Be Inspired...Get Surefired!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's never too late...

It was about minus 25 degrees Celsius and despite the fact that my face was frozen, you could still see the smile beneath my rosy cheeks as I left the rink!

I was ecstatic because I proved to myself that it's never too late to learn a new skill...

This winter, I decided to embrace the cold (as much as a golfer can) and take advantage of the fact that we have outdoor hockey rinks everywhere in this city. I figured it would give me a chance to get some bonus exercise, work on my skating, enjoy the outdoor air, and most of all, create an opportunity for me to practice my shooting - specifically my slap shot.

My new weapon
I started playing ice hockey when I was about 16 years old but I have always been a goalie. Shooting was therefore not a skill I have ever really practiced or learned - my job has always been to stop everyone else's shots!

I am athletic enough that I can raise the puck but, for whatever reason, I have never been able to get a slap shot off the ice. The guys I play with make this seem like such an effortless skill and it's always bothered me that I can't do it.

So...I got myself a new stick and started practicing. A lot. Skill acquisition has always been fascinating to me and what occurred was a perfect example of how good practice results in motor learning. I am a 'feel' athlete so although I had been told and shown how to execute a proper slap shot, I knew it wouldn't click for me until I could do it and feel it. Sure enough, after many repetitions,  I started to 'get it'.

I am now so excited to report that my work has paid off...I have a consistent slap shot and for the first time, I even sailed one OVER the net!

There, so it just goes to show that it's never too late to feel the excitement of learning something new!

On a side note, it was so cold at the rink yesterday that my puck actually exploded when it hit the goal post leaving me no option but to return home (and finish this blog post!).

Now onto my next project...a front handspring! What skill have you always wanted to learn? It's never too late....