The Silly Season

I’m reading a book at the moment about the 1992 US Presidential Elections. Coaching tournaments is a lot like a political campaign. You spend weeks or months preparing for a massive decider that will determine if you’re “candidate” finishes on top. At the same time, the other campaign(s) are trying to do the same, and you don’t really know who will triumph until the very end.

Elections have debates and polls. Tournament preparations have practice matches and statistics. Elections have primaries and pre-selections. Tournaments have smaller qualifying tournaments. Both have plenty of anxiety, stress, long anticipation, energy and excitement.

Preparing for AVSC, I feel a lot like a Campaign Strategist. Maybe I’m like James Carville, but always working for the independent candidates. The last school term before AVSC is always my busiest and most stressful time of year. I’m glad I had bit of a break after the winter season.

With State Schools Cup finished and Willunga High qualifying for 2 honours events and possibly a 3rd pending a wildcard, I’ve been asked to come back and help out. I had previously taken an indefinite break due to dwindling numbers at training. I wasn’t enjoying driving an hour each way to trainings where no one would turn up when I could coach people who did that were a lot closer. This is also the 15th anniversary of Willunga’s involvement at AVSC, and founder John Griffen’s last as a staff member before he retires. I could never say no to Griffo when he put it like that. I’ll be training 4-5 teams: The U17 and Open girls together for 2 hrs on Tuesday night; the U16 girls and some of the U15 girls for 2 hrs on Sunday, and the open boys for 2 hrs straight after (IF they turn up).

Meanwhile, the Concordia guys have qualified for OHB and I’m keen to keep helping them at training. Most are in yr 12 so it will be interesting to see how they fit it all in with the exams. They’ve been terrific to work with. They study, get good grades, have jobs, other sports, and about 14-15 of them consistently turn up to training each week. It’s also just good fun to work with and learn off my old coach Tony. It’s always exciting to see a new team play an open honours event. The trainings will be 2 hrs on Sunday night after my Willunga sessions.

Then there’s Summer League with the Norwood Bears. There’s my normal Wednesday night training. With the success of our Thursday night trainings with Paringa Park Primary, we’re continuing our satellite presence there with more teams. So I’ll be there to help build it up. After doing really well at State Schools Cup, The Paringa kids are really keen to go to AVSC, but haven’t definitely decided yet. It’s a tricky one with graduations in the same week. I don’t know if I’ll go to many of the summer league games. Usually the kids just play without coaches or we get new younger coaches to do the games. I’ll go to a few games, but I think I’ll take a few Fridays off.

Lastly I’m coaching St Ignatius for the term in the Catholic School Girls League. I’m filling ion for their regular coach, Tom, who is going on a long overseas holiday. I’ve never done this competition before so I’m curious to see what it’s like. It’s effectively only 6 weeks, and sometimes because of exeats, exams and hot weather policy there may only be a 2 or 3 games.

So to tally it up, until the end of AVSC, that’s about: 14hrs a week. And about 10 teams.

But like any other election, the day after the polls will be quiet nothingness.

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One Response to “The Silly Season”

  1. SAVolleyball mum Says:

    ahhh Huy it may be a quiet nothingness but there will always be those that appreciate your effort 🙂

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