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04-01-2010, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by night-timer View Post
A team mate often talks about player ability reaching a 'plateau', a sort of standstill that stays for a long time before moving up a notch. I feel that's where I'm at now.

He says these are the points where any further improvement will require a concentrated effort or you'll stay at the same level of ability forever.

He also says that some players can plateau quite early in their playing career. We know a player who has been on many teams but is never very good -there's never any noticeable improvement, despite lots of ice time.

Has this occurred to anyone else? It was something I have been wrestling with for some time on my own, then a discussion about these 'plateaus' broke out last week.

It's easy to start feeling as though you've gone as far as your skills are ever going to get. My ability doesn't seem to be improving at all, despite the extra practice.
Well sadly the day must come when you find out you are not a pro level hockey player. You can work on skating and everything else but you will get as good as you possibly can get.

Look at even the NHL players like Steve Begin for Boston, he is a checker type forward and a defensive banger more or less because he just just does not have the skills.

I'm not saying that you cannot find a better way of doing things but you will have a natural physical end point.

For example, I have a great shot in the wristshots and other types areas .... a gifted slapshot. I have cement hands ... I practiced stickhandling again and again and I still do but figured after 35 years if I am not stickhandling in a phone booth by now with all the work I put into I am never going to.

I am about avarage for stickhandling I should add, while not sucking at it I am not going to fiddle keep away from 4 or 5 guys while my team makes a line change. You know what I mean there.

I believe skating is something all can improve on always but natural ability .... that is a different thing altogether.

Find YOUR game .... mine was being a shooter who played with a guy who can stick handle in a phone booth. I knew I was a shooter .... now that I am older I switched to playing defense and use my shot from the point. I also learned more about skating backwards because of it even though I could skate already playing a new position made a nice change of pace and I realized I was not skating backwards as well as I had thought I could from a lack of actually doing it.

In highschool I was a banger, penalty killer etc. The "4th line" type guy. You know ... a goon!

There is a job for everyone in hockey and I honestly believe when one is honest with themselves they can then improve their game they are naturally good at and excel at it.

Basically I would not have had a career in hockey other than a fighter goon type. Maybe I should have played defense much earlier in life? I seem to be pretty good at it after switching to it a year ago or so.

basically though the most important thing to work on is skating. Good skaters always have a job in hockey and compliments anyone's game and makes them much better than they are simply by being there in the play.

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