Heather recommends the Centre Ice women's hockey camp. Summerland is close to my parents, so:
if I do not go to the adult fitness camp at Smith; and
if I do not break any bones, and
if I still like hockey next summer, and
if I have any money at all after I take a huge paycut next month,
maybe I will look into Centre Ice.
I just took a few minutes and read through the archives of my hockey diary. I also skimmed my rookie diary. There is a definite difference between the entries from last year (after my first camp experience) and the entries from my rookie year (before my first camp experience). Camp really ground me down last year, so much that I couldn't even write about it. None of my teammates understood what I was trying to say when I explained it, and I eventually stopped talking about it. It wasn't until this last Friday, when I was helping Heather carry her stuff to her car after she hurt her groin, that I really felt like someone understood. It was so gratifying to find someone who had a similar camp experience last year. Too bad we both isolated ourselves and never got a chance to talk to each other about it. Anyway, my goal for the upcoming season is to try and recover some of my optimism from my rookie year and bring it to the ice with me.
The first thing I did when I got home was pick up a hockey stick and show Catherine my Tiger Woods imitation.
Camp went so much better this year. So, so much better. A day after I've been home, I'm already saying, "Yeah, I'd do it again," which is a 180-degree switch in my position last year, when I pretty much stopped skating after I got home. I was so upset last year, I decided to quit playing hockey completely, then kind of guilted myself back into playing by thinking about how much money I'd wasted on the sport. Anyway, this year I worked hard, it was intense at times, but it wasn't emotionally devastating as it was last year. That tells me I've improved.
The schedule was kind of strange this year. We didn't have breakfast until 9:15, which sounds good, but we didn't get off the ice at night until 11:45 a.m., so we actually ended up with too little sleep. Every night, I'd go back to the dorm to sleep around 12:30, and the kids would still be awake, making way too much noise. Boy, you really don't know what kids are capable of until you put 50 of them in a room together.
So, every day we had 4.25 hours of ice time, and 2.25 hours of off-ice instruction. The ice time was broken down into three sections:
1 hr 45 min Instruction. This is where we did puck control drills, skating drills, one-one-ones, on-ice shooting practice, etc. In my opinion, this was about 15 minutes too long, especially on Thursday and Friday. On those two days, the instructors did a lot of talking, and our feet got really cold.
1 hr Power Skating. Worked on form and technique. Essentially a repeat from last year, so you think I could do it all by now, but I can't. Backwards continues to be my nemesis, although it is getting a little smoother. My final evaluation stressed making a narrow recovery, so that is what I will focus on this year.
1 hr 30 min Scrimmage. Definitely the most frustrating part of the week. I found it difficult to get excited about playing a position that I knew wasn't going to help me during the regular season. As the team saying goes, "If all five players on the ice fell down, I still wouldn't be playing center. Shame on you!" Anyway, I found it annoying to have to play center shift after shift, when I will never play center during the regular season. I really wanted to refine my wing position, not experiment with some new position. I understand in theory what the center should do, and that's enough for me, I don't have to play it. I really need work on my wing positioning for the breakouts, so I hated not being allowed to play that position.
Off-ice instruction was broken into two sections:
1 hr 15 mins Stick-handling. Stick-handling drills (figure eight, extending the reach, using the feet to kick the puck up, bouncing the ball on the stick).
1 hr Shooting. My off-ice shooting is going great. Now I just need to move it onto the ice.
In general I was pleased, because I didn't skip anything outright (last year, I was so worn down and injured that I had to. My glutes hurt, my hip hurt, my obliques hurt, my feet hurt....), I shaved off some minutes at the end when I could feel my back getting tired, but otherwise showed up. The only thing I did skip was the very last scrimmage, and I'm glad of that. My groin/hip flexor was really tight when I was walking around after power skating, and I didn't want to risk serious injury. Heather (she was at camp last year, had a parallel experience with mine) had the same problem, but did scrimmage, and ended up totally wasting her groin. So, sitting on the bench that last evening was a good idea. I did get up and run 4 k the next morning to make up for my inactivity.