your best/skate hard. Don't be too hard on yourself as well. It's all about good fun hockey!! Also try not to look at stats too much. Maybe focus on a good play you made in the defensive zone. Or maybe a good pass that started a break out that ended up being a goal scoring effort.

Phil Connors* 12-14-2011 07:00 PM

Four words:

It's just a game.

Try your hardest and that's all one can expect from lower level players. The fact that the guy wanted to start something over a pick up game just adds to his stupidity. As already stated the true good players are patient, and realize "It's just a game."

night-timer 12-15-2011 06:23 AM

Guys, thanks for all the advice. You're right that the best players never act like jackasses. Funny, one of the guys in my social league is one of the best players in the country (Australia) - he is patient and always offers me calm advice. He's also the only one on the team who has remembered what my name is.

Leo Trollmarov 12-15-2011 08:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doctor No (Post 40937107)
If folks are skating hard, I'm supportive, whether or not they are good.

If folks are lazy, I'm hard on them, whether or not they are good.

You're going to find ***** in this sport, just like any other sport. Ignore them (hard advice to implement, I know).

This!!!

I am very hard on guys who don't skate and complain when we get scored on, or guys who will work hard on offence but won't skate back. on my team it is one of the more offensively gifted players who I am hardest on (he doesn't pass either, 5 on 3 and shot from the goal line instead of a clear pass to the middle in the slot).

I get a lot of the less skilled guys asking me for advice and I try to help when I can, or will come to them on the bench and try to give friendly advice if I notice something that can help. The guys on my team are pretty good with it, and most ask for advice if I see anything.

naturalnumbas 12-15-2011 08:14 AM

If someone really wants to take winning seriously, they can join competitive leagues instead of beginner or pick up... and even then, it ain't the NHL ffs.

Skating ability isn't the only thing at all. I'd rather play with a team-guy who can't really skate well than with some guy who coasts through his 5 minute shifts waiting for a breakout pass and never playing any D or passing.

Wilch 12-15-2011 11:16 AM

Play hard. If you know you did and someone tries to start **** with you, it's their problem not yours.

Mr. Canucklehead 12-15-2011 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by night-timer (Post 40930845)
I have been recently playing in several social leagues and at pick-up hockey where quite a few players, sometimes the majority, are more skilled than me. I can feel self-conscious playing in or against these teams, as though I am letting the team down or causing frustration for them.

Then again, last night my social league team lost 4-Nil. Okay, I didn't score a goal, but neither did the better players on the team.

It's just that a week ago, a guy on my team in a pick-up session almost wanted to "start something" with me in the carpark after the game because I had screwed up a few plays.

I am grateful for the advice I get from better players and I know I'm not the team's greatest asset, but how should I approach playing on these teams? Endlessly apologizing gets me nowhere. Everyone tells me you've gotta play against stronger players to challenge yourself and improve.

Sounds like you've got a God awful teammate. There is no mistake in a beer-league game that warrants that type of behaviour.

As a newer or inexperienced player, yeah, you're going to be a sponge for a while. More experienced guys may have advice, but really in a beer league, you're supposed to be there to have fun--as are they. If their happiness is so linked to your ability to make big plays, then they have an issue, not you.

Playing against and with experienced players is a good way to build experience, but sometimes taking some adult hockey classes can be good, too. Start with some basics and work from there. Ultimately, if you're on a team with crummy teammates, find a new team.

CarlWinslow 12-15-2011 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by night-timer (Post 40975955)
Guys, thanks for all the advice. You're right that the best players never act like jackasses. Funny, one of the guys in my social league is one of the best players in the country (Australia) - he is patient and always offers me calm advice. He's also the only one on the team who has remembered what my name is.

That's usually how it is. The best players are normally some of the nicer people. Like the others said, you will find an idiot like the guy you brought up in every league. Ignore him.

Devil Dancer 12-15-2011 03:42 PM

The only thing that bothers me about playing with less skilled players is that the less skilled players on my team tend to take really, really long shifts. I don't know why there's a correlation, but in my experience there is.

Hey, buddy, we all paid the same amount to be on this team, get the **** off the ice before you hit the 3 minute mark.


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