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Friday, April 13, 2007

Practice, Plasma, and plenty of games ahead

Tuesday, I had my weekly AAU team practice. We added a new player to our roster. He is a big man and I expect him to help our team greatly. It might take him a few weeks to get used to our team, but after that I think he will really improve our team.

Over the weekend, I watched “The UCLA Dynasty” on HBO. I am a fan of most biography programming like Sports Century and Beyond the Glory along with non-sports related biographies. They are usually inspirational stories and sometimes you will get some life wisdom from either their success or mistakes. Back to “The UCLA Dynasty”, John Wooden is one of my favorite people. He is a great philosopher/teacher/coach/human being. If everyone lived life like him, this world would be an unbelievably great place. His book is a great read. I tried to implement a few things I learned from the HBO documentary in my practice Tuesday. The first thing I tried to implement was to make the practice faster paced. Our practices move slowly from drill to drill sometimes and it is a waste of time and the intensity always drops going from one drill to the next. Another thing that I made more of an effort at was correcting small details right when they happened. I am hesitant at times to jump in and stop action to make a correction on the spot when in actuality it needs to be done to stop habits.

Overall, the practice went well. I was happy with the overall intensity and effort. I am a big believer that high intensity and effort are a necessity in practice. You cannot improve as a player or a team if you are just going through the motions. Things must be done at or above game intensity/speed to help your game. Players always talk about how many hours they practice in the summer and how they outworked other players because of the pure hours they put in. They don’t take into account the fact that the other players are working harder for a shorter time period and are getting more improvement in that short time. This team has been known to lack intensity and desire as a lot of young, immature teams do. It is something that can improve greatly with the coach demanding more out of the players.

Wednesday I decided to head down to Bloomington to donate some plasma. I went to IU and hadn’t visited in a long time so I planned on doing some good by donating while getting a few bucks and getting to see some friends. The plasma donation didn’t go too great, but no real complications. They did end the process early just to make sure my whole arm didn’t bruise up too much. I’m not a great blood donator so it probably wasn’t the greatest idea for me to do it, but what can you do?

We have a big AAU tournament this weekend. It’s in Indianapolis and there are going to be a lot of out of state teams in it. We will play 3 games Saturday with a chance to play a fourth depending on how we do in pool play. The actual tournament part starts Saturday night and goes into Sunday. I just hope we continue to improve as a team and we compete at a high level. It really is about improving at this age. Teaching and learning are a priority while winning is just a plus. I will post some game summaries after the tournament is over.