How much do I suck?

by Steve, June 9th, 2006

(At hockey, that is.) I haven’t been playing hockey all that long, just a couple of years. I grew up skating, but didn’t pick up a stick until recently. So I’m not all that good, especially considering some of the crew I play with (which typically includes some Junior B and college players and occasionally a minor league pro in the off season). But they cut me slack and don’t laugh at me too much.

Turns out, I’m my own harshest critic. It is particularly hard to get a sense of my skills since I just play pick up, and we never keep score. Sometimes we don’t even have goalies. So the other day, I decided to keep track of my fuck-ups vs. good plays. That is, every time I make an offensive or defensive move, I make a mental note as to whether it was good or bad. For instance: a pass that connects: good. A pass that connects with an opponent: bad. A defensive take-away: good. Getting stood up at the blue line: bad. Then when I come off the ice, I have a fine-grained +/- in my head for each shift. And whattaya know? I’m not as bad as I thought. Also, it makes me better because I’m trying to make good plays since I’m keeping track.

Now, of course, I’m taking it off the ice into life. Not a bad way to live. Look at every action and consider it in the context of the global good. At the end of the day, you’ve got a pretty good idea where you stand with the universe. Once again, hockey is nothing but a metaphor for life. And a damn good workout.