Friday, April 29, 2005

Bowling Night

Team 3 Continues it's romp through the Bend City League.
Luke Smith Puts in a dominant performance, stuffs pieholes of hecklers.

On Thursday, April 29th, the Un-named team 3 knocked off the highly touted Red Something or another. The team to be named later, under the steady leadership of player/coach/GM Luke Smith went up 2-nil and never look back. Though the failing light caused the black clad speedsters some miscues in the late going, the good guys slammed the door for a 13-10 victory.

The enthusiastically pro - Red crowd (technically it's Anti-ME) enjoyed a typical display of 'excitement' as Luke blew the glass off the excite-o-meter. The line tells part of the story, something like 45/50, 6 assists, 3 blocks... but is somewhat misleading, as 5 of the turnovers came on the first 15 passes... short pass, huck... out the back... or good...

Reporter: What happened on those turnovers
Luke: I missed.
Reporter: Is that going to be good enough to win another league title?
Luke: Hope so. Besides you're missing the point. The people living near the park knocking back 40's, the malicious fans and their haterade, their not there to see me drop-step-swimmy-swim-do it again shred with the handler cuts. Chicks dig the long ball.
Reporter: At one point you threw it to no one on 3 consecutive possession.
Luke: No one? That was SPACE. I mean, I'm not allowed to cut for my own throws. I'll keep throwing, the team will figure it out.
Reporter: Hows the hand? Rumor has it that you weren't able to throw for several weeks.
Luke: Well it was broken, but miraculously, It healed up in time for last nights game. In fact most of those turnovers were heat checks.
Reporter: Heat checks?
Luke: Yeah, you know. Gotta see if I'm on. rope it around a little. I mean we were up three. Besides, most of those T.O.'s were calculated upwind shots.
Reporter: Isn't conventional wisdom to huck downwind?
Luke: You wearing the cleats? You play your way...

Reporter: What lesson do you think you're teaching your team with all those TO's?
Luke: Cut to space. No Fear. Check out how far I can throw it out the back.
Reporter: Riiiiigggghhhhhhtttt.

Tune in next week for Team No-Name's further exploits.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

New team coaching

I took idris' advice, and put on 35 pounds, and started stooping over. I kind of already knew how slow worked... been coaching a HS team for (now 2nd year), and from reading about the web, I realize that the way I know things is not the easiest way to teach them. Take the 2-3-2 zone. It just makes sense to me. But I realize that in explaining it, I needed to describe it as a 3-3-1. It's not the same thing, but for teaching beginners to beat beginners, it works fine... i wonder if I'm supposed to be building ultimate players for tommorrow, or building this new HS team to beat other HS teams... I know EXACTLY how larry legend felt, coaching the pacers...

in all seriousness, here are the hardest things with HS kids (and most of these kids can run, good local runners, a couple of members of the #3 state team in XC (girls), skiers/ex soccer players, etc... that said...

effing run harder in the drills. like a game... the only solution so far, is to make the drills races (first group to complete 20 wins). I've not found it necessary yet to make those races have rewards/punishments, nor do i plan on it...

catch with two hands in practice. (and if not, use the 'bad' one). this is the bane of my existence. i can't figure out if they are being 'cool' or just...

i think that the biggest issue is self-motivation. they are young, and maybe not the best listeners.

that said, i'm going to invest team funds in ultimate techniques book... and go find me some of idris' fat guys.

and if that doesn't work, i'm going to start throwing chairs. worked for knight, right?

so w/ 4 weeks to states, and ambitions of making semis... the focus will be continued on simple 'offense' (throws, dump, swing, continue, huck, cutting) and 'defensive' concepts (position, last man and switching), which will hopefully help these kids in the long run... but if we overachieve, it's going to be due to developing some craptacular zone that wouldn't hold water against 'real teams'... but might make a victim throw 8-9 '90% High School Passes'...

report to follow...

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Bend Invitations Write Up.

4/23 Summit High, a 2nd year highschool team I coach, hosted the 1st annual Bend Invitational. I awoke to pouring rain (well, pouring for the high desert standards) and 40 degrees. But the teams showed, and the games were played.... steady rain some steady southerly wind (that means from the south, right?)

5-0 Churchill B (defeated summit 10-6) (don't laugh, their A team is #1 in the state, and their B team is currently 3rd)
4-1 Summit (we still have to play states, but a far sight better than the bagel of 04 at states)
3-2 Sheldon A (3-3, then 6-3 summit, final was 10-6, summit)
2-3 Philomath
1-4 Sheldon B
0-5 Kennedy Middle school. Yes, they are a Middle School, but they wanted the games, and they had flicks, so it was a level playing field. As I told my kids before the game, hey, I see you looking at those kids, feeling sympathy, but that's just weakness in your hearts. I see them as evil deranged midgets.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Post the First.

Ah yes. My very own blog. Here I will wax eloquently on such subjects as frisbee, frisbee, maybe teaching... I will endeavor to match the stellar work of such blog legends as Idris N. and Jim P. who have flooded the ether with , well, maybe pith is the right word.

Where to begin. At the risk of 'going to the big guns too soon,' i.e., moving Smoltz back to the starting line-up, let's set the way-back machine to 2001.

My first season with Seattle Sockeye was a lot of fun, but ended dismally. And I'm not referring to the 2nd round pool play loss to the Portland team. I'm actually referring to the loss of a Seafood dinner to D'Arcy Gholston as the Cardinals defeated the Atlanta braves in (I think) the NLCS.

With little to play for but some consolation tripe, I prepared to suffer an hour or so of suffering. As we approached the door to the restaurant, I reached for my pocket and realized...

(now lets go way back to around 12:00 P.M).

Having just lost at golden goal to Portland in some version of a Hurricane (upwind downwind game, no upwinders scored), I went to the grocery store for a deli sandwich, a gatorade, and a 4 pack of Guinness. Wearing a pair of flipflops and my game shorts, and I tossed my wallet in with the goods, and sat down to watch some kind of play in game. That portland promptly choked on. As evening fell, we made our way towards the cars, and it became apparent that I would be forced to pay up for the Fish Food for D'Arcy.

(back to 7:00 P.M.)

With a blinding flash of comprehension, I immediately realized where my wallet was.

Somewhere, at the now darkening fields, soon to be home of some kind of party that I had no intention of attending, was my wallet.

In a White Plastic bag (From the only local grocery store)
With a piece of crumpled butcher paper.
And with 4 empty cans of Guinness draft.

The only Hurdle: This one small piece of Jetsam was awash in a sea of trash unleashed by the players, fans, and just general hangers on that make up a 64 team national tournament.

Finding that needle, in that haystack, was going to take brains, talent, or luck.

I was going to need some help in this.

And I was stuck with John "Kid" Hammond.

-----Part 2

The kid and I rolled out, headed back to the scene of the crime in a late model dodge P.O.S rental. Low on gas, with the sun well below the horizon, the prospects were grim. But as had been proven on more than one occasion, the corrollary to 'crazy beats big' is 'better lucky than good.'

The stakes had never been higher. As I said, the year was 2001. The days of having the baggage handler check your bags, casual arrival times... not to mention pleasant long stays in the load/unload zone...

These days were gone forever... additionally, I was frisked on every leg of my flight out, I'm sure to catch the famed strike leader of 'norsemen jihad'... in any event, it was somewhat important that I get my wallet back.

We arrived at the fields and start w/ a quick sweep. The fields were clean, and the trash cans were empty. We turned our attention to the 'big green monster.' Literally overflowing with garbage bags, chairs, etc...

It was 45 minutes of dumpster diving. It was not the most pleasant time of my life, but luckily, the 'fresh' nature of the garbage, and the fact that it was mostly paper, and cans, made it bearable.

Three lessons.
People throw out a lot of weird stuff at a tournament. Shoes. Chairs. Childrens toys. A tire.
It is astoundingly easy to guess the contents of a tied up publix grocery bag, with practice, and a limited number of distractors (no head fakes, no tricks, just trash).
It was amazing how many people had been to publix, and purchased 4 packs of Guinness cans.

Our search was thorough. No bag was left untouched. A sense of mild depression began to set in... as I realized that
1) I might be stuck in Sarasota forever, like the man who never returned.
2) I had just spent 45 minutes in a dumpster.

Dejected, I paused to reflect. A brief search of the area around the pavillion was conducted. No additional trash, BUT, a small piece of good news. From an old man who could only be described as 'grizzled' we learned that there was a 'back-up' dumpster, 1/4 mile away.

Off we went. As we rounded the bend, and the 40 yard dumpster emerged into view under the harsh halogen headlights, I felt ice in my veins. I viewed that dumpster, not as an enemy to be fought... but as a victim... I was a steely eyed killer.

I was a garbage hitman. A trashassin, if you will. And nothing would stand in my way.

Tommorrow... part 3...

Part 3...
In what can only be considered a stroke of luck, kid drew bin duty, while i worked the perimeter of the dumpster, analyzing contents. The dumpster, while only partially full, was awash with tied up Publix bags... many with empty cans (remember, bottle caps bad for horses at the polo grounds, so almost no glass at all to contend with)...

the keys... the distinctive shape, and most importantly the RATTLE of an empty Guinness can with it's nitrous widget...

Suffice to say, from the outside of the bin, I heard a explosive gurgle of air... a growl, and then a triumphant AHA!, as kids hand rose into the faint light over the rim, brandishing the wallet...

Victory. Sweet Victory.

The End.