I am up faaaaar too late, and I still have some work to do before I can go to bed, but I wanted to get this little lightbulb recorded for posterity before I forget.
Tonight was the first Freeze practice of the season, and it was GREAT. I feel like a wet lasagna noodle with overcooked fusili arms at this point, but as Al noted when I got home, it's only by pushing past the point where you think you can't go any further that you build stamina and skill. (This is true with weightlifting, so it's not surprising that it'd be true with training in general).
After warmups (suicides, circles, and a passing drill), we did the Czechoslovakian drill, and amazingly I did it correctly the first time and with only slight delays to ponder in which direction to skate next on subsequent tries. We then did a couple variations on a drill designed to (a) get us to shoot from farther out, and (b) get us to consider our options when skating into the zone with the puck.
On one of the later variations, Billy challenged the puck carrier as she skated along the boards and behind the net. I got by him the first time I carried the puck, but by the second time, we were into the last 20 minutes of practice, and I was getting tired. I totally let him knock me off the puck without him even trying that hard, and I blamed my noodle arms for not being able to control my stick (and therefore the puck) with enough authority. It was totally like every game I played with the Barons this summer, where I'd have the puck taken away from me the second after I got it.
The third time Billy challenged me, I knew my arms weren't up to the task of fighting him off *and* controlling the puck, so when he came on I stiffened my arms and picked up my speed a bit. I actually ended up picking it up a bit too much, and I didn't make the turn around the net as sharply as I'd intended, so I lost the puck as I tried to pass to the girl in front—but by then I'd left Billy in the dust. Not that he couldn't have caught me if he'd really tried, but that was the "aha!" moment:
It's not my arms, noodle or strong, that make the most difference in maintaining possession of the puck when challenged. It's my legs.
Posted by Lori in Freeze ~ Fall/Winter 2008 | September 23, 2008·12:35 AM