Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Diamond news

Since my last post, the Diamonds have played two more games. The first game was against a team that we had beaten earlier in the season and was a lot closer than I would have liked it to be. We were up by 2 with one minute to play, but the girls kept their cool. The other team had no choice but to foul and this led to 2 more points on foul shots and a 4-point win. Not a great game, but good practice for playing under pressure.

Last Sunday, we had an early morning game against the undefeated first place team. We had lost our first game against them by 10. The beginning of the game was a disaster. We were down 14-0 after the first quarter. The girls played better in the second quarter, but were called for a bunch of fouls. When one of my top players fouled out in the third quarter after having been elbowed continuously by the other team's player, I strongly protested the call. This resulted in a technical foul, my first ever as a coach. I don't think the ref's call was justified, for the player's foul or for mine. This results in the whole team losing a point in the championship, which makes me even angrier at myself. Surprisingly, the girls began to play better and better and began to close the deficit. At the end of the game, the score was 40-35. I was quite impressed with their level of play. It's really, really too bad about that terrible first quarter. I have to find a way to make the girls play well right from the start of the game.

We have a game next Wednesday followed by a tournament in Repentigny over the weekend. This should be pretty exciting as there will be 16 teams in our class.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Basketball Diaries

Last week was a basketball intensive week. The girls had three games in three days, and I had a game of my own on Friday night.
The Diamonds’ first game went off without any problems. For once, the team led the whole game and they won by 19. My newest player turned out to play as well as I had hoped she would. I found out however that one of my best players would face a one-day suspension at school on the 14th (day of the third game) and that she would therefore not be allowed to play.
For the second game, I found out that the suspended player’s mother would not be allowing her to play in the near future. I find it sad when parents automatically respond to discipline problems by taking the child out of sports. The girls played very well in the first half and built up a nice lead. Despite some hiccups in the second half, they held on to win by 10 points.
On Friday, I was again without the suspended player and another player was to miss half the game due to detention. I really wish I could have had another go at this one, because the team was unable to hold on to a small lead and lost by a single point. I had not prepared the girls for scenarios like what to do when the other team has a 1-point lead and has the ball with 30 seconds to play. It was too late to call a time out and I had not ever explained to them that they would have to really go after the ball and commit a foul if necessary. Hopefully this loss will not affect the standings for the playoffs. With four games remaining, the Diamonds are now 6 and 2. I really hope I can get my suspended player back soon, as we have two more games in the next week.
My own team played remarkably well on Friday. Despite having only 5 players (no subs), we pretty much dominated the game. We led by as much as 30 and held on to win by 20. I think that coaching has given me a better understanding of the game and that, as a result, I am able to better contribute to the team’s offence.
Alex organized me a super birthday party on Saturday night, complete with BBQ burgers (thanks Carl for the BBQ work) and Singstar, the Playstation karaoke game. I had a great time. Today, it’s back to work, on what one psychologist has called the most depressing day of the year (Blue Monday). It was -22 degrees this morning, but at least the sun is shining!
Oh, and I sold the blue Civic yesterday. I was not too sad to see it go, especially since the buyer plans to make it into a drag racer. I was more glad to pocket a few dollars! Usually, when I get rid of a car, it is pretty much ready for the scrap yard. All in all, the blue Civic served its purpose as a fun to drive and reliable point A to point B car.

Cool cars spotted:
Bentley Continental
Porsche 997
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 2

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year... looking back and looking ahead

I don't know why I haven't posted yet in 2011... I had enough free time during the holidays (although much of that time was used up playing Gran Turismo 5, where I currently sit at level 18). I guess the truth is that there has not been much exciting stuff going on. This doesn't mean that life has not been fun (relaxing is quite fun, IMHO), but simply that there have not been too many exciting events.

Basketball has been on hold, for both my men's team and my girls's team. The girls have three games this week, however, so I will be back in the thick of it. I hadn't realized it when we scheduled the season, but we will have had no practices after the holidays before these three games. I will have to be more careful with the scheduling next year. All three games are against teams we have beaten in 2010, so I am hoping for a decent result.

I have been greatly enjoying the M3 and have racked up over 3 000 km since I bought it. What an awesome car! I honestly don't know where you go after having an M3... a Bentley? a Porsche 911 Turbo? It's hard to imagine a better sports car for daily driving.

I have not gone running in weeks. For some reason, I am not motivated to go out. I am barely getting any exercise, except the 3 km walk to work. I'm glad basketball is starting up again this week, as at least I will see a little action!

News of Alex:
Alex is back in town, which makes my life more pleasant. She is working full-time on various projects for her current and former professors. Concordia has assigned her a very nice office, even though she will only start teaching in the Fall.

Cool cars spotted:
E90 M3
Subaru WRX STi
Porsche 997 Carrera 4S