Dont be a poser

by barbaragarn

My USA Hockey magazine came this week and I’m ticked by the ad on the back cover.

How to look like the all-star MVP:
1. cut out mask
2. glue to face
3. Use AK27 stick and gloves

Lame.

I know we need ads to sell stuff, and to find out about products, but I’ve seen too many beginners get lured into poser-dom with ads like this. I understand the hunger to do whatever possible to get better–including dropping a lot of money on egregiously sophisticated products.

The premise is bad on two fronts. Like most these days, it’s selling not a product but a lifestyle, or mojo. “Buy a Warrior stick and gloves and you too will be Kovalev.”

Erm, NO. The reason Kovalev is so special–and the other revered NHL elite–is BECAUSE they’re rare. If we all could BUY something to make us as good as they are, then their skills wouldn’t stand out and they wouldn’t be exceptional anymore. They got there through hard work, not walking into a store and buying something.

And that’s the second point: buying expensive equipment to improve your hockey skills is is almost NEVER successful. The vast majority of people who get USA Hockey will actually be able to appreciate and capitalize on the technological sophistication of Warrior’s wares. Ridiculous. Don’t get sucked into wasting money on things that won’t help your game.

Because most of us, as novice and rec players, are so far away from having the skills to actually capitalize on cutting edge equipment. For most of us, we’ll still be moderately adequate with a $40 stick or a $300 one.

There is no shortcut for practice, practice, practice. You need to stickhandle in your kitchen, shoot pucks in your driveway, and get more icetime. Dropping a ton of money on uber-sophisticated gear is not going to help you improve.

I’ve seen a lot of beginners try to emulate known hockey players: level 1s (and above!) refusing to wear face mask or shoulder pads, because they think it looks “cooler.” (I was actually told this once, no joke.) Or behavioral posing: treating every situation like it’s the Stanley Cup finals, overly aggressive play for ADULT REC HOCKEY.

Buy these lovely toys and you’ll be out a lot of cash and you won’t be any better of a hockey player. Sheesh, keep your money in the bank and spend TIME doing the things you need to get better.

We’re not the NHL and we never will be. I like new hockey toys as much as anybody, but the idea that buying them will miraculously improve my game over spending time on ice… is just silly.

If I buy a Warrior AK27 stick and glove set and in hopes to LOOK like an “all-star MVP,” most likely it will just draw comparisons between my less-than-stellar play and that of the mighty Kovalev.

There is no “easy way out.” No shortcuts. You. Have. To. Practice.
Despite what Warrior Hockey would have us believe, you can’t buy your way to hockey excellence.