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Playing on a really bad team, in a really bad league.

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Old
06-07-2011, 09:16 PM
  #1
Stick To Your Guns
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Playing on a really bad team, in a really bad league.

Ok, so I've been playing hockey for 15 years, I'm 21. I've played just house league A my whole life so I'm no All-star, but I've recently joined a men's league that is just awful, the players have played for like 4-5 years, can't pass and can't raise the puck. I only joined because one of my friends is on the team. My problem is, I feel like I'm playing terrible because my team is awful, like I should be able to skate circles around these guys, but for some reason I'm playing the worst hockey of my life. Is it due to being surrounded by terrible players? or has my hockey dropped that far? I recently was playing pick up with Jr A and B players and I held my own, I didn't stand out, but I could keep up and chip in. Anyone else have experiences with this? I've also pretty much quit the team because it's not even fun.

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06-08-2011, 09:13 AM
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Skraut
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As somebody who's really bad, on a really bad team (well we're all newbies so that's to be expected) we haven't had much luck when we try and get more talented players to try and help us get better. They express the same sorts of things you just did, and quit not too long after. That's why there are different levels, so that people can find the skill level appropriate to them, and play where it's enjoyable.

On the other hand we did have one guy who is clearly better join, and instead of fading out, he took on the role of "Veteran Locker Room Guy." He knows when he plays with us, he isn't going to win, but he was looking for more ice time, our schedule worked with his, and he's making the best of it. He's really good about offering suggestions on where someone should be, or how they might have played something differently, without sounding like a know-it-all jerk.

He plays forward with all his other teams, but plays defense with us. He knows nobody is going to set him up with a sweet pass in the slot for him to one-time. Defense is where we need the most help, but also because he can learn something different, and focus on different aspects of his game. He's helped us get our shifts shorter, helped create a few break out plays, and just generally has the right thing to say to keep your spirits up after your team just went down by 14.

Basically the long and short of it is, a lot of it is the team, find the right one for you and your skill level. But if you want the challenge, and want to play with that team, there are things you can do to make not only your situation better, but also the team around you.

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06-08-2011, 10:01 AM
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AIREAYE
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I absolutely think it's who you're with. Playing at a slower pace and with those more prone to mistakes also affects your game. Playing with better players definitely helps You're not alone lol

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06-08-2011, 10:08 AM
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vivianmb
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play defense, and just keep the puck out of your zone.
just took a job away from home brought my gear and got on the job team...."E"-division!!!(i played jrA and had pro camps...i'm 40 ).absolutly horrible team, and league. myself,and another guy joined when the team was 0-6.we decided to play defense. team ended up 12-10.(and moved up a division) . playing forward at that speed would have been very frustrating. but playing D gave me the right to tell the wings who to cover,where to be for breakout passes,etc. and if anyone on the other teams was being dumb...i'd bump em and bring them back to earth.anyway our guys listened, and we did well. plus the most important thing....they had fun. ...made a lot of new friednds on that team due to being a leader, not a showoff.

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06-08-2011, 10:13 AM
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tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skraut View Post
That's why there are different levels, so that people can find the skill level appropriate to them, and play where it's enjoyable.

...

Basically the long and short of it is, a lot of it is the team, find the right one for you and your skill level.
That sums it up.

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Old
06-08-2011, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivianmb View Post
play defense, and just keep the puck out of your zone.
just took a job away from home brought my gear and got on the job team...."E"-division!!!(i played jrA and had pro camps...i'm 40 ).absolutly horrible team, and league. myself,and another guy joined when the team was 0-6.we decided to play defense. team ended up 12-10.(and moved up a division) . playing forward at that speed would have been very frustrating. but playing D gave me the right to tell the wings who to cover,where to be for breakout passes,etc. and if anyone on the other teams was being dumb...i'd bump em and bring them back to earth.anyway our guys listened, and we did well. plus the most important thing....they had fun. ...made a lot of new friednds on that team due to being a leader, not a showoff.
Sounds like a good idea, play defence, and stop goals, then jump in on rushes. A huge problem is our defence can't pass the puck up to the forwards lol.

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06-08-2011, 06:56 PM
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I wouldn't stick in that league too long. I've found if you play with people substantially below your skill level for too long, you'll start to suck like them and when you play with better players you'll find it hard to keep up/raise your game.

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06-08-2011, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dany Heatley Allstar View Post
A huge problem is our defence can't pass the puck up to the forwards lol.
God that can be annyoing, I have some experience about it.

After the 7th icing in the same period you'd just like to throw your stick to the stands and go home.

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06-09-2011, 01:05 AM
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i get frustrated on the team im currently on but i just try to just play D and join in on the rush....i want to play forward and try to score so we can try to win but that just leads to an easy counter and eventually a goal....i just try to remember how lucky i am that i get to play the game and i get frustrated enough at work to let it happen on the ice....it can be hard to surpress the competitive side at times but i just enjoy the time im on the ice

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06-09-2011, 08:35 AM
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Jimmy Carter
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I think it just depends on the kind of player you are and your style. Some guys really thrive on being the best guy out there, some don't.

Just don't stick around if you are continually frustrated. It'll be better for you and your teammates if you leave the team if you're always frustrated because you'll have more fun in a better league and they won't have to feel bad that they're frustrating you (though I guess you're the one out of place, not them lol).

I'd try the D suggestion as others have said, especially if you haven't played much of it in the past. Could be a fun new challenge and a way to work on that skill without getting burned in the higher leagues. Plus on beginner/poor teams it usually just works out best to have the best players on D. Less likely to get scored on, and you can still help with the offense by telling your guys to crash the net and you put in a low shot from the point and have them pick up the rebounds.

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Old
06-10-2011, 07:35 PM
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I bet subconsciously you are holding back a bit. Your mental game is off when you keep getting bad passes and stuff like that.

If you really want to play with your friend and are just trying to have a little more relaxed fun game, I'd say stick with it. But instead of doing all the scoring, set people up, help them improve. If thats not your thing, move up in the league

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06-14-2011, 10:21 PM
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It's a team sport...

Your team are letting you down, making you look bad (no nice plays being set up, and no-one able to "read each" other OR the play).

You are helping them, making them look better than they are.

If you are on D, how often are you breaking out with the puck, carrying it up the ice because you can do that better than the rest of the team? I imagine that would be happening a bit. (Hopefully your Center drops back to cover your D post.)

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Old
06-15-2011, 11:14 AM
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Playing with other players that are much less skilled than yourself will take some time getting used to.

I would say that being able to play hockey with a friend; or just playing hockey in general is truly a luxury.

Being injured for more than 4 months and not being able to play the entire time, I would love to play hockey with my old team or any team for that matter.

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06-16-2011, 01:33 AM
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noobman
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The best players are the ones that make you better. I find that I play better with strong players because I really just have to get open and go to the net, and occasionally make a simple pass to a guy who's positioned himself for an open lane.

When you're playing with weaker players you do become hindered by their abilities. Sometimes you spring up the ice faster than they can and get caught ahead of the play, or get open in a position where they don't realize you're open. Other times you may pass too hard to a guy, or just find that nobody is open for a good pass when you're in pressure and need to make a play. If you don't have confidence in your teammates, you are likely going to try and do too much on the ice (deke/shoot/carry instead of pass, try to be all over the ice instead of relying on the person in the correct position), which will most definitely hurt your play.

If I'm playing with guys who are beginners, I prefer to play D. When you're on D you're kind of by yourself. Just try to understand what your partner is doing and don't get too close to him. Besides, my backwards skating is atrocious and it gives me a chance to work on it!

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06-16-2011, 12:48 PM
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santiclaws
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It is generally true that you play to the level of competition, including those on your team. Works both ways.

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06-16-2011, 05:22 PM
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noobman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santiclaws View Post
It is generally true that you play to the level of competition, including those on your team. Works both ways.
Goalies seem to have it especially tough. I've seen some top notch goalies look pretty bad playing with weak players because they're moving faster than the game, or have trouble anticipating those flutter shots. The game slows down giving them more time to think, and they sometimes overthink themselves.

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