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08-04-2011, 02:01 PM
  #30
RandV
It's a wolf v2.0
 
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmptyNetter View Post
1. Play more pickup hockey and don't worry so much about making mistakes. As long as I believe that the worst thing I can do is turn the puck over I'll never try to hold and protect the puck. If I'm going to learn I have to allow myself to cough up the puck now and again and not take it so hard. I also play in a men's league so in league games I'll look for the safe play and take fewer chances. The aim is to make myself a better player through practice so that what's risky now becomes second nature to me in game situations.
This this and this. For us beginners this is where you have to start and what I came here to suggest. I generally have good instincts and at any sport love playing at a high speed, but being a relative newbie at hockey and finding myself playing in the upper divisions (plus wearing glasses don't help as it narrows my vision) the defenders can be on you so quick that you start to panic and toss the puck away as soon as you get it.

Particularly in the defensive zone, when you're covering the point the puck gets cleared to you and you gotta get it past the pinching defenseman, or in the offensive zone retrieving a loose puck in the corner. Yeah you need to keep your head up but being a relative beginner you'll probably need to have it down to at least retrieve the puck. At this point if you may not know if the dman is right on you or not and if he is then you only have a moment to make a play or he'll strip the puck from you.

So the natural instinct when you don't know where the other player's at is to quickly move the puck when you get it or you'll lose it. But you really gotta beat down and ignore that instinct, regardless of where the other guy may or not be just take a moment to collect the puck and get your head up. If he's right on you and you lose the puck, then oh well that's that. You're at least still in position to harass or try and tie them up, which is good practice anyways. Losing the puck this way is far safer than blindly throwing it up the ice and having them intercept it with room to spare. And if you do happen to have a little space then you can make a better play.

It all sounds obvious when you spell it out, but like I said in real time on the ice the natural instinct is to fear losing the puck so you panic and try to move it too quickly. Once you get over that then you can start working on the more advanced techniques others are suggesting.

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