You can't become a better player if you get hurt

You can't become a better player if you get hurt

If you get hurt in ice hockey, do yourself a favor and go to the doctor right away; that same day or the very next day. It turns out my pulled knee was torn ligament, diagnosed two weeks after the injury. At the same time, someone from the same game learned his ribs were broken, not bruised. If the injury is just a bump or bruise, let the doctor tell you so. Don’t decide on your own what the problem is unless you graduated medical school.

I went back to skating this past week and have lost so much ability I look I don’t know how to skate. My ice time is now dominated by pain and what I can’t do instead of what I can. I’m stable enough to push with my skates but if I use my hurt leg to pull inward the knee collapses and I go splat. Having previously prided myself on balance and not falling, I’m getting a crash course in how well my equipment is designed as I wipe out over and over. I try to do a crossover and wipe out. I turn and the bad knee is the pivot, I go down. I’m good to skate as long as I do not overly stress the knee and tear the damaged area further. Pain has been non-stop since October 1st but I need to stop doing anything that ramps it up to an intense sharp pain. I had been at a point where I was getting better at turning backwards without losing speed. Now I have gone backwards and struggle to turn at all.

I have to recommend any new player wait on trying to play until they are as confident on skates as they are in a pair of sneakers. Get a lot of ice time in classes and listen to all the feedback your coach is giving you. I never had been in so much as a scrimmage before I jumped into a game, so I was overwhelmed and lacking in skill sets for game play. Stops and turns that would be automatic for an experienced player were missing from my repertoire. ¬†Until I’m navigating a class scrimmage with some bravado, I’m benching myself from game play.

Chasing down the puck is a lot like a game of “chicken”. All the Hollywood movie scenes with cars racing straight at each other come to mind. Both players want puck possession, and the hits get ugly when neither one hits the brakes or swerves. New players need to remember there will be other chances to make a play or get the puck. Put your safety first when you try to run down the puck; that may seem less competitive and less macho but at least you can go forward to your next game in one piece. You can’t become a better player if you get hurt.

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