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12-14-2011, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by night-timer View Post
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.

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.

Last edited by noobman: 12-14-2011 at 10:44 AM.
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