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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday night floor hockey lesson

Every experience has something you can learn from it. We never know it all. Those of us that think we do find out the hard way that we don't.
Last night I played floor hockey, as I do every Monday night. I also play Wednesday night and sometimes Thursday.
The Wednesday game is one I have played off and on,  mostly on, for about 25 years. I know most all the guys and have played with them for many many years. Some of those guys I met in Grade 9 and have been lifelong friends with for more than 30 years. Others I have played off and on with in various games for 20 years. I know how they play and its very easy to play my best with or against them.
The Thursday game is one I was away from for many years, more than 20 if I recall it well. I know a lot of those guys too and even though many are new, I find it easy to excel in that game as well, despite my current lack of top flight condition. I know what they will do, what their strengths are and where the weaknesses are.
I just started the Monday game this year and it is quite different than any game I have played before. They use a ball instead of a puck,  which I have never played floor hockey with before. The floor is very small and everything is close and tight. My game is mostly passing and setting up other players. This game goes against that bias. Nevertheless, I do like to play and it is enjoyable. I met the organizer of this game at the Thursday game and decided to give this game a shot. I need to get back in top shape, and for this year anyway, I will take any opportunity to find strenuous exercise.
Being that I am new to this game,  I came in knowing nobody. One guy who I have known for 30 years and also played at the Wednesday and Thursday games also played for a while before he went south for the winter. Now that he is gone,  I am playing blind.
Last night, being that we were short players we had to mix the teams up a bit. As I said, I am a creative player. I do have a very good shot, and most tell me to shoot more, but that isn't my game or my preferred style. My game is to pass and make other players who have good offensive skill better. I am both a skill and creative player, but I prefer to focus on the creative, just as I do with my writing.
For the first time last night,  I played with a guy, Sean,  who I had not played with before. For whatever reason, he was always on the other team the 7 or 8 times I have played on Monday nights. He is an okay player, but he is a grinder. He is neither creative nor skilled. Because I hadn't really noticed that before, it became a problem.
As the night went on,  we lost every game. The teams appeared to be even, but because we didn't have good chemistry, they were not. He began to get frustrated. He even mentioned that he did not like to lose.
The last game that we played together, he mentioned that I should get rid of the ball faster so we could have better scoring chances. I didn't want to make a scene, but I knew the real issue was he has no talent. I kept waiting for him to get open so I could set him up, but he just didn't know how to do that. Because of that,  I held on and held on and at times made turnovers that led to goals by the other team.
After I got home, I thought about all this. The truth was,  he was right. I should have gotten rid of the ball faster. I am used to playing with skill players,  but if the players aren't skilled I need to learn to adjust my game accordingly. Since I don't know the players on this Monday night game I have to assume they aren't skilled unless they show me they are. It is a new experience for me. Something I can learn from.
I have learned over time that even though I am very creative, not everybody is, and I have to understand that better. Last night was just the hammer nailing the nail home for me in that respect.

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