Most of my experiences playing goal are able to be sorted into neat little categories. For example, most of my games go into the 'We're outclassed talent-wise and I'm facing a bajillion shots so just use it as a learning experience' bin, wherein I do my best to ignore how many got past me and focus of why they did and how to stop them next time. Then there's 'Well that went better than expected' which is a variant of the previous one but with fewer goals against. Last week debuted two new slots: "Screwed up some but kept it close enough for us to have a shot' and 'Holy crap I didn't screw it up and we won OMG OMG OMG WTF', both of which are welcome additions.
This week? 'Wow, that was ugly and I basically destroyed any chance my team had in a winnable game'. Not as awesome, that one. I'll spare you the (boring and) gory details, but we lost 9-6 and I should have stopped at least 5 of those. I suppose I should have been surprised given my relative successes last week, but there was some sort of weird vibe going on. Not with my team - the Mustangs are so laid back that not only do they drink beers pregame, one of the players brought three cans to the bench for between shifts. Usually I'm filled with giddy excitement to go play, like a can of Coke someone shook up. I never had that this week, although I have no idea why. The stress of shuffling kids around pre-game? Anxiety over deadlines on a freelance job? Impostor's syndrome being a jerkweed? A million other things going on right now causing me to fret? Maybe, but normally when I hit the ice all that stuff gets left behind the boards. Not so much this time, though, and it showed. We should have won. I should have been better.
Still, I try not to beat myself up too much. First, it's a freaking game. Two, I'm a forty-seven year old doofus with zero flexibility trying to play goal with no training beyond watching a few YouTube videos. I've been doing this for like four months with leg pads that cause other goalies to shake their heads with pity at the sight of them. While I hate disappointing my teammates, I have to be realistic - I'm an old, clueless rookie. A noob. A neophyte. First level goalie with zero feats. It's supposed to be a learning experience and dammit, most of all, it's supposed to be fun. And it's going to be, especially if I can ever remember to bring some GF beer so I can drink too.
Post game only, though. Don't drink and goalie.