Friday, July 29, 2011

What is a good game?

I wish I could have half of the golf skill that my father has. I can remember him hitting golf balls in the yard every day for practice. He'd go play 45 holes on a Saturday, come home, and hit more golf balls. As I played with him, I learned a lot about personal performance in sports. He could go out, shoot par, but still lose money because of the games he plays with his buddies. He can go out and shoot poorly (yeah, high 70's is a poor round for him...) and win money. Sometimes he gets lucky bounces on the course. Sometimes he only has to play better than his friends to win money. Sometimes he shoots incredibly well and still loses money.

So why am I talking about my father's golf game? The point is that there are multiple ways to measure success in your performance. You can score well, but still play poorly. You can achieve victory over your opponents, and they played better than you and your team.

In the past month, maybe six weeks, I feel I've played extremely well. I've only had maybe two games that I've considered myself average in that time. How many goals have I had? One. I am not a goal scorer, and I'm ok with that. I'm not going to lie, scoring a goal feels great as it is an obvious contribution to the team, but that one goal wasn't the best feeling I've had in these past six weeks. The best part in the last six weeks or so was probably the penalty kill with the Piranhas against the Sharks. Hurting the other team's chances made me happier. Last Tuesday in the Goaldiggers game, I disrupted a talented player's chances as he tried to show boat and he was visibly upset about it and it put a huge smile on my face.

When I say I play a good game, or when I'm pleased about the game I've played, I believe I've done something I was set out to do. Perhaps I gained confidence in my skating, and showed it in a game. Maybe I helped my team by playing defense well, and getting the puck out of the defensive zone. If I've done something to frustrate the other team, that is a huge bonus in my book because I've probably disrupted their opportunity, and gotten in their head. I guess that this in combination with just my "impressive" physique got me the nickname Squirrel in HNA.

I will skate hard, I will do what I can to disrupt the opponents, and laugh when I succeed. I will stay in shape so that I can work harder than the opponent and tire them out. A night of me improving my own play, skating hard, disrupting the opponent, and helping my team generate their scoring chances, is a good night as an individual even if I don't get a shot on goal myself.

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