Today’s hockey skills class was documented by expert photographer Peter. Thanks, sweetie! I have the red jersey in all the photos below.
Class started like last week, with lining up on the goal line and skating down the ice. I did much better at touching my knee down to the ice this week, after learning to keep my weight on the skate that’s still moving forward. No Disney teacup rides this week!
We moved quickly into the two groups for skating and stick handling; again, I was in the “skate first” group. We divided up into two skating sub-groups, one for each big circle on our half of the ice, and coincidentally my circle was all women: me, Kim, and another girl named Shannon.
We had fun doing clockwise and counterclockwise skating, then one-foot gliding, then crossovers. Just as at skating class last week, my counterclockwise crossovers were good, but my clockwise ones suck hard. Ah well.
Maybe someone out there on the world wide interwebs can help me on this one — when I do one foot glides around the circle, I always automatically turn in way too quickly. Is there a trick to staying relatively straight and doing the gentle arc?
I love this picture of Kim and I during our water break.
We did some forehand and backhand passing drills, which Kim and I kicked a fair amount of ass at, and then practicing shooting. I was probably not the worst shooter to ever grace an ice rink, but I need practice. I couldn’t get the puck to lift at all, despite my best efforts. Pooters.
Please tell me that other peoples’ pants do that, too. Because really? Unattractive.
At the very end of the skills class, we had the world’s most demoralizing scrimmage. Apparently “beginners hockey skills” means “ringers show up for the pick-up game” because I was clearly the worst person on the ice. I only minded this because the good people would yell things at me that made no sense. If anyone out there expected me to react to their shouts with anything but blank confusion, they must have been sorely disappointed.
The worst such episode came when I was playing right defense, and the goalie started shouting “right wing! Right wing!” at me. Since I wasn’t playing right wing, I ignored him. Other people on the ice then took up the mini-cheer, “right wing! Right wing!” By the time I figured out they were talking to me, the puck had gone somewhere else and all I could do was say “but I’m NOT right wing!”
The stress of not knowing what I was doing, plus people screaming at me, plus the fast-paced good skaters was really overwhelming, and my helpful female brain decided that the best course of action would be to tear up. That frustrated me even more, so by the time I took the bench, I was a big flustered mess. It was like the first time I rode up Hwy 9, tailgated all the way, sobbing inside my helmet.
But I had fun overall and am even more so looking forward to my NCWHL career starting tomorrow.
[Update: all the photos are now uploaded: click here for tons of skills class fun!]
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