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11-02-2011, 11:20 PM
Clarkington III
Rebuild? Refresh?
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,953
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I have made the switch from game to game but mostly play forward when we have all our guys. Now I just fill in as the next available defensemen when we are missing any regulars.

The may difference is thinking the game through a lot more and keeping it simple. Watch random hockey games on TV and just pay attention to what the defensemen do in the various situations.

Play pickup if you can and volunteer to play D to practice the more high-risk plays because if you get burned, it's pickup so it doesn't matter. Plus, you can use those plays to find what you did right or wrong and apply it to games.

Pay attention to the other teams forwards early in the game if you are unfamiliar with them. Pay attention to how aggressive they are on the breakout and whether they have any cherry-pickers. This will also help you figure out a lot quicker if any of the forwards are faster than others, stick handle more, have a shot, etc. so you aren't caught off guard.

Talk to your D partner and let him know what you like to do or plan to do (Jump in more often, hang back, etc.) and vice versa. This helps prevent breakaways and confusion.

Talk to the guys that have played D for a while and to your goalie in between plays and on the bench. Ask questions and ask for advice. This not only shows you are trying to get better, but are aware of the learning process so your mistakes (they will happen and we all make them) will come off as growing pains.

Don't beat yourself up over the mistakes. Think about what you should have done and be aware of the play so next time you can make a better decision. The same mistakes over and over are the ones that are the most frustrating, not the ones from learning something new.

That's what I have so far from my couple months of switching back and forth. Keep at it as it has its benefits. I like seeing the whole ice and controlling the breakout. Plus, when I play forward, I get a better idea of where my D is looking for me to be as well as read the overall play better.

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