Archive for July, 2010

Bad concept for an instructional DVD?

July 14, 2010

I was laughing at this when i saw it in the latest Championship Productions catalogue until i remembered some of this stuff still creeps into my trainings (like 2 nights ago when i was teaching hitting technique). Doesn’t quite fit into John Kessel’s “Game teaches the Game” philosophy. Watch the sample video to see how you can master the art of throwing balls up in the air for your spikers to hit. Maybe i should have looked at this coz I’m rubbish at throwing…

Instructional DVDs are sometimes ok. I did pull about out an hours worth of decent stuff out of about 15 DVDs i bought. if only i could claim them on tax.


AJVC – Saturday (2)

July 10, 2010

We won our Bronze Medal game against NSW in a see-sawing 5-set epic, winning 25-18, 17-25, 25-21, 12-25, 15-8. If you count up the scores we actually won less rallies than NSW. In the end it was a battle between serving and passing. In some sets, NSW dominated when they got onto runs where they served consistently and we passed poorly. At other times we dominated when we passed well and ran a good offence. Like our last few games, our middle attack has been really dominating. It was a good way to end the tournament and see off Beth & Narissa who have now finished playing junior national volleyball. I thought it was odd that we lost all 4 of our 1st round robin matches and won only 3/9 matches to get a bronze medal. On the other hand, the U21M were stiffed that (playing in the same format of 5 teams, double round robin + playoff match) they had won all 4 of their 1st round robin matches and 5/9 games to finish 4th (they lost their bronze medal playoff). Mathematically, the MINIMUM amount of matches you need to win a medal in a 5 team double round robin format is 2/9 games.

Our U19W lost their bronze playoff, and our U19M won theirs. Our U17W won their bronze and our U17M lost a heartbreaking 5-set game to Victoria in the the gold medal game. They had previously beaten VIC in 5 sets earlier in the week. We finished up with 3 bronze and a silver – exactly like last year – and finished 4th in the President’s Cup.

We didn’t get any players in the all-star team.

Afterwards we went out for dinner. after vainly trying to find a place that would accommodate 2 teams (we dined with the U21W) on Oxford Street, we ended up at the Fasta Pasta we ate at on the previous saturday. I was driving terribly and it was an interesting experience having 9 people yell out directions, while getting relayed smart remarks from the other van via text messages to one of the girls.

We had our last coaches meeting and team meetings. The team gave me and simon thankyou cards that were very funnily written. Tomorrow we check out at 10 and will go to the markets for a couple of hours before checking in at the airport. we’ll get home at about 9:30. I’m looking forward to not driving the 12-seater soon!

AJVC- Friday Miracle

July 9, 2010

What a day! We started the day believing that out of our 2 last games, we needed to win a game and take a couple of sets off the other team in our other game. It looked unlikely given that we had to play the 2 top teams, Vic & WA who we had lost to before in straight sets.

* * *

The night before i had talked about a “Friday Miracle”, which i’ve experienced a couple of times when teams i’ve played in or coached sneak into a medal game with an upset on the last day of regular competition. My first friday miracle was playing for Mike Reu in U21M in 2001. We had just scraped through against NSW and ACT in 5 sets and got thumped by Victoria. We had to beat QLD in straight sets to make the gold medal game, which looked improbable given they had beaten Victoria earlier on. They were up 20-15 in the frst set but we somehow won. then they were 22-17 up in the 2nd set and we won again. they just fell apart in the third and we somehow stole our way into the gold medal game. The experience profoundly changed my life and made me want to coach and fnally get off my arse and have a decent shot at starting the business i now have.

* * *

We lost our first game in straight sets to Victoria and we just assumed that our chances were over. Meanwhile U21M lost to Victoria in 3 sets and the U19M lost to QLD Maroon in 3 sets knocking both teams out of medal contention. The U17W and U19W had already been knocked out the day before. All four teams will be playing off for bronze. It’s currently 9:40pm and the U17M are 1:0 up against WA Black and need to win to make a Gold Medal game.

After our morning game Simon stayed behind for the all-star-7 meeting while i took the girls back to the caravan park and chilled out. I was half curious about going to the all-star meeting. i’ve heard they can become shitfights. One year, in one competition a state association insisted the all-star-7 be expanded to 9 players and that all of them come from their state. These things shouldn’t amuse me but they do.

We made our last game all about two things: making a statement that we would be the team to beat next year; and making sure our two final year players got a good send off from the state team experience. Our game was against WA. they played some good music in the warmup through an iPod connected to a fender amp – possibly the most epic iPod deck ever. I noticed on the floor there was chewing gum stuck in a wrapper. one of the players said there was more on the other side. That a brand new beautiful floor in a great venue is defiled like that is simply disgraceful. The stadium is also the first i’ve seen with these awesome net-poles and pole pads that have winders that lift the poles to the right height.

WA (coached Pauline Manser & Laurel Wentworth)and rested a lot of their starters and it became an interesting match. we lost the first set but won the next 2. Some of the U19 men and U17W came out to support us. In the 3rd set we ran out of water and Mark Moore and some of his girls helped us out by filling up the bottles. After a bit of dramas we won the fourth. Like all the games we’ve played, it took all of our available players to get through it and was once a gain a good inclusive effort. After the match, one of the QLD coaches congratulated the girls about getting into the bronze medal game. apparently we had knocked out the QLD team. But we weren’t too sure because the computer system was down and we wouldn’t get an official confirmation until an hour later. So we got our “Friday Miracle: and will be playing off for bronze tomorrow. The QLD girls were probably not too happy with WA resting some of their starters. I’m getting behind WA to win tomorrow against Vic in the Gold Medal game. WA plays a great team game and you can tell that the players just love playing with and for each other and being in each other’s company. They help out when someone makes a mistake to get back in the rally and just a lot of faith in each other. They’re also have 2 gun coaches.

We had Chicken Schnitzels, Chips & Salad for dinner with a choice of Diane, pepper and roast meat gravies. I miss the Thursday night dinners at the football club whenever i’m away and chicken schnitzels just give me a sense of being at home. With no oven, i deep fried the chips and shallow fried the schnitzels. The stove is gas and pretty good. I set off the smoke alarm. again. It will be the last meal i cook as we’ll be going out tomorrow night. Hopefully to celebrate!

AJVC – Thursday

July 8, 2010

Today was a much better day. We won our first game against QLD. The team just gelled. The passing was great, we made few errors and the spread of hitters was fairly even. It was a good inclusive win that took everybody.

Our second game wasn’t quite as good. We were up 2:0 against NSW and then they came back. They won the 3rd set, and in the 4th set one of their middle blockers suffered a terrible knee injury unsettling both teams. To NSW’s credit, they settled first after the interruption and took the 4th set. Katie Bartoli dominated and we lost the 5th. It was a deflating experience but we still have a chance to make a medal match if we win tomorrow.

We’ve noticed all the victorian teams have an iPad with a statistics software on them. By contrast I’m using a stats sheet i knocked up in excel printed on the back of old resumes I now use as scrap paper.

I did another shopping trip during the recovery session between the games. The girls had made a list on my iphone as we drove back. It was a welcome change with the radio off as they discussed what they needed. they asked for 8 boxes of tissues and various losenges. The sniffles are definitely coming.

We had mexican for dinner tonight. Chicken enchilada’s and beef/bean mix. I got some corn tortillas so they didn’t feel like they were eating wraps all the time (we’ve been eating wheat wraps everyday for lunch). I made everything ready to go for us when we got back late. We ate dinner together in the coach’s cabin while watching Glee.

My laundry errands were less successful. The toploader at the caravan sucks and my clothes were drenched in 2 inches of water at the bottom. I put them in the dryer when we got back from our second game and ended up spending more money on drying garments than it would have cost to replace them. to top it off i forgot to throw in the item that would be hardest to dry – my trackpants. As a result i’m typing this post in thermal pants while other coaches walk in and out to discuss stuff with Simon. There’s a leak in our wall and some of the stuff i tried to dry are still wet.

The other SA teams have had some losses too: The U17M lost today and will have to win both games tomorrow to make the gold; The U19W lost to Victoria and might be out of gold contention; The U17W look like they’re out too; U19M lost to Victoria and have a tough game against QLD tomorrow to get through; The U21M lost to WA & QLD and beat NSW in 5 sets, but still have a chance.

Some of the SA parents are staying at Jen Sadler’s parents house. Since moving from Perth to Adelaide for the AIS beach programme, the Sadler’s have really adopted SA as a second home. They’ve come out to support many of the SA teams that Jen isn’t in and proudly cheer for us in their own home town. Of course, they cheer for the WA teams too and sit on the fence whenever it’s SA v WA.

Vic & WA tomorrow. Will be a tough day. There’s torrential rain outside and they say State Emergency Services will be up all night fixing stuff.

AJVC – Wednesday

July 8, 2010

We lost again today. This time to WA in straight sets. It was a bit disheartening, but the positive was we got our libero, Lauren back playing, albeit in a limited capacity as a serving sub. Our Physio at the moment is Australian Women’s middle blocker Tara West.

Whenever we drive in the van, the girls insist on having the radio on really loud. Well the speakers are in the front so we have to have it really loud so they can hear at the back. I’m kind of getting used to having bad commercial pop and dance music being played at high volume while driving. It’s feeling less embarrassing when i pull up next to another car. I swear the same 6 songs keep getting airline across all the identical radio stations.

After we drop the girls off at the accommodation after a morning game, we’ve gotten into a routine of me doing some shopping for dinner and meals while Simon takes them for a recovery session in the pool. We’re making great use of the pool and I’ll be sure to find out what are some good activities to do for recovery sessions. Simon’s big on rest, recovery and food at a tournament. “Eat first, Sleep second” is his motto.

We had chicken & Pumpkin risotto tonight. Kirsten’s idea. I found a great recipe off the web. Lauren, Maddie and Tahlia helped me make it. We wanted to eat early and get to the U21M game, but it took a bit longer. We ended up getting to the game after the first set and they were unlucky to lose in 5 sets to a raging WA.We gave the boys our leftover food when they got back.

After winning against all 4 teams in the first 2 days, the U21M coach Mike would probably be less than impressed with the double round robin format. at this age, the payers have injuries and 9 matches in 6 days is a bit much. Also, the art of the tournament is in beating every team once and finishing on top for the medal rounds. Play them again and they work you out. It’s a competitive draw in U21M with WA and QD both with a lot of AIS players and SA being the surprise performer at the moment.

The first of our second round robin games start tomorrow verses QLD at 9:00am. Courtney asked me to get tissues at the shops. Might be the sniffles coming. It’s supposed to rain the next 2 days too. The weather was good while it lasted!

AJVC – Tuesday

July 7, 2010

Not a great day. We lost both games today. NSW in 4 sets in the morning. Victoria in the Afternoon. Katie Bartoli did a job on us every time she came up to serve and we struggled all round. Vic were just too good with a number of National Junior Reps.

Made Spaghetti Bolognaise.  I wanted to get through a week without making it but i caved to the cliche. without an oven we cooked up the garlic bread with a fry pan. Tasted good. I made way too much and so the girls gave the leftovers to the U21 Men, who have had 2 games each day, won them all and come back late.

WA and Chicken & Pumpkin risotto tomorrow

AJVC – Monday

July 5, 2010

We (U21 women) lost today against QLD 3:1 (21-25, 15-25, 26-24, 18-25). To top it off, our Libero (Lauren) got injured leaving us with only 7. Hopefully she’ll be good tomorrow for our two games against NSW (9:00am) & VIC (3:00pm).

The warning light still won’t go off in the minibus. We’re all stumped.

  • U21M beat WA (who were highly favoured) in 3 sets. They came from 2:0 down to beat QLD in 5.
  • U17W had a couple of injuries and lost to WA 3:1 (25-25, 23-25, 25-15, 16-25) and NZ in 5 sets
  • U19W beat QLD in 4 sets (32-30, 25-22, 23-25, 25-22)
  • U17M beat WA gold
  • U19M beat QLD White in 3 sets (25-15, 15-16, 25-20) and WA Gold in 3 sets (27-25, 25-16, 25-16)

Cooked Butter Chicken tonight. Usually tastes like crap when you use the sauce in the jar so i googled how you could improve a jar of Taylor’s. Half a tub of cream, some tomato puree, sprinkle some guaram masala & cumin. At the stadium Lyn Shippey gave me a foolproof way of cooking rice in the microwave. worked a treat.

AJVC – Saturday & Sunday

July 5, 2010

It’s been fairly relaxing the last couple of days (for me at least). I’m still making the adjustment to being a manager instead of coaching. I’m still dropping the ball on a few things. Simon has a lot on his plate organising the trip as well as coaching a team. I’m driving the minibus and still struggling to find my way around. the roads regularly change names at intersection. one confusing road we stay on zig zags, but if you go straight, it changes into another street. I’ve yet to make a trip where i haven’t made a wrong turn.

The weather is beautiful. Like Adelaide on a perfect Autumn day. But cold at night. Perth looks and feels a lot like adelaide. But more conservative. and that’s saying something. Everything is closed after hours and on Sundays. The people are kind and in shops they address you as “sir”.

The stadium is excellent and by far the most impressive venue I’ve seen. Brand new floors and lots of room. The opening ceremony was short 22 minutes. The technical meeting, not so. The debacle over the seedings and draws in the U17s were resolved. kind of. Four that go from one pool have a non repeating round robin with wins carrying over. the three from the other pool have to play everyone. I guess people got what they wanted without embarrassing anyone else.

We had a Roast Lamb dinner last night. I had bought all the ingredients and realised when we got back that none of the cabins had ovens. But Murph showed me how to do a stove top roast in a big pot (he studied cooking at Regency college for a year before choosing a different vocation). I also brought the wrong camera cable and can’t upload photos. poop.

First game today against QLD at 3pm. Simon is already there scouting. will post results up later.


Holiday Limbo

July 2, 2010

The last day of the 2nd school term is always a danger week for getting teams on the court. A lot of people go away and it can be confusing. There’s no state league round but there was a “Friday” League men’s game between Norwood and USC LIon.  With 9 regular players unavailable, I ended up having 19 players play across my 4 junior girls teams at Norwood. Each team had 6 players (one had 7) with each team having 2 players having to play a second match. I’m sure a lot of other teams and clubs felt the pinch too and a lot of them would have been fielding less than usual rosters. To get through such a round without a forfeit is an achievement in itself (we were extremely lucky that 3 of the teams played at the same venue and different times allowing people to play 2 games. However, it was all the more memorable that all 4 teams won! I’ve never had a round where all the teams i worked with won. It was just satisfying to see the sleepless hours of taking and analysing stats, working with teams and individuals to improve performance all paid off (even if it is for only one week). The improvement in a lot of players was great to see. It was similarly pleasant a couple of weeks back when on the day before my birthday, all 3 Austral womens teams won at State League. 2 of those games were long 5-set games (both against norwood ironically), and it was good that the League Women finally got a win and the reserves their second win (they didn’t win a game last year).

It’s holidays now and junior and state league takes 2 weeks off. With a big contingent of players in high school and uni who go away on holiday or AJVC, there’s just not enough people around. I’ll be off to AJVC managing the U21 Women. I’ll blog somewhere with the team’s results. maybe here, maybe the VSA blog, maybe ozvolley. Looking forward to going to Perth for the first time.