What is "success?"
Friday, July 13, 2007
On Monday, I got on to the court early, about 6:40. I practiced until 8:00 AM, when guys slowly came on to the court. The heat was already becoming brutal, so I was able to last two games before reaching the danger point. I continued to hydrate myself throughout the morning, but I knew I should not push it after that. These games were full court because we had four-on-four and then five per team. My team was led by a young tattooed guy who claimed to have led his team to successive state championships, and given his percentage and skill level, I believed him. I was content with my single basket at the end of the day.
Tuesday brought more guys on to the court earlier, so we got three full games in. We lost #1, but won #2 and #3. I pulled off a basket on an offensive rebound and finally generated enough nerve to drive to the basket. I also hooked one in on a drive to the "weak" side, a shot that surprised even me. Bethany's hoops are the outdoor kind, and you generally do not get a roll as the ball bounces around the hoop and against a metal backboard with no center square. I call these baskets "unforgiving." If you don't go easy off the backboard or straight into the cylinder, you generally won't get the basket. So scoring was an achievement for me.
Wednesday seemed to be a day off for most of the players. We did get enough for two-on-two half court. I was on the same team as a guy who later told me he had Parkinson's disease, and except for a little stiffness, I couldn't tell. He hit most of his shots, called out picks and screens like an expert, and knew when to dish and when to drive. We lost, but we put up a good fight. There was no shame in our effort.
I knew I had to get into the weight room after getting home. I lifted
on Thursday, but felt a slight loss of strength level due to having laid
off the weights for the duration of the vacation. My regular crew was
back in action today at school, but we only had enough for three on two.
I felt like I had come back from "basketball camp" because I
put some of the skills from my time at the beach into use on the court
today. We'll see if the same skill level will be evident on Monday when,
I hope, we have enough players to go full court at school.
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Before basketball, frisbee was my number one way of getting good cardio. In this shot, I am free-stylin' with my daughter Grace at the park. The throw you see here is the sidearm wrist-flick, at which most novices marvel. Your opponent needs to be ready for it because it has a mean spin that makes catching it a challenge. Ultimate frisbee is a fast paced game with the same tempo as basketball or soccer, but which scores more like a touchdown pass in football. Be ready to run when you take the field.