Today was our second-to-last lesson with Reed (very bittersweet!) It was a super fun lesson and we did some new drills! We started with the usual warm-up. For the first drill, we started on the post, came up at an angle to the top of the crease, t-pushed to center and received a shot. For me, the biggest thing this drill worked on was coming out far enough to receive the shot. I still very much like to stay within the blue paint, but I know, being smaller, it’s important to come out further. The next drill we did was a side-shuffle/tracking drill. We came to the top of the crease, starting on the post, and had to track the puck using quick, short side shuffle pushes. This was a leg workout!! After a few reps I felt like I finally got the hang of it and Reed said they were looking pretty good. I recently had my skates sharpened, and, while not an excuse, it definitely took more effort to get from side to side with those pushes.
For the next drill, he had Colin and I act as screens for each other so we had to get really low and search for the puck, it really highlighted quick reactions. Reed said my hockey IQ was starting to show through as I was able to correct for moving too far one way or another to make the save. (I was really happy to hear that!)
For the last drill, we did shoot outs. I always really enjoy these drills, they’re so fun! I really had to work on my speed with matching Reed’s approach and my c-cuts backwards. I was able to get a few good saves which was awesome!! Overall, I felt like this was such a good practice session and really fun lesson! I’m super bummed out that we only have one more session, although it’ll be a 2 hour lesson! Hopefully we can make it out for some of Reed’s clinics over next summer though.
So today while today was a lot of fun, hockey always is, I didn’t have as a successful time. It felt like I was fighting myself and as much as the puck. None of the gear was ill fitting or giving me problems it just felt like my mind knew what it wanted to do, but the body wasn’t understanding the commands.
The first drill went well enough, but I could come out a little farther when challenging the shooter. I’m still very much breaking the habit of staying too deep in the blue paint. I guess my natural tendency is to play a very Lundqvist type style, staying deep in the net, but it will get me in to trouble, so I need to work on that.
The tracking/ shuffling drill went a little better, but there were definitely some learning points. The screen drill was also a good one as I started getting the hang of it a bit more. Finally the shootout drill, this is where I struggled the most. In fairness, this is one of the things I have the least experience in so it’s understandable that I would struggle. My main sources of frustration came from by butterfly slides not being strong enough, dropping too early, and my butterfly flare still not being nearly what I need it to be. I have my work cut out for me but I am looking forward to the challenge.
As a final note, it is a bittersweet that we are moving away, and have to stop working with Reed. He’s been nothing short of awesome! Looking forward to next weeks double header lesson.