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Learn composure

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Old
03-06-2012, 07:18 AM
  #1
fredligh
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Learn composure

Im playing in the lower leagues in Sweden as a defender, i am a decent skater(good top speed,decent agility and decent acceleration), and good stickhandler and a good wristshot. Started the season as a second pairing defenseman, playing physical and play easy. First part of season i was doing good but in the last two months im struggling to play against tough forechecking, often i get pressured and throw away the puck to a turnover or a icing. My coach had me off the squad to play with the reserves and told me i need to gain confidence and composure,i tried to focus on defense and making smart plays but the lack of tempo in the games and the weak movement off the puck from teammates makes me play like ****.

I started the pre-season excellent with combined strong physical play with playmaking abilities but now all that is gone. I would say my major weaknesses now is picking the right decision and being calm with the puck.

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03-06-2012, 09:46 AM
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Droid6
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Originally Posted by fredligh View Post
im struggling to play against tough forechecking, often i get pressured and throw away the puck to a turnover
Brad Stuart is this you?

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03-06-2012, 10:04 AM
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RJ8812
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try yoga

no, seriously

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03-06-2012, 10:06 AM
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tarheelhockey
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What I have found in all sports is that we always feel we have less time to make a play than we really do. There is usually a moment when you receive the puck (or ball, in other sports) when you basically have the game all to yourself. In that moment, your brain has to be working clearly and quickly... your focus has to be on the options in front of you. But most of us naturally want to focus on the defense and experience a split-second of panic.

Try working on holding the puck until it's slightly uncomfortable before you pass. This doesn't even need to be in a game or practice, just when you're messing around with your friends. Force your brain to slow down a bit and process things other than defenders. Try playing little games like 2-on-1 keepaway, which develop good decision-making habits.

It's all in your head! Good luck.

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03-06-2012, 10:08 AM
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sanityplease
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Can you handle the puck without staring down @ it? You'll have a lot more time & confidence to make decisions if you can stickhandle with your head up while looking around.

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03-06-2012, 10:15 AM
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r3cc0s
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Can you handle the puck without staring down @ it? You'll have a lot more time & confidence to make decisions if you can stickhandle with your head up while looking around.
huge

and being strong enough to protect the puck, and even if it means to just move around the goal with to give you enough space to get a few steps ahead of a forechecking forward.

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03-06-2012, 11:36 AM
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fredligh
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Can you handle the puck without staring down @ it? You'll have a lot more time & confidence to make decisions if you can stickhandle with your head up while looking around.
Thanks for the advice, often i find myself confused in those low tempo reserve-games, i try to make everything easy but i am not poised with the puck, making me trying to do the advanced pass or just dump it I will try to keep my head up at all times on this weeks practices.

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03-06-2012, 11:50 AM
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Stickmata
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Is your team supporting the puck and making it easy for you? Hockey is a team support and puck support is critical. Even a solid defenseman can be made to look bad if his teammates aren't playing strong positional hockey and supporting the puck. Oftentimes the right play under pressure is a short chip around the boards and whether that turns into a turnover or not is dependent upon whether you had good puck support from your teammates.

I agree with the patience advice of others on here, but I also find that many times the real cause of a turnover is the poor positional play of teammates off the puck, rather than the player making the pass.

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03-06-2012, 12:09 PM
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sanityplease
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Originally Posted by fredligh View Post
Thanks for the advice, often i find myself confused in those low tempo reserve-games, i try to make everything easy but i am not poised with the puck, making me trying to do the advanced pass or just dump it I will try to keep my head up at all times on this weeks practices.
NP, it may take stickhandling (off-ice w/ swedish stickhandling ball, is a good start) practice to get better as well. & yes stickmata's right, if you're whole team is charging up the ice as soon as you get control, leaving you to evade 1-2 forecheckers, they are to blame for some of your mistakes. It is the winger's responsiblity to get open & give you an easy option for a pass, usually in your end between the face off circle & the blue line.

Good luck.

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03-06-2012, 12:31 PM
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fredligh
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NP, it may take stickhandling (off-ice w/ swedish stickhandling ball, is a good start) practice to get better as well. & yes stickmata's right, if you're whole team is charging up the ice as soon as you get control, leaving you to evade 1-2 forecheckers, they are to blame for some of your mistakes. It is the winger's responsiblity to get open & give you an easy option for a pass, usually in your end between the face off circle & the blue line.

Good luck.
Thanks, already did some indoor stickhandling, also hand-eye training with "kicking" a ball forehand/backhand

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03-06-2012, 12:34 PM
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tarheelhockey
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Originally Posted by fredligh View Post
Thanks for the advice, often i find myself confused in those low tempo reserve-games, i try to make everything easy but i am not poised with the puck, making me trying to do the advanced pass or just dump it I will try to keep my head up at all times on this weeks practices.
Going back to the psychology of sports:

It's actually a lot harder to perform at a slow pace than it is at a fast pace. Try singing your favorite song very, very slowly and you'll see what I mean. When you're used to a certain speed, slowing it down can actually be very frustrating and make you look worse.

When I was learning to play guitar, I wanted to practice at top speed all the time. I was trying to keep up with professional recordings in order to look impressive. My instructor forced me to slow everything down to half-speed, and I was amazed how much harder it was. Simple little exercises like playing scales caused me to strain and work harder to achieve clarity and precision. Then, when I had learned how to do them very very slowly, speed was actually very simple. I already had the muscle memory to do whatever I wanted at any given instant.

The same thing applies in sports. A good example is receiving a pass. Beginners (like me) receive a pass in the slot and try to one-time it because we want to get rid of the puck as quickly as possible -- and the shot is usually terrible if we get the puck at all. Again, imitating professionals. It's much more difficult psychologically to receive the puck, settle it, and take a good wrist shot to beat the goalie. There's plenty of time to do that in most cases.

You may be experiencing something like that is your reserve-games. You're trying to move at a different speed than the rest of the players on the ice. The reason your coaches put you there is to work on finding the right option, and making a strong play. Try to get into the mentality of playing an instrument slowly; use the extra time and space to your advantage to build your confidence and your physical abilities. When you have to do it quickly in the future, it'll be easier than you expect.

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03-06-2012, 02:04 PM
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fredligh
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Brad Stuart is this you?
Hahah good one, more like a drunk Edler.

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03-06-2012, 02:43 PM
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newfr4u
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Originally Posted by fredligh View Post
Im playing in the lower leagues in Sweden as a defender, i am a decent skater(good top speed,decent agility and decent acceleration), and good stickhandler and a good wristshot. Started the season as a second pairing defenseman, playing physical and play easy. First part of season i was doing good but in the last two months im struggling to play against tough forechecking, often i get pressured and throw away the puck to a turnover or a icing. My coach had me off the squad to play with the reserves and told me i need to gain confidence and composure,i tried to focus on defense and making smart plays but the lack of tempo in the games and the weak movement off the puck from teammates makes me play like ****.

I started the pre-season excellent with combined strong physical play with playmaking abilities but now all that is gone. I would say my major weaknesses now is picking the right decision and being calm with the puck.
not sure what you are asking. do you feel like you making mental mistakes, or do you think there's a physical reason? for example, as a defender, if you have lost some speed, you will always feel pressured because the forecheck will more often catch up with you in a race.

focus on fundamental plays. quick starts backwards, turning around and chasing a puck down, gap control drills against the fastest skaters on your team. taking a puck, turning around, looking up and choosing a pass play.

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Old
03-06-2012, 03:25 PM
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ReverendAlBundy
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I basically have the thought in my head that the puck is going to come to me every second. What this does is forces me to constantly watch how my forwards are breaking and where the opposing teams players are. That way when/if the puck does come to me I just make a simple one touch pass to either a breaking forward or just past a forechecker and into neutral.

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Old
03-07-2012, 06:12 AM
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Parrish
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Honestly I'd love to give advice, but you are from Sweden. You have a better hockey program then anything I have here. We should be asking you advice.

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03-08-2012, 04:28 AM
  #16
fredligh
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I can make you sure i didnt go through the same program that Karlsson or Ekman,Hedman etc did. Did well on tonights practice, a sour neck but i tried to be calm and overrelaxed and it worked out fine.

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