February 25, 2013

Swallowing a Little Pride

I was crushed.

I sat watching the video over and over. It was a scant 45 seconds of various saves made during my last I-League game (5-3 win) but I could barely believe what I was seeing. Over and over again I landed squarely on top of my pads with my feet stuck behind. Nothing even resembled the butterfly technique I have been working on for a few weeks.

Pads facing down at the ice and feet tucked nicely behind- the complete butterfly FAIL
I had come off the ice that night feeling really good about my progress towards the butterfly and in my mind I had executed it almost every time I dropped down. The reality was that I was still falling back to my old habits.

It was time to ask for some help.

I have been going out to our local rink's "Stick & Puck" each Sunday since my return to hockey and had noticed a young man working with a Pee Wee aged goalie. He was obviously working with a fresh recruit to the pipes and I was impressed with his teaching style and knowledge. I figured if he can teach a 10 year old kid the butterfly then he was a good choice to teach me.

At the appointed time last Sunday he and I began working on my butterfly and the various moves related to the style.

  • He helped me move my stick position into a slightly laid-back angle which allowed my blocker to move off my pad and to cover more net.
  • He helped me move my foot/knee/hip into the proper angles to lessen the strain on my knee and hip when recovering.
  • He showed me the proper way to execute the half butterfly (one pad down).
  • He got me started on the butter fly slide.

All of this work was done between frequent exhausted collapses onto the ice and a few ass-over-tea-kettle sprawls. The slides are really giving me problems. I think it's a combination of not having the flexibility needed along with my height and shaky balance.

After an hour with my new coach- whom I've dubbed THE PUNISHER, my legs were jello and my ego was deflated.

This is going to be a long road.