February 3, 2013

Learnin' to Fly Part 2

After waiting for USPS to get their sh*t together, I finally received my first set of "butterfly" style pads, snagged on Ebay for a good price.

vaughn velocity 7000
Vaughn Velocity 7000- front
I researched these pads and, though I cannot verify the age, I believe they're about 10 years old. If anyone has more information of the history of the 7000s in the "V" blood line, please let me know.

I immediately rushed out to a "drop-in hockey" session at my local rink- determined to begin my transition from "stand-up" to "butterfly"

It didn't go according to plan

I have been watching a lot of YouTube instructional videos leading up to this point but after getting on the ice and trying to execute some butterfly saves, I learned three things:

1. In my mind, my stance is widened out enough for a small bus to drive through. In reality, my stance is only slightly more open than my normal stand-up ready position. This is making it almost impossible to drop the pads into a position that is facing the shooter.

2. My mind simply isn't responding with an order for my body to drop down when a shot is headed towards me. I'm not talking about ear-whistlers, I mean blue-line shots at ice level. Instead of the butterfly, I continue to use the stick/pad kick drilled into me those many years ago. This brain malfunction really frustrates me.

Vaughn Velocity 7000- back
3. When I did force myself to drop to the ice, instead of landing on my knee stacks and turning the pad onto its side, I'm simply flopping the pads down flat with my skates behind me- perfectly exposing my knees and thighs to the incoming shot. This is hardly surprising since my stance isn't nearly wide enough for the top of the pads to drop down & line up.

Learning this new technique is going to take time and practice. Clearly the two biggest hurdles I'm facing are becoming confortable in what I now call "poopy-pants" stance and learning not to kick my skates behind me- instead "popping" my knees down and to the inside.

The week did end on a high note with my I-League team getting our first victory of the season in a decisive 6-2 score. I executed dozens of failed butterflys and it is a small miracle I didn't take a shot to my knees. In all honesty, I was sweating the 4 goal lead right through the last minute of the 3rd period.

Back to the rink this weekend to work on my "poopy-pants" stance!