Saturday, March 5, 2011

Uncontrollable Aspects

                                                                                      Scott Clemmensen (AP Images)

The most difficult part of my goaltending “career” did not have to do with my skill or confidence.  I was playing the best I had ever been and I was extremely confident in my ability to play at the college level.  The last season of my “career” I ended up watching more than playing.  And it was due to my coaches decisions.  The aspects I couldn’t control really messed me up.
 My distorted mentality made me think that I “deserved” to play; being that I had 3 years of playing experience in the league and I figured my coach would let me play knowing it was my last year.  I was even told that I was going to play the majority by him. So, when the first year goalie ended up starting 4 games in a row and I went a month between starts it was bad news.  I thought it was bs that I was supporting my teammates from the bench and not in the net.  In addition I had played solid and gave my team a chance to win the games I did play in.  I was only upset with my coach and I was really pissed off and bitter for a good two months.  If you were to ask those close to me it wasn’t only affecting my game but whole life.  I was not a happy person and I was definitely not a team player.
As time went on, I realized what I had to do.  It was hard to make the transition; but think about it I was playing college hockey and was part of a team with some of the best guys I played with in my career.  And it was probably going to be the last time I was really playing for something.  I did whatever I could to make my teammates better and offer any knowledge I could possibly offer to my teammates.  I started to have fun again and it was one of the best seasons, team wise, I was part of.
An uncontrollable aspect is one of the hardest things for a goalie to deal with.  A situation that I was part of, limited playing time, an injury, or a goalie that is just flat out better than you could really hurt your game if you don’t have the right mentality.  It may be hard to do at first, but once you figure out how to get through this aspect, it will make you a stronger goalie.