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To the Vets: My confidence - and body - have taken a hit

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Old
03-28-2010, 08:42 AM
  #1
nystromshairstylist
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To the Vets: My confidence - and body - have taken a hit

I appeal to the veterans here like hockey68 for some advice referring to a point made in a thread a few months back when I first joined:

The last 2 weeks playing open hockey I've collided hard with veteran players on my own side, and both times the other player - who was adamant it wasn't my fault - were shaken up significantly.

I had barely a bruise, so I'm wondering if it was the other, more experienced players were trying to avoid the collision and knowing that I'm a beginner, they were also trying to protect me at the same time - leading to their getting the worst of it.

First incident:
Last week, we were on a 2-on-1 and my line mate was skating down the leftside, and I was on the right with the defender in the middle, who quickly fell taking him out of the play. As we approached the slot he shot at the goalie, but instead of stopping in front of the goal to see if there was a rebound, he made a sharp right turn into right into me. He then fell down and looked shaken up.

Second incident:
Last night there was a scrum along the side boards at our defensive blue line, and I was skating into the play to try and help a teammate get control of the puck. He was facing the boards, then turned right, and we collided helmet to helmet.

I am still unable to make VERY sharp turns or moves to avoid a collision if someone suddenly comes straight at me - all I can do is steel myself and then "boom." Without that damn hockey stick, I could probably just "catch" the other player, but I cannot drop the stick fast enough.

I can hockey stop both ways, and swerve - but not fast, at least not "game" fast where you have to be able to do it in like a millisecond - as that's how it looks to me. Maybe its just my lack of positioning understanding?

Anyway, both times everyone said it wasn't my fault, this stuff happens, etc. - but I'm a suspicious person, and towards the end of the session, the goalie stopped playing me "hard" when I approached him to shoot, and let me score to make the "beginner feel better". I suspect they were just being good guys about it, so as not to get me discouraged, as they could see I felt horrible about it.

I didn't see many collissions at the 5-6 other open hockey sessions I've been to, just a few involving a beginner here or there. So, I have lost my confidence and am thinking I should just quit the open hockey scrimmages and hold off for a year or two, until my skill level improves.

I think I've been getting better, and can now actually be passed to without flubbing the puck so it goes all the way back into my own zone - I actually had a one-time wrist shot goal last night that 2 weeks ago would not have been possible.

What do you veterans think - am I a danger on the ice, and given that I'd quit the game completely if it meant not injuring someone - my confidence about continuing to play is a little shaken. The last thing I'd want to do is hurt someone who is trying to protect me, and they end up with a broken wrist because I suck and couldn't avoid them.

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03-28-2010, 09:25 AM
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Pedagogue
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My advice is to keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings. It happens to even the best of players occasionally. Just keep your head up.

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03-28-2010, 11:02 AM
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Pierre Gotye
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Inadvertent collisions are going to happen in hockey. I have been on both sides of it, usually they are caused by loose pucks or puck underneath the skates of several players, or one of more players out of their zone in positioning.

This is why I choose to wear full pads, even a mouthguard. There is an inherit danger with playing ice hockey, and it's a given that every once in a while you'll collide with another skater.

It's just part of hockey. Just make sure you're not the one on the bad end of the collision.

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03-28-2010, 11:26 AM
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ReverendAlBundy
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Not your fault at all. I see it happen all the time, skill level is meaningless. It's just people not paying attention and being reckless. I've run into people the exact same way you said people have run into you, and when I told the other person it wasn't their fault it was the truth, it was just me being careless.

Don't let stuff like that get you down. Just keep at it, and remember, the more you play the quicker you'll get better. If you get discouraged and stop playing, youre never going to get any better.

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03-28-2010, 11:44 AM
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stick9
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First incident was your linemates fault. He cut across the crease without looking, maybe even had his head down looking for the puck.

Second one is hard to tell without seeing it. Sounds like accidental contract though.

My advice to you, with limited skating skills and a lack of mobility you need to be more careful where or how you enter the play. Incident 1 for example, instead of going balls out to the net looking for the pass, pull up a little and wait for a rebound. Chances are, you'll have a better chance scoring on the rebound then scoring on the one-timer and the other player likely knows this as well and is thinking shot the entire time.

You need to be extra cautious because you can't rely on your skills to keep you out of harms way.

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Old
03-28-2010, 12:32 PM
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Pay more attention and get out of the way?

Its a two way street on the ice.

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03-28-2010, 12:59 PM
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ReverendAlBundy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbo View Post
Pay more attention and get out of the way?

Its a two way street on the ice.
It's a one way street if youre of the large stature. I skate with complete disregard to my surroundings becuase of my size and if somebody runs into me, they go down, I stay up. If you skate with enough size and confidence people will avoid running into you and the ice is all yours

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Old
03-28-2010, 02:44 PM
  #8
Hockeyfan68
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Hey hey hey do NOT get discouraged and quit. Collisions happen ... the first one was your linemates fault and he should have "stopped on the puck" that is what it is called when a guy takes a shot and then stops for the rebound. He was obviously watching the puck instead of having his head up.

Basically though you do have limitations and you will cause some collisions sometimes from inexperience. But that being said collisions happen anyway.

The worst collisions are when someone lets up as to not get hurt and there isn't a remedy for that really other than to stiffen up and hope the other guy does too.

That is your call though ... when I am playing and someone skates into me ( as in I know it wasn't my fault) I stiffen up and hope they do not get hurt. If I do something by accident or cause a collision somehow I soften up since it was MY fault. Kind of a silly thing to think of split second but I do.

I can say that MOST collisons happen from either inexperience or a broken play and more often than not an experienced player will read that an inexperienced one is getting himself in a position to get hurt so they let up on him. In full contact it is a green light to kill someone who has his head down.

Of course keep in mind I am a big guy and I rarely come out on the wrong side of it and can take letting up much better than a smaller guy can. people kind of bounce off of me either way is my point. I almost got a skate blade to my chin once in a shinny hockey where people were just warming up and skating, the guy came behind the net while I was and someone was taking a shot so I watched the puck to make sure it did not miss the net and hit me in the head and the other guy did the same thing and we collided. He went backwards and I didn't move and while he was going backwards his skate came right up to my chin in the air. Musta missed by about 4 or 5 inches.

That was the fault of the guy shooting the puck who did not watch for other people when doing so.

These things happens because by nature you are on skates on ice and by default that complicates things immediately. Don't quit man seriously, you'll be fine.

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Old
03-28-2010, 02:47 PM
  #9
DogFoodEnforcer
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one good thing to learn/ingrain in your brain so that it is a reaction is to "turtle" when you collide. now i dont mean pull a sean avery and hit the ground.

Much like when you are in a fist fight, the best thing to do is to lean in to a punch (or hit in this case). most people tend to lean away from a punch or hit, and this is never a good thing.

assuming you have a split second to react (and i know that isnt always the case), roll your shoulders forward and tuck your chin into your chest. that should minimize everything on your end (although you seem to be pretty friggin solid already.hahaha).

at the end of the day, you need to watch out for your own good. everyone else has assumed the same risks that you have, so take care of yourself first. (not trying to sound like an uncaring d*ckhead, but its true)

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Old
03-28-2010, 04:19 PM
  #10
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Don't stop going for sure. Stuff like that really does happen all the time.

Its been said before, but you play hockey = you will get hurt at some point. That goes for everyone of all levels, experience, abilities, whatever euphemism you want to use. Everyone out there knows that, and you can't feel bad and quit if accidents happen. Obviously, no one wants to see a person get hurt, but its going to happen.

Also, the point about making the "beginner feel better" usually happens at open hockey when you have a mix of talent levels. I've played at high levels of hockey, so I really feel and look like a dick if I'm out there backchecking and ripping a beginner or standing up a guy who's been skating for two months and is just trying to have fun and get exercise. There's no reason for me to do that to someone trying to learn. All of the guys that I skate with that have played junior, college and pro are all the same way about that as well. It's not a way to patronize you or make you feel better about the accident, its more about respecting someone who is trying to learn and not discouraging them to a point where they don't come back.

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Old
03-28-2010, 04:24 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post
I can say that MOST collisons happen from either inexperience or a broken play and more often than not an experienced player will read that an inexperienced one is getting himself in a position to get hurt so they let up on him. In full contact it is a green light to kill someone who has his head down.
This happened last night after the collision; a puck goes in the corner, I turn my head around to see who's coming in behind me as I glide into the corner to retrieve it, and I can see my opponents pulling up well before they get too close to me - either not to be too hard on the scrub (me) out of pity, or possibly because they're afraid of being injured themselves from my less than perfect control on the ice.

Quote:
These things happens because by nature you are on skates on ice and by default that complicates things immediately. Don't quit man seriously, you'll be fine.
I am still very deeply mental in basketball mode, where contact is to be avoided 99.9% of the time - it would mean a foul. You knock someone over in b-ball, play stops and you lean forward with a hand to help them get up, and apologize.

That's why it's so easy to pick out new hockey players, regardless of their skating ability, they shy away from getting too close to other players who are chasing/have the puck.

It might take a few years of steady play, but I will try to mentally overcome this fear of touching anyone on the ice, and continue to move towards the puck. For the most part, it was my lack of speed that prevented me from arriving at the puck in a scrum, but it was also a little bit of "I can dive in there and possibly come up with it, but if I do I might injure someone" by being more aggressive.

Each time I've played, I've gotten a little bit more and more over this, but these collisions have shaken me.

While not as big as hockey68, I guess I have pretty good skate balance, because I have had several people just bounce off me like mosquitos...

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Old
03-28-2010, 05:41 PM
  #12
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Here is what you should worry about.

If their head is down and you have your head up and they run into you its their fault. Dont feel bad. If your head is down as well as theirs you both are at fault no matter who is bigger/smaller or who gets the worst of it. If you are skating around with your head down and somehow manage to catch a guy who is skating with their head up( although how this could happen escapes me) its your fault. Again how I dont know. But if you cant skate well (particularly if you cant stop well) dont go flying into a corner or along the boards where your inablilty could potentially injure someone else.( dont skate faster than you can stop or change direction well). You should go out and have fun. Just dont run around faster than your abilities.

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Old
03-28-2010, 08:45 PM
  #13
Hockeyfan68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nystromshairstylist View Post
This happened last night after the collision; a puck goes in the corner, I turn my head around to see who's coming in behind me as I glide into the corner to retrieve it, and I can see my opponents pulling up well before they get too close to me - either not to be too hard on the scrub (me) out of pity, or possibly because they're afraid of being injured themselves from my less than perfect control on the ice.



I am still very deeply mental in basketball mode, where contact is to be avoided 99.9% of the time - it would mean a foul. You knock someone over in b-ball, play stops and you lean forward with a hand to help them get up, and apologize.

That's why it's so easy to pick out new hockey players, regardless of their skating ability, they shy away from getting too close to other players who are chasing/have the puck.

It might take a few years of steady play, but I will try to mentally overcome this fear of touching anyone on the ice, and continue to move towards the puck. For the most part, it was my lack of speed that prevented me from arriving at the puck in a scrum, but it was also a little bit of "I can dive in there and possibly come up with it, but if I do I might injure someone" by being more aggressive.

Each time I've played, I've gotten a little bit more and more over this, but these collisions have shaken me.

While not as big as hockey68, I guess I have pretty good skate balance, because I have had several people just bounce off me like mosquitos...
I see a lot of noobs on the ice in a year and for me it is common for me to expect highsticking anywhere near a noob in the corners. Especially when they have a full face cage .... their arms come up to get rough in the corner like it is an NHL tryout or something. I go in with one hand in front of my face for pretection because I know it is coming almost every time. A player who knows what he is doing will let go of the stick with ONE HAND to defend someone from taking the puck from them but new players always have both hands clenched on the shaft at all times and is why you see guys open for passes and they miss it because they had the stick OFF the ice in both hands waist high.

I defend with one hand as well while backchecking, as soon as they feel a stick in there trying for the puck they throw you off of them with both hands on the stick instead of one hand free of their stick like people who know how to play do.

For example if I cut around someone they start backchecking and I have one hand still stickhandling and the other hand guarding their stick from the backcheck.

Guys new to the sport cannot help it usually except for the corner rough stuff, they see it on TV when watching their NHL team and think it is the way to play at pickup or shinny. it is acceptable in men's league though so there are places where it is okay.

The point being an experienced player will know they are coming up on a noob and will be cautious.

Just use common sense and watch what the experienced players do, they don't throw elbows in the corner fighting for a puck or throw a hit when someone else isn't expecting one.

Unfortunately one NEW guy got under my skin earlier this year with a hit behind the net. It was a friendly pickup and I was not expecting to be hit and was off balance trying not to hit HIM. We got at the puck at the same time and he decided not to let into me, so I chewed him hard about it and told him I can go throw some hits too if you want to play that way to let me know. I reminded him I only weighed 80 lbs more than him.

Some guys get it and some don't. Don't be one of those guys.


Last edited by Hockeyfan68: 03-28-2010 at 08:50 PM.
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Old
03-28-2010, 10:59 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post
I see a lot of noobs on the ice in a year and for me it is common for me to expect highsticking anywhere near a noob in the corners. Especially when they have a full face cage .... their arms come up to get rough in the corner like it is an NHL tryout or something. I go in with one hand in front of my face for pretection because I know it is coming almost every time. A player who knows what he is doing will let go of the stick with ONE HAND to defend someone from taking the puck from them but new players always have both hands clenched on the shaft at all times and is why you see guys open for passes and they miss it because they had the stick OFF the ice in both hands waist high.

I defend with one hand as well while backchecking, as soon as they feel a stick in there trying for the puck they throw you off of them with both hands on the stick instead of one hand free of their stick like people who know how to play do.

For example if I cut around someone they start backchecking and I have one hand still stickhandling and the other hand guarding their stick from the backcheck.

Guys new to the sport cannot help it usually except for the corner rough stuff, they see it on TV when watching their NHL team and think it is the way to play at pickup or shinny. it is acceptable in men's league though so there are places where it is okay.

The point being an experienced player will know they are coming up on a noob and will be cautious.

Just use common sense and watch what the experienced players do, they don't throw elbows in the corner fighting for a puck or throw a hit when someone else isn't expecting one.

Unfortunately one NEW guy got under my skin earlier this year with a hit behind the net. It was a friendly pickup and I was not expecting to be hit and was off balance trying not to hit HIM. We got at the puck at the same time and he decided not to let into me, so I chewed him hard about it and told him I can go throw some hits too if you want to play that way to let me know. I reminded him I only weighed 80 lbs more than him.

Some guys get it and some don't. Don't be one of those guys.
Like I said, alot of the time I don't get to a puck in the corner because I'm either too slow to get there in time - or are afraid I might inadvertently jostle someone.

The coaches of my beginner's league haven't run any drills on corner play, so I'm kind of stuck going by either 1-my gut 2-watching the more experienced players, some of whom really jostle each other as much as possible, pushing and shoving but just a shade less than actual checking 3-what I see on TV.

At pickup it seems that it's the fastest skaters who can do the most damage since you cannot check or grab to stop anyone, but unless you are able to poke the puck away in a stick check, they will skate around you and you end up leaving the goalie to stop the breakaway by them self.

One other point you mentioned, I do keep both hands on the stick even in the corners, but keep my elbows from flailing so I don't hit anyone. All I do is dig a little - with as little physical contact with the other player as possible.

I do this as the coaches have stressed keeping both hands on the stick almost all the time, and stay in a bended crouch to better be able to catch a pass, pick up speed, change direction, etc. If I do get to the corner first, I will keep one hand on the stick to control the puck, and the other hand on the boards with the puck at my feet, using my (large) rear to shield it from an opponent.

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Old
03-28-2010, 11:45 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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Yep holding your stick in both hands is the correct way to go into the corners BUT when someone is hanging on your to steal the puck it isn't okay to throw your hands up with your stick high. That was what I meant.

You definitely need both hands on the stick at virtually all times AND with the stick on the ice like you said a coach told you while bent over.

You take a hand off of it and use your free hand to keep someone off you or you keep your stick low when in both hands in the corners. I often take a hand off of it when someone has the puck in their skates freezing it against the boards and i slide my stick in there with my dominant hand to free it as well as using the stick shaft as leverage to pry the player off the boards to get at the puck.

I mean generally new guys to hockey clench the stick in both hands and it comes up while they are trying to throw someone off of them or in virtually every physical contact situation.

I am glad you keep yours down.

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Old
03-29-2010, 09:00 AM
  #16
Jarick
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One thing I noticed after playing hockey about six months to a year is how good my peripheral vision became. I spot people moving out of the corner of my eye all the time, and I actually had to tone it down because I'd see cars drift towards me just ahead of my blind spot and I'd want to swerve to avoid them.

Anyway, collisions will happen in hockey, that's why we wear pads. Definitely work on keeping your head up to avoid them. Some people find a bit longer stick helps with this. Pick up a stickhandling ball and handle the puck back and forth while watching TV (helps avoid staring at it). And when you play, practice looking around the ice rather than staring at the puck or play...it's good for a number of reasons.

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03-29-2010, 12:49 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stick9 View Post
First incident was your linemates fault. He cut across the crease without looking, maybe even had his head down looking for the puck.

Second one is hard to tell without seeing it. Sounds like accidental contract though.

My advice to you, with limited skating skills and a lack of mobility you need to be more careful where or how you enter the play. Incident 1 for example, instead of going balls out to the net looking for the pass, pull up a little and wait for a rebound. Chances are, you'll have a better chance scoring on the rebound then scoring on the one-timer and the other player likely knows this as well and is thinking shot the entire time.

You need to be extra cautious because you can't rely on your skills to keep you out of harms way.
I agree with this post. You need to play within your limits. Don't go full speed if you can't do it safely. Of course accidents happen, though, so don't feel bad. And most importantly, don't even think about quitting! This is a great learning opportunity that will help you become more self-aware and better understand the game from ice-level. If you're a little more tentative, you might find that the game will slow down and that it's easier to read the play.

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Old
03-29-2010, 03:40 PM
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