I’m glad I see my anxiety as a neurological issues otherwise it would rip my thoughts and consciousness to threads. I can see how it can do that to other people suffering from the same thing. That said, I had a season opening game last Sunday night.
I’ve only been playing goalie for the past year or so, thus, I’m still pretty new to the game, even though I’ve played well over 100 games since then. I’m still pretty obsessed with the numbers game, but I found out during the win (7-5; little too high for me) to have a different kind of focus.
I can’t remember where I read this, but one mental strategy recommended in goalie psychology is to always reset the mental score in mind to zero after every goal. This particular game was especially nerve-racking because I was going up against a buddy of mine, also a goalie, and being the competitive assholes that we are, we wanted to beat each other senseless for this win. It was also important to start this season on a win because last season was absolutely brutal for me.
We went 1-9 last season because I hurt my left hip playing goalie in ball hockey and decided to keep playing with a hip strain. I also had an extra insole in my left skate because I’m a freaking moron (see below). I’m starting to think that didn’t help in the hip’s recovery process because normal healing time is 4-6 weeks and I’ve just started feeling better 4-6 weeks after I took out said insole.
(I bought my skates back in October, and had these things called Superfeet in them, but I forgot to take out the factory insole in the left skate, so I had two insoles in one skate. Derp, derp.)
It was also bad in the league games I filled in for over the summer, too. I think I went 1-2, while surrendering almost 30 goals, so this win was a definite confidence booster.
That said, I tried to get the numbers out of my head. Any numbers. The score, the time left in the game, the shots on goal (even though it wasn’t counted), even the numbers on the backs of my teammates. Yeah, that was a bad idea because I need to know who’s better at taking the puck out of our zone, but you get the idea. I was also lucky in the sense that there was only one scoreboard and I got the crease with my back was facing to it.
The time was the most important part to ignore for me because I just wanted to get the game over and done with. As with many anxiety blurps, you just want it gone, but being a goalie, I can’t exactly leave the ice on a whim. There were a couple of times in the first period where I looked back to see only a couple of minutes went by when I thought it was longer. That happened when we were being bombarded in our zone, but we got out of that unscathed. The point is, looking back at the clock didn’t help. I have this thing that when I get too nervous, I tend to dry heave, and boy, did I dry heave during the last period of the game. I just wanted that game to be over while we were still up, but obviously, that couldn’t happen just for little ol’ me; gotta hold down the fort until the final buzzer.
This mentality definitely helped keep my mind on the game instead of desperately wishing for it to end. I don’t exactly know why, but I’m not like this during pick-up. Maybe it’s the pressure of keeping pucks out of the net during a league game and it’s a lot more serious (and fast), or maybe it’s because league games are played a little differently. (Lot more shots compared to fancy dangles.)
Again, I think it’s just nerves and lack of experience playing in league games. I used to keep a spreadsheet (laptop crashed, didn’t back it up :( ) of my goals against average and be obsessed with it most of the time. This time around, I was more obsessed with the win instead of my own personal stats. Now that I think about it, almost all professional hockey players have that mentality and says that publicly at least. I should think about that instead.
We’re going up against a team this Saturday night that wears pink, and it immediately reminded me of this. Now, there are currently some politically correct protests about “homophobia and sexism” in re-painting this to whatever colour, and I couldn’t care because I just don’t care. There’re more important things to life than worrying about someone’s feelings on retarded bullshit that has absolutely nothing to do with one and the other. There is, however, psychological evidence that pink provides a calming effect for people when it’s around. In a more simpler explanation, I hope they get down on themselves every time they put on that jersey. ;)
On a related note, we wear black; the colour of death. :D
The only thing I’m concerned about is us looking at the pink and then calming down ourselves. Gotta keep that in mind because I want to blow out this team so I won’t have to worry too much at the end of the game. But, that’s probably just me worrying too much again. I should hit the gym again today, a rest day, to beat these guys. :)
Semi-random song. I picked it out of a random list.
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