Monday, January 26, 2009

First mixed vet and freshie scrimmage!

Tonight was my first practice back after about two weeks break. This break was forced by one flu, then a snowstorm, then MLK day, then freshie assessments. Oh, and also the fact that a bolt came loose on my plates and I couldn't skate on them for a bit. Once it was explained that I'd been trying to correct the problem by tightening the wrong bolt, I was shakily back on skates, hoping to god my trucks didn't fall off in the middle of a jam.

While it took me the first half of the scrimmage to actually pay attention to the game around me (I was too focused on worrying about my skate falling apart and breaking my leg), I pulled it together in the second half. I'm especially proud of:

1. A few sweet booty blocks - I was using my booty more during this scrimmage than I have in a while. Since discovering that I can hit well, I'd kind of stopped booty blocking, even though I knew that it was a more long-term, conservative way to control the other team's players. Tonight I remembered why I used to like doing that so much. I'll have to keep it up.

2. I was using my teammates more than I ever have before. I'd see a fellow blocker on my outside, see the jammer coming up on that side, and rather than cut across said blocker and going in for a hit, I'd push her instead. Go me and my improving track awareness.

3. Actually getting my mind off of my wonky skate problems in the first place. I can get way up into my head, and that was a huge contributor to my struggle last season. Had this been a year ago, I'd have probably given up and found a reason to sit out more jams (or possibly the scrimmage itself) while tinkering with my skate. Instead, I stuck it out, and my skate wound up being fine. Once I made myself focus on the game, I was doing well again. I want to make sure to get used to this process for when I'm inevitably having all kinds of nerves at a bout, where saying "I'll just wait until next week" isn't an option.

My goals for the next scrimmage are:

1. Play outside more. I never play that, and I need to learn that role.
2. Booty block more. I'm not half bad at that, and I should be trying to get even better.
3. Fall back more quickly. I still keep finding myself at the front of the damned pack, even when playing back. I've got to get over that.

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