real hockey

on Friday i got to play a pick-up [social] game of field hockey at a club in Berkeley that a friend of mine from the internetweb [Thankx, Tamela!] told me about. and it was a most excellent time.

with my team in SA, there were some players who wouldn’t pass to me all that often because they didn’t think i was so good. because of this, it upped the pressure the few times someone did pass to me [messing up twice from eight attempts looks a lot less bad than messing up twice from two] which would often cause me to mess up [largely brought about by the fear of messing up] and so it was a spiralling cycle.


back to friday’s game where no-one knew me and so they didn’t know how crap i was supposed to be and so this weird thing happened – people started passing to me – and because they passed to me my confidence grew and so i played well – and got passed to more. in fact i would say it was the best i have played hockey in years and the most fun – scored a few goals and even ran some dribbles round some of their players… the highlight must have been when the one guy on the field asked if i could play for his match team and, not realising that he from a different team from the guy i’d been mailing i said “Sure!” and the guy from the email team called out, “Hey, no we’ve got him already!” and then basically started a bidding war on the field for my hockey services. that was classic.

the point being that it was a whole lot of fun, but more than that just being able to see the difference it can make to someone when you believe in them and take a chance on them. my whole game was lifted simply by the fact that people passed to me and so i played better and so people passed to me more. even my energy and fitness levels were affected as i was more encouraged to be right there in the action and choosing to run and push more than normal.

good lesson for those of us who are part of teams of different types to look out for people to encourage and maybe affect their performance in similar ways? anyone else got a story of being on the receiving end of this kind of encouragement and affirmation and the effect it had on you?