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Can't Un####k My Head

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  • #16
    I came here to post the same thing and lo and behold, a thread mirroring how I feel! I love this board, it always helps me to know Im not the only one.

    Go back about a year and half. Was playing high-level and was a superstar. So much so my teammates were all asking where I played before, can I play on their other team, yadda yadda. Making highlight-real saves left and right. This was a culmination of a couple years of being very consistent and happy with my game. Very few softies let in over many seasons. Then at the end of that season it all seemed to fall apart and literally my game hasn't recovered consistently since then (they didnt ask me back).

    Im getting beat by blue-line slapshots, getting beat five hole (which was my greatest strength in the past), Ive probably gone 2 for 20 on the last 20 breakaways and I used to be like 70%. Im on the #1 team on a top division and I just feel like such **** (let me say how grateful I am my team never gets on me).

    Each game I go into it with a plan and I can't keep it together for an entire game without giving up a ****ty goal. I've contemplated retirement because it's gone on so long. The most frustrating part is I know it's mental. All I want is to get a good game or two in a row to feel "back" but I can't get that going.

    Last game I had a shutout through two. Was back to my "old self", was feeling like "ok I can build on this" then gave up a knuckler from the damn goal line.
    Last edited by CTGoalieRens; 05-02-2016, 08:37 PM.

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    • #17
      The problem is, Father Time always gets the last ball. Always. Every goalie - in every era - finds that around age 40 the wheels come off. I am 42 and struggling mightily now, making 2 mistakes per game. Straight up, dumb ***, mistakes.

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      • DeuceNine
        DeuceNine commented
        Editing a comment
        Well, my best season in years came last year at age 41, so hopefully I can delay the inevitable awhile longer.

    • #18
      While the father time thing is true. I'm now past 50.
      I am playing the best hockey I've played as a goalie. Through 13 games this season my save % is almost 94%.
      My pickup hockey A level group I'm very happy with where my game is now.

      Thing is, physically I feel completely out of shape right now. I mean my legs are strong as is my core and flexibility has never been an issue. However my cardio fitness sucks right now, and I've put at least 15 lbs on of pure belly fat.
      So I am definitely not playing better because I got physically better.
      (I am starting p90x up again soon to take care of the 15 lbs)

      Thing is I think a few things helped me.
      1. i've really been focusing on tracking the puck, one thing I've tried that helps is try to keep your shoulders square to the puck and your head still. I find that has the effect of keeping you more square, but also I just track the puck better on shots. It's a duh thing, but you'd be amazed how many times play shifts around and you turn your head and not your body on subtle changes of angle.

      2. my rebound control is better, big thing here (I've always done this but I'm better now) is I use my stick on just about every low shot that comes in. I might be down in a butterfly but I rotate my upper body so that I can use my stick to put the puck in the corner. When I'm playing really well the only pucks that actually hit my pads are the ones I couldn't react in time with my stick, or i had to make the save with my boot.

      3. Skating wise, I'm really tuned in on getting my feet in the right spot to make the save (angle/depth). I still suck at moving when down, but if I'm in position ahead of time and I control the rebound I mask that quite a bit.

      4. I just don't give a crap about what happens anymore. I mean I want a shutout every game, BUT if i give up a goal, whether it's a softie, or just a sometimes you just get beat. I kinda do a mental check of whether I need to correct something but otherwise I just shrug it off and keep playing. Mainly I'm just having a blast playing hockey.

      My point is, that while it's true that there really are 2 things you can't control as you age, reflexes, and your eyes. Your concentration and your attitude can have a rather large effect on your game. (Recovery post activity also sucks as you age but that only effects you if you are playing several games back-back)

      I would say though, if you really are having a problem tracking the puck. I recommend trying to focus on the puck and keep your shoulders square. Also I find that the better I'm in my ready stance and lower I am, the better I track the puck. If that is not the issue, you might actually need to get your eyes checked, your eyes do change some as you get older. Especially right around 40 or so. If you wear contacts make sure they are settled in correctly before hand (especially if u have astigmatism).

      Lack of sleep is one that can really mess with my game. For me it's very subtle it's more of a your brain is just not processing things quite as fast as it should thing. But you are not sleepy because you drank a bunch of coffee

      Focus on the puck, make sure you have your feet in the right place before the shot comes, remember that playing Hockey is a lot of fun and enjoy it.

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      • #19
        Been searching around for slump type solutions, and threads like these are helpful to read. My issue lately has not been long multiple game slumps, but weird single game issues. For instance, got a shut out on Monday night subbing for another team, playing for my team last night and the first shot, a half speed clapper, squirts in between my glove and waist side. Saw it the whole way, stayed standing, never in a million years would that shot go in.

        But it did.

        My guys have seen this before recently and we've lost one goal games when it's happened, so I get the feeling they get discouraged. The rest of the game was a nightmare despite me trying to battle. Another offspeed shot I ended up overplaying and went through my stick and grazed under my pad and in. By then you can sense the team's frustration.

        I play well in higher levels so it's not necessarily skill. But I also don't feel tired or out of my head, but it seems that I am not "in there".

        I end up worrying about it the next time we play, and it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        Not fun.

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        • #20
          splat10, I am experiencing exactly what you are saying. I will be 43 in a few months. All of a sudden my groin and hips feel like they are in cement. I don't feel confident in my legs. I am going to have to find a way to work yoga into my schedule if I continue to play beer league. I have been getting lit up. Stiff,and that ten extra pounds are starting to tip the scale to making 2 mistakes per game.

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          • #21
            Originally posted by Red_2 View Post
            ... I play well in higher levels so it's not necessarily skill. But I also don't feel tired or out of my head, but it seems that I am not "in there".

            I end up worrying about it the next time we play, and it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

            Not fun.
            I've done that 'playing in different levels' back to back or within the same week. You really need to make conscience adjustments to your style of play. When stepping down in level, you need to slow down your game and not over anticipate because their opposition is not going to tic tac toe and make those plays that you are used to anticipating. At the same time, your d-men are not going to cover the guys like you are used to as well. It's a whole different game and strategy.

            I hope you have gotten over your slump now. What I did recently was buy new goalie equipment. It has worked out so far but I can always use that as a fall back too... that I am still adjusting to the new equipment.

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            • #22
              Originally posted by PeteSmithStoppa View Post
              ... I will be 43 in a few months. All of a sudden my groin and hips feel like they are in cement. I don't feel confident in my legs. I am going to have to find a way to work yoga into my schedule if I continue to play beer league.
              We all know that it is all in the head. That's what you need to remind yourself but to help change what's going on in your head, do something physical about it.

              Before the season started, I said to myself that I would go to the gym after work as often as I could for just a short work out to help me get off to a good start. I am not concerned about upper body. For me, my weakness has always been the strength of my legs. So that is all I would work on. What made this idea work was that I made sure that I did not think about whether I should go work out. I have always hated the gym. So I would just grab my things and go. Not even a second of thinking about it. Just do it! So I did that for a few weeks at the start of the season and I am feeling pretty good again. And I have stopped going to the gym now because playing hockey is the ultimate workout.

              I hope that you get into the yoga workouts and pick up your game again.

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              • #23
                Bottom line, here is what worked for me.
                I have struggled for YEARS to lose that ten pounds I know I should. I continued to lie to myself that I would do what it took but never did. I got this app "Lose It" on my phone. It is so stoopid easy to count what you take in, and I assure you - it is what you take in. Those details count. It was the easiest weight I ever lost, pants feel better and I still need another 7 down, but I am on the way. Weight KILLS any athletic ability.
                I also started doing more stretching via Fitness Blender on youtube. It's 100% free. Just search for it and knock out a few 15 minute sessions per week, hopefully after a run or bike ride. Again, details count. You don't have to be a freak but all of a sudden like tonight, I made a save and immediately my brain said "damn you got that leg there".
                Here in New England we are watching the greatest player in football create new boundaries for what athletes can do. While we aren't even 1/1000th of this, it's the same pattern that works.

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                • #24
                  I don't play in a league. I just go to pick up games and try to stop whatever is thrown at me. I was on a roll for about 3 weeks feeling good making saves and when the soft ones did go in i didn't get into a funk about it...... until today...... what a freakin disaster it was. Granted the side I was on had most of the benders that made so many turnovers I lost count but still it's so frustrating. I was mentally and physically spent after 40 min of that crap. So frustrating...... I guess I'll go back for more maybe in a couple weeks though who needs this kind of aggravation

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                  • #25
                    This is what works for me... go out for beers with the team. And I don't mean beers in the room after a game, it's not the same. I know it sounds simple, but we sometimes get stuck feeling like we're all alone. Feels good to go out and just be part of the team. Share a few laughs, and it'll give you that extra ounce of energy to make a save you have no right to make.

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                    • #26
                      I just got back into the game after about a year off. My first game was super tiring and I am in pretty good physical shape and the next two games were super fun. The problem however is that in the last two games I let two goals in right away (both games the first shot scored). After about 10 min I get into a groove and the second half of the game I am feeling super into it and not much gets by me. We are undefeated but it just sucks starting off on the wrong side.

                      My question is to how to make the first few saves right away and get into it? I do warmup and practice beforehand but then when the game starts the first few snipes always find a way in. Super frusturating and I do bounce back but I should be making those saves early.

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                      • #27
                        After a year off, I wouldn't have expected any different

                        Relax and watch the puck. You are probably starting the games thinking about where to be, what to do, etc.

                        Then they score and you snap out of it and play.

                        When the puck drops, just play. Don't think about how the last game started, the warmups, or anything else. Just train your eyes on the puck and play.

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                        • #28
                          Originally posted by bc30 View Post
                          After a year off, I wouldn't have expected any different

                          Relax and watch the puck. You are probably starting the games thinking about where to be, what to do, etc.

                          Then they score and you snap out of it and play.

                          When the puck drops, just play. Don't think about how the last game started, the warmups, or anything else. Just train your eyes on the puck and play.
                          I wish I could just do that. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy with the head games I play with myself.

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