I think sometimes when you hear the story of an athlete that struggled and eventually succeeded it sometimes seems out of reach so I hope that others can gain perspective from my story.
Anyway, update for this week. We have had the week off of games for a November break and have the weekend off from practice. It is nice to be away from the locker room and reflect on what has happened here so far, to gain some new excitement and prospective and to rest from a tough week of training last week. During last week we had workouts and ice practices everyday. I felt better and better on the ice and feel as though I have been struggling to find my groove here but at moments felt like I was on top of my game again. In practice one day we did a drill where you go 2 against 1 down the ice and then come back 3 against 2 the other direction. That was the best I felt in a long time. I scored a goal or made a great play on almost every shift and in the locker room after practice one of the more experienced guys on the team came up to me and asked what had gotten into me and how come I couldn’t always do that because it was incredible. So I know it is in there, I just have to find it but as my frustration builds it becomes more difficult at times. I sometimes think back or think ahead because after 8 games played I have 0 points and that is a big deal for me. But when I forget about it and don’t worry about the points and just play I play great.
Our coach has been on my case this week and it is a difficult thing for me. I have had lots of coaches but none that disrespect the players like this. One day during the week he was on my case because I have a passport but am not fluent in German while he has been here 15 years is fluent and has no passport. He continually tells me that I am not good enough to deserve more ice time and even though I played D for him last week and we won 1-0 and I did a good job with much praise from teammates and fans there was not even a thank you from him. In our last practice on Friday I made a diagonal pass with the puck and he blew the whistle and screamed at me in front of the whole team telling me that I am too slow and that I play like an old woman. I wanted to break my stick in half over his head but took a deep breath and skated away from him. I know that I am not slow and I know I am actually a very fast player so it hurts me to hear that. I know that he is frustrated with his own problems and that he expects more from me so I hope that he is being hard on me because he thinks it will motivate me to be better but most of the time I feel like I shut down rather than speed up when he talks to me. I just hope that I can continue to work hard and do the things that will make me a better player and that I can earn his respect so that I can get the ice time that I deserve because right now he plays me like I am nothing to him.
Tonight I thought about some keys to make me focus on myself and to help me bring out my performance.
- I am the difference maker, every shift, every night.
- Play with a chip on my shoulder.
- Out to prove something every shift.
- Be the driver, not the passenger, be involved in every play, not watching what is happening around me.
- Play with Energy, Passion and Presence
- Be the leader that I know how to be because when I lead, I play like a leader. When I follow I watch instead of play.
- Have fun, play hard, learn and live from every experience.
- I am the only one in control of my destiny.
- Nothing and no goal is out of reach.
Those are the things that I thought of so I will try to think about them everyday and not worry about the other stuff. By the way, I just downloaded a new book for my ipod to listen to on the bus and thought you might find it interesting. It is called “The 33 year old rookie” by Chris Coste. The story of a baseball player who travels from D-3 baseball through the minors and all the way to the majors. He actually attended the same college that I did so I thought it would be an interesting story to read and to learn about another athlete that has struggled and eventually reached their goals.