Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Drought Is Over - What Setting Objectives You are In Control Of Can Do For You

Yesterday I was eager to go and play hockey, we were going to be playing a team that typically we do well against and I was hopeful I would be able to score a goal or at least get some shots on net as that is my current objective.  You can not score without shooting so a minimum of three shots on net per game is what I am aiming for.   You see when I was so frustrated a couple of games ago with my lack of ability to find the twine, as they say, I decided to change my mind set. Each Saturday I was going to the rink with the intention of scoring. Scoring involves a lot of things but mainly it requires a shot of mine to get past the goalie. I only have total control over half of that situation. So I decided to focus on my half of it and just try to get shots on net. It was time to put the plan into action.

At about 1pm though, Todd, our Captain, called and asked if I could fill in for our goalie as he would be away.  I agreed of course and began to plan to play our game in net and take my forward gear as well in hopes that I could play the second game out as a winger.

It turns out that it was not just our goalie missing but almost half our team!  Two of our usual defenseman were missing and Mark who usually completes the line with Jeff and I.  So we were a bit outmanned right from the start with only one spare for all the forwards and one spare for defense.  We held up well for about half the game.  At that point I had only allowed one goal and made a couple spectacular saves.  Unfortunately the wheels fell off after that and they began to pick us apart due to our skaters being so tired.  The final for that game was 6-3 and while I usually would not be happy with a score like that (and I am not now even) the deck was stacked against us winning.

As we came off the ice Jeff went and asked if Calvery needed players and got me in on the next game, I stripped off my goalie stuff, packed it up, ran out to the car and then back in with my other hockey bag.  I dressed just in time to skate a couple laps and warm up my skates (they were freezing from sitting in the car since 5:30 (by this time it was 9:30).  I was playing with Jeff and Ron.  Jeff is the guy that usually centres the line Mark and I play on for our team, and I used to play with Ron at centre when I began playing in this league years ago.

The game was fast and I was eager to avenge all those goals scored against me.  I started out the game feeding Jeff a couple of passes but then got a break up my left wing side and sniped a shot 5-hole. What a relief to score a goal on an actual shot!  My last goal seven(!) games ago was a bang in while I flew past the net. My only goal before that was on an actual shot was way back in the first game of the season!  Later on Jeff, Ron and I were set up in their end passing the puck around.  Jeff, from behind the net, got it out to Ron at the right circle who passed it across to me and I shot it in to a wide open net for my second of the night.

While I was ending my goal scoring drought Jeff was simply dominating when he was on the ice!  By the end of the night he had six goals! 6!!  It was pretty unbelievable, Ron got one on the night as well but I was not done either.  Ron had decided that since Jeff is a right shot and I am a left that when we took face-offs on the right side of the ice I should switch from left wing to centre so I could try to win the draw to Jeff and he could fire it in the net.  That was a plan that actually worked perfectly on the first face-off I took, but towards the end of the game it resulted in a broken play that allowed me a shot from right in the slot that zipped by the goalie for my third of the night.

A hat trick.  I didn’t just end the drought I proved to myself that perseverance and setting goals that I am in control of (shots on net instead of scoring as a set objective) will make me successful.  It was a great night and a great game.

We do not play again until after the new year, apparently people like to get together over the holidays instead of playing hockey – ridiculous!  So I was really happy to get the scoring monkey off my back in this game and hopefully now that the gate is open more will follow after the break.

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