I skated my figure skates to the center of the court, I was soon corrected, and I was on the “rink.” My hockey stick in hand, I warmed up dribbling the puck. I say dribbling but I am sure there is a correction about this as well. Winding up, I took a shot, and GOAL! Though, there was no goalie present, my next thought was how my goal celebration dance should go. I took the stick in the air and played an air guitar. And my hockey coach for the day said, “Ok, let’s see what we have to work with. First…” And all I could hear was, there was a lot to work on.
I thought after sliding the puck into the net, I was ready to play attack wing and throw up some points on the scoreboard. Instead, we started with the basics. Passing. Instead of beating the puck up, I was told to keep the puck behind my skate and when I made contact with the puck, to keep the stick on the ground instead of flicking it.
Smoother, yes, but problem number two arose. How many circles I would have saved myself if I knew a backhand. Instead, I reposition myself and hit the puck as I always do. But the backhand changes the game and took me from Beginner level 0.0 to Beginner level 0.1 and I struck the air guitar once again.
Now time to work on some shots and learn the five main places to aim the puck. The lacrosse days came back into use, and I told my coach to hold on, I knew where the sweet spots were…all the corners. But there was a fifth I was missing. Studying the goal, I had no idea! “Right between the goalie’s legs is the five hole” I should have figured because when I thought I would bring some defense on the court, coachman dribbled the puck right between my legs. I couldn’t even get those figure skates turned around fast enough to see the wind up into the goal, and score in the upper right corner. I didn’t let myself get too down, the way I saw it…we were tied 1-1. Not bad for a beginner versus coachman, who has played for 22 years of his life! (Insert Air-Guitar Strike Here.)