I did not always like girls' basketball; in fact I hated it the first time I saw it being played. I'm not sure of the year (60s) but I remember passing a gym and watching a game I thought was basketball. Girls were making weird passes and stopping at certain places on the court and standing there as if quicksand would engulf them if they moved out of there section.
I could not believe my eyes, who in the world would play this game and I am sure Dr. Naismith did not create this game.
Perhaps some history is needed:
Basketball was invented in 1891. Dr. James Naismith was a teacher at the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. One day, while trying to find a way to interest his bored gym students, he made up the game basketball. In his version, players used a soccer ball (of course they couldn't use a basketball because it hadn't been invented yet). For hoops they used peach baskets nailed to the lower rail of the gym balcony. There were nine players per team instead of five. Oh yeah and they were all male.
It didn't take women long to catch on. The first women's basketball team was started just a few weeks later when teachers from a nearby school saw Dr. Naismith's students playing and thought it looked like fun. A few miles up the Connecticut River was the Home of Smith College for girls in Northampton. In 1892, the physical education teacher, Senda Berenson used it in her classes.
The purpose of the game was for physical fitness for her ladies. Senda would change some of Dr. Naismith's rules to strive teamwork and cooperation, rather then competition. She would break the court into 3 zones and 9 players would exist on each team. Each zone would have 3 players in it. No player could leave her zone. The player could only hold the ball 3 seconds and dribble the ball 3 times before passing. No grabbing or stealing of the ball was allowed as well. This reduced the ability for single players to become stars and required the effort of all.
Basketball was incredibly popular among women in the early 1900s. Women and men's games were often played together in "double headers." However, during those early years, girls' basketball was a far different game than the fast-paced, run and gun style to which we are accustomed today. The girls were always appropriately attired, which usually meant some form of bloomers or a dress.
Because of the risks of physical exertion on such delicate frames, the rules for girls adopted in 1899 provided that the floor was divided into three sections. A player assigned to that section could not leave it. No player could dribble more than three times, and stealing the ball was prohibited. The halves were fifteen minutes each, with a ten minute 'rest' in between.
Teams could field anywhere from five to ten players. The starting lineup was composed of seven players: a center, a right, left and center guard, and a right, left and center forward.
In 1923 the first lady, Mrs. Herbert Hoover caught wind of the double headers and created a national committee to check it out. The committee was shocked by what they found. Young women athletes playing in front of male audiences? Reprehensible! The practice was stopped. Soon after states began to close women's sports programs. It was believed that women were too dainty for vigorous physical activity.
Things began to change in 1972 when Congress passed amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Among many other cool things, Title IX of the Federal Education Amendments Act of 1972 made it illegal to prevent people from participating in any educational group or activity that got government money for support. Classes and extracurricular activities had to be offered to all students. Girls began playing with five players just like the boys and the rules with some variation (i.e., size of ball). That amendment really changed things for female athletes:
- In 1970-71 - 294,000 girls played high school sports.
- In 1976-77 - that number increased to 1,645,000.
- Today over 13.5 million females play basketball!
In the mid 1980s I started liking girls basketball, it has increased steadily and my fondness for the game increased when I saw the passion and work ethic that high school girls put into their game. I began coaching girls in the early 1990s.
The 2000s brought me to scouting and helping a number of friends/coaches who coached girls in high school. I continue to do it to this day. Why do I do this is a question I often get asked. Answer - I like being around others who have a passion for the game AND because I am not a coach, I am not on any set schedule, I just help when needed.
Last weekend I had the privilege to spend time with a local high school team at a pre-season camp that has a rich history in girls' basketball. It was my pleasure to hang out with the Freshmen, JV and Varsity Coaches. All of them are knowledgeable in the game and are devoted to leading, coaching and teaching the girls the correct way to play the game and stress fundamentals.
Click on PICS to Enlarge
They are good people who are devoted to the game care (on & off court) for the girls and make sure all get time to play and best of all they allow them to have fun. The girls are eager and listen to each coach intensively because they want to improve their game and become part of a winning tradition.
That is the BIG difference between the boys and girls game. The girls are a joy to be around, why because they listen, and they execute to the best of their abilities what the coaches have laid out in the game plan. They practice hard, lift weights and run as much as any boys team. Did I mention they listen and execute?
I no longer will coach boys because I love the purity of girls' basketball, it is played the way the game was intended and it is played as a team.
It's going to be a great season, stop back for updates --- qualityg
Wow! The girls finished another 3 - day weekend camp. The outside temperature for the three days was in the low 90s. No telling how hot it was on court side. The girls played a total of 11 games in 3 days and continue to execute and reduce the mistakes from the previous camp.
So why do I like girls basketball? Not once did I hear the girls complain about the heat, not once did I hear anyone want to go home and not once did I hear anyone groan about getting home at 10:00 pm and getting back the next day for a 9:00 AM game.
As I walked through the different courts and saw the various teams (over 30) relaxing between games I never heard loud music, loud voices or foul language. I wish I could same the same for boys camps.
It's also gratifying to sit and talk with our team coaches about basketball, everyone has input and they compliment each other very well. Each one learns from the other and each week their collective knowledge grows.
The girls now get a 2 week downtime with no coaching or practices (w/basketball) with 3 or more players. CLIC PICS to ENLARGE
The girls are planning their own conditioning program to get ready for tryouts Monday August 14th. I hope to join a few sessions so I can lose a few pounds. I'm really proud of the seniors and how they take charge and make sure everyone is doing OK.
Most of the country has been in a heat wave for the past few days. Today we are predicted to hit 95 degrees (F). Yesterday we tied a record at 97.
I met the ladies at the track this morning and they wasted little time to start their stretching. They all ran a mile under 9:30 (min/sec) and continued with various exercises, sprints, shuffles and encouragement for each other.
At one session they even chased the rabbit (see Pics above).
A few blisters, slight cramps and a lake of sweat (not just from me). No complaints no groaning and moaning the whole workout. It is so rewarding to watch these ladies outside of an organized practice to see how they care for one another. These ladies are true
Each morning while the team was working out there were two gentlemen walking the track. One asked if I was a coach? I said no, just a helper. Oh, do you have a daughter on the team? Yes, all of them and you should see the ones that are not here!
Part IV - Updated 8/08/06
qualityg "5 E model for player excellence": Click on model to Enlarge
I have added (9/15/06) another E to my Model. It is called "Execute" and it comes after Empower. There must be proper Execution in order for the performance to be Excellent regardless of how much Empowerment is granted. Many Coaches Encourage and Reward Efforts regardless if there good or bad because they don't know the proper method.
PART V - Updated 8/18/06
Tryouts are always a stressful time for any athlete hoping to make the team. I was privileged to observe both the Varsity and Junior Varsity tryouts this week.
In today's sports world you can not just show up and try out and think you will make the team. Number one you must be in condition and two come with a good attitude and be ready to work hard.
The Varsity girls went through 3 - 4 (JV - 2-3) hours of drills, exercises and scrimmaging that would put any person's head in the puke bucket if they did not take off season conditioning and practicing to heart. My admiration for these girls grows as I watch them gut it out at each practice and come back ready for more the next day.
I'm happy to report that all the girls who tried out for Varsity made the team and there will be enough girls for both a JV and Freshmen team too.
This would not have been possible without the planning, sharing, motivation and teamwork of all the coaches. A great staff and an efficient system is being built.
It is so neat to see past players coming back to coach and share their knowledge with the girls. Great Role Models!
Two weeks until our first game. SCRAMBLE LADIES!
Pre-Season ratings were announced today (8/23) in the Detroit Free Press by the Son of Swami (SOS). Unfortunately or fortunately our team or players did not get any mention. I'm not to surprised by the team non-rating because we are moving up a class but we have some "really" good players. At least two of them should have gotten mentioned. I am happy for a good friend of mine (P.A.) whose team was rated number one in the state.
I hope to comment again about this at the end of the season because I did send and Email to SOS and he responded in a timely fashion telling me he would have rated two of our players if they were good enough to be rated.
I was reminded from a friend about not putting additional pressure on players because of what is stated or not stated in the newspaper or other peoples opinion. What matters most is the people who are closest to you and care the most about you as a person and not just a player.
Just remember Ladies "It's not where you start it's where you finish that matters most."
Updated 8/24/06 - 3 Way Scrimmage
The coaches did a good thing in setting up a 3-way scrimmage prior to the season opening next week. Most scrimmages give you the opportunity to work on some last minute gaps in offense and defense and it provides some banging and in your shirt defense that sometimes does not always happen in practice. This scrimmage was no exception.
Many of the girls were frustrated with their performance, but that is OK because they wanted to know what to improve and they also had a good idea what that was prior to their coaches telling them what they thought. Some had off nights shooting and questioned me what was wrong. Nothing I replied just keep playing and shooting when you have a good shot. These girls are prepared and ready, their hard work and talent will take over and they will be fine.
Coaches need to remember to realize that is difficult to try and fix everthing at once, but you can do "something" at once. Prioritize the opportunities for improvement and make sure you are not concentrating on symptoms rather than causes.
Intensity ladies, it must be focused and executed through out the game. Stop thinking so much and allow your mind and body to do what they have been taught through practice and repetition. HAVE FUN!
Part VI - Updated 8/30/06
Season Begins + Scouting Reports
Scouting can be a lonely activity so I try to have as much fun as possible while I sit and write notes as fast as I can while I’m trying to tabulate stats on the side.
Last night was the first scouting trip of the season. It was important because we play both teams (one tomorrow). I document each team for a half. Sometimes I write notes on the wrong sheet.
I often sit as high up as possible in the center of the arena. I have been asked many times why I sit alone, even if I’m not scouting. It goes back to when my kids played and I could not stand sitting next to whining and vocal parents who knew nothing about what goes on at practice and spouting off why their kid is better than the others and should be playing more. Others bitch that their kid won’t get seen and will not get a scholarship and the majority complain about the coach. I can’t and will not tolerate rude behavior and it is best for all that I am isolated from such BS. The team I help with now has a more community atmosphere and it really makes me proud to work with nice kids, coaches, administrators and parents.
Sitting through three games (Freshmen, JV & Varsity) can be a chore so I like to have my back against a wall. Some question why three games? The reason is if the school has a good “system” you can learn much from the plays and defenses run by the underclass players.
Sometimes opposing coaches point up at me (I hope that is the pointer finger) and wonder what team I represent, some know me but others do not. I can be spotted very easily if I’m scouting all black teams. My Duke folder signed by Coach K at one of his coaching clinics also brings quick looks and strange comments.
Last night was no exception. I started out alone at the beginning of the Varsity Game but by the end I had four Fathers sitting close to me in the upper deck. After the game they approached me and asked what school I represent. I told them I scout for at least three teams during the season.
What did you think of the game? Well, I’m not sure if the winners were that good or the losers were that bad. Down by 16 in the 3rd quarter and the losers were still running the same defense and applied no pressure was strange to me even if it was the first game of the season. How does your team look? Very good, we have very talented players and good coaches. When do we play you? We play your team this Thursday and the other in two weeks. Should we be worried? Yes. Short direct answers (yes/no) get them every time.
The part about scouting I dislike is not being able to see our teams play on game night. I check my watch frequently and visualize the coaches giving commands and encouragement. At least I can watch the game videos on the weekends. The coach usually calls me later in the evening and we discuss what took place and the best method for getting ready to play our next opponent.
My goal for a scouting report is to provide enough information that results in 4-6 points whether it be on office or defense.
I almost forgot we won our opener by 28 points.
Perfect Example of WHY I Like Girls' Basketball
The below article from Associated Press is a perfect example that good sound fundamental basketball will beat a bunch of individuals who are even considered the best in the world as individuals. The influx of foreign players in the United States is further proof that Basketball will circle back to its original roots and be played the way it was intended.
If Street Fighting is not Boxing, then "Why" is Street Ball considered Basketball?
That is why Baseball is the longest running "True" sport in the United States. Little has changed to disrupt the foundational elements of the game & the RULES are ENFORCED.
USA BASKETBALL: Greece carves up Team
As they warmed up before Friday's semifinal against Greece, the U.S. players put on a jam session for the fans. Dwight Howard dunked emphatically. Dwyane Wade bounced the ball off the backboard, caught it and stuffed. Elton Brand jammed an alley-oop pass. Finally, LeBron James flew down the lane for a tomahawk.
As the crowd roared, the Greeks lined up at the other end and shot free throws. The moment foretold Greece's 101-95 victory in the semifinals of the world championships.
The U.S. has dazzling skill; the Greeks are a dazzling team.
"We have to learn the international game better," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We learned a lot today because we played a team that plays amazing basketball and plays together."
"I think we showed everybody that maybe we're not very good athletes like them, but we know how to play the game," said Greek guard Theodoros Papaloukas, who carved up the U.S. defense with 12 assists. "We are clever."
I wrote in my original post about girls' listening and playing the game as a team and learning the fundamentals. Even as good as Coach K is, he could not get the so-called best players in the world to listen to his team concept.
Belly Sprints & Benchmark Games
As a basketball season progresses there are a few games on the schedule that I always consider Benchmark Games. These are game that let the coaches know where their team is in relation to their top competition not only during the regular season but in the state playoffs.
For our team we had such a game on Thursday past (9/8/06). We played a team that is in a class above us and is known for their speed and atheletic players. Scouting reports indicated they were a well coached team and they had three very good players (actually four).
Preparing for this game was both fun and rewarding, not only for the Varsity but the Junior Varsity Team as well. Practices were well planned and the coaches implemented their strategy with great success since we won both games. The Varsity was down by 12 points at one point and came back to win the game by 2 points. Click on PICS to ENLARGE
Both teams turned up the intensity at practice, they even did "Belly Sprints" that left most of the players very sore last Monday. No complaints, many even expressed that the sprints helped them out during the last quarter of the comeback during the Varsity game. That is good because I bet coach has them do it again and again and...
As usual I tried to stay away (voice distance) as far as I could from the bench during the game. I was so proud to see players gutting out these wins. All the girls reached down and played as a team. Oh there were some great individual performances but all in the context of winning the game.
Best shout out at officials (G.C.)
We won two games last week (4-0).
Next week is rivaly week against our cross town rivals and our number one Catholic nemesis.
What a week. Last Friday Night was Homecoming and four of the players were on the homecoming court. One of them one and they all had a great time.
Tuesday's game had a lot of emotion and proving who was the best team and who had the best players. Some of the girls went to grade school together and play on the same AAU Teams in the summer.
On that night we had the best players, team and coaching staff (including JV and Freshman). It was fun to watch the girls celebrate after a 30 point win (short-lived). Because ...
Wednesday brought a new focus to concentrate on our Catholic Rivals for Thursday Night. The Varsity game was well played by both teams.
We had a 13 point lead in the second half and at one point in the 4th quarter it looked like we would lose our lead. A timely time out and key plays and scores allowed us to win the game. It was an exciting game but not one of our best.
I believe the ladies were playing on emotional fumes by the end of the game. There were more mental mistakes than physical. After the week they had it was a tribute to them and the coaches for keeping focus on one game at a time.
Important Note: If it were not for the ladies who often sit on the bench during close games we would not be in the position we are today. If you could see how hard they work at practice and push the starters it is no wonder we have some of the top players in our region. Many of them would start on other teams. They improve each week to help the team. They are the heart and soul of our team -
Next week League Play begins and guess what? It is against our number one league rival.
We are now 6-0.
Part X - On the Road Again
Sometimes getting to scouting games on time can be a real pain in the butt because of traffic and construction. Last Thursday was one of those days. One wrong turn cost me 40 minutes in a construction zone to go one mile. To make it worse they had they huge street cleaning trucks that just blew dust and dirt in to your car while you sat there waiting to inch along.
I arrived late for the start of the JV game (End of 1Q) and the game was already a rout. The Varsity game was better and I gathered some good notes and stats for the coaches. The best part of the evening was listening to parents in the crowd talking about our team and a couple of our special players. They never asked me what team I scout for but they did ask if I had seen our team and were our players that good. I responded the team is good and the players are the real deal.
When this happens I keep thinking back to the Email I sent SOS (See 8/23/06 update above). We have played two teams that were rated much higher than us and each team had a girl rated in the top 50 players. We totally dominated the players rated and two of our girls had Monster nights (20 + points, 10+ rebounds and multiple assists in each game). Oh yeah, we won both games.
Now that we are in Leauge Play getting ready for teams can be dangerous especially if the better team plays to the level of their opponents. Sometimes players relax (especially on defense) and play partial games. This happened at Tuesday's game but we were still able to win.
The coaches kicked them into high gear for our next game.
Last night's game was pure "Defense Intensity" for two halves and we won by 20+ points. Every player contributed and even though our starters did not play but a half their effort and play was in sync with all ladies playing as a team and each player creating create havoc & turnovers.
Free Throws need to improve so hopefully we can follow one our key player's follow-through (See wrist & hand, click to enlarge) when shooting for good back spin and shooter's bounce.
We are now 8-0 and rated in the top ten of our class in the State.
Now it is the Womens turn. There will be no world championships gold for either U.S. basketball team this year. Russia beat the two-time defending champion United States 75-68 in the semifinals of the women's world championships.
Russia took advantage of poor shooting and sloppy ball-handling by the U.S. to take a 58-38 lead after three quarters.
Last Tuesday I stayed close to home to scout a game against a future foe. The foe is located on an island and often think of themselves as a separate and elite community. They won the game in a "Boring Fundamentally Sound Game." They are a big team and are in a state class (B) above us in size. However, we are a better team and will win the game when we play them next month.
Thursday was fun. I traveled with the teams (V & JV) to a game that was a 90-minute bus ride. Prior to boarding the bus the ladies were treated to sub sandwiches and gator-aide.
The bus ride to the game was a quiet one with little talk from the players while most listen to their I-Pods and did their homework.
The coaches sat in the front of the bus strategizing about the game and going over scouting reports for a game next week. It has been a long time since I rode a team bus and I had forgotten the feel of the hard and upright seats, the smell of bus fumes and the constant sounds of a school bus chugging along the highway hitting every bump it could find. It was Great!
The JVs won their game but my scouting report should have been better. The coaches and players did a good job and we won the game with all players getting into the action and contributing to a team victory.
The Varsity game was well coached by both teams and the players gave there all in a game that we won. I always worry about a team that has good guards and are fundamentally sound regardless of their size. The game and battles are won up top and we have had excellent guard play all year long.
We have players that could easily score 10 – 15 points per game on other teams but we are lucky to have a number of good scorers that leaves other players to shut down opposing players with good defense. These players often go unnoticed except to those who know and appreciate what it takes to make a good team. So take heart and have a "A. Ball."
Remember - "Be Agressive, Be Smart, Stay Agressive."- qg on Defense
The bus ride home was a little (I mean lot) noisier. It was announced that our Freshmen Team had also won their game ( they have worked hard in spight of games getting cancelled) at home so it meant we scored a “Hat Trick (3 goals) for the night.
As the bus rolled out of the school parking after the game many of the players began to eat snacks and left over sub sandwiches. The coaches again sat in the friend going over the game while the head coached reviewed game film through his recorder.
The highlight of the night (other than the wins of course) for me was a song about a Moose, not an everyday Moose, but a “Stinky” Moose named Fred. Perhaps Billie (Ms. All-Creative) will share the lyrics so I may post it here for others to learn and enjoy.
To read about the "Story of Fred" go to http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2006/10/story-of-fred-stinky-moose.html
Next Week - Scouting Future Opponents
I scouted three potential future opponents this past week. They are good teams with good records and play a tough schedule. One of them we may see in the Catholic League Finals and two of them we may see in the state district and regional finals.
On Tuesday I scouted a team with an All-State player who is very talented and will play at a Division I college next year. With the game tied at 34-34 she went down with an ankle sprain(Ouch) that limited her time and mobility the rest of the game and her team lost.
I doubted she would be able to play her next game in two days because she went down three times in pain only to keep coming into the game. She scored "40" (Ouch).
While writing notes I try to match-up up our players with the key players on the floor. I envision the game and see our girls playing at their potential (for four quarters) and winning the games with the proper preparation, strategy and game plan in place. We are not good enough to just show up and win, we must approach each game as if our opponent is the best team we will play this year and plan accordingly. I will find the opponents weaknesses, the players need to execute and we will win.
Driving home last Thursday night from scouting I did not receive my normal call from the coaches or place one to him and her asking what happened at our games. We had beaten the team we were playing earlier in the season and I was "somewhat" confident that we would this game too.
Somewhat in the previous paragraph means the last time we played this team and after I reviewed the tape (did not see live) I thought we played the worst two quarters of basketball all year. In addition playing teams for the second time in league competition with us going in undefeated and ranked in the state may have given some players the impression of “Entitlement.”
Well we lost and my worst fear is there may have been a lack of concern, worry or who cares attitude. Some may even say what is the big deal we only lost by two. Some may not want to talk to me with those feelings.
Wisely, the coach called for a meeting last Friday night with the JV coaches to plan and set strategy for the remainder of the season. The coach asked each of his coaches at the meeting for input and all provided good information upon which to build for future games.
The team that beat us last Thursday is also in the Catholic league and they are slotted in our District for the state run. We will review tapes, we will plan, we will strategize, the girls will play to their potential and we will WIN.
"Sometimes it is better (faster & efficient) to show what is right and then replicate as opposed to concentrating a long time on what is wrong and how all the problems will get fixed."
Review, Reflect, Refocus & Recommit = Wins and "The Clash of the Titans"
Only one game this past week and we rebounded from last week with a solid effort and won by a good margin. We had a bye one Thursday that allowed an extra practice with some new drills (i.e., Duke) being implemented that should help us with some future opponents.
The past three weeks have been very tough for the coaches and players because of our leauge schedule. There is not much parity and this allows too much time for other distractions off the court that creep into a team's chemistry.
Through some good communication meetings and listening by the coaches and players I believe they are now back on track and the last game was a good starting point for refocusing to playing Monarch Basketball. Click Pic to Enlarge.
I went to scout a game between to state powerhouses. Both teams even though not in the top class (based on # of students) are rated in the top ten in the state. One of them may be our opponent down the road in the state final run.I hate it when my directions are not correct and I spend time searching for the school. Being a manly "Man" I never stop and ask for directions.
Fortunately I arrived 10 minutes before the game but had to park down the street because the parking lot was full.
Inside, the gym was packed with spectators, news reporters, scouts and big time college recruiters. One team is a private school (considered the best in state) that has produced many of the states top players and won numerous championships. The other school is Charter School that has benefited from the closure of many of Detroit's Public Schools and landed some very good players (our future opponent).
As often happens the game did not live up to the hype. Our future (hopefully) opponent beat the upper class team by a 15 point margin. From a scouting perspective I gathered some good information that I believe will add to creating a solid game plan for us to win.
With so many people in the stands I did not have the luxury of finding an isolated spot to sit. This meant I had to sit by a number of parents (the following happens in every gym). Complain & Bitch about the Varsity Coaches, the Assistant Coaches, the JV Coaches. "My girls does not get enough playing time." "The coaches don't like my daughter so they don't play her." All of the coaches band together and only talk to certain parents and favor their kids." The parents who give the most money make sure their kids get the most playing time." I even hate writing these comments as much as I do being forced to listen to them unles I want to miss the game.
By this time I hope you (reader) have concluded the teams playing are two of the best in the state. Believe me if their daughters were better than the ones playing then something is wrong. However, when their child does sub in (sometimes) it is easy to detect why they don't have more playing time. No wonder many coaches quit. I realize some coaches are just in it for the money, but most of the coaches I deal with truly care about their players as people and students more than they do as basketball players. I for one would not be associated with any program that did not have this ethic.
Speaking for myself as a "helper" and not as a coach who put in much more time than me I am gone 5-6 early evenings and nights a week. This does not count the occasional open shooting on Sunday. Not looking for praise or thank-you just an example of what goes into a regular season.
I have used the following cartoon before but it applies to how I feel sitting in the stands at some games.
As I have written before parents have NO idea what goes on in practice, school, on the bus, etc... that all impact playing time. So many want to relive their miserable athletic careers they try to play through their child. They hate their daughter's coach because they hated their coach for not playing them when they were in school.
I even heard one mother say I'm writing a letter to the Head Coach and AD letting them know how I feel. I bet the gutless toad won't sign it!
Update - Wednesday 10/17/06
The "Duke" drill is working and the ladies are responding. Two black eyes, one bloody nose, three elbows to the chops, two bruised butts and a whole bunch of shots being swatted (NF, KA & KM --> oh yeah)!
I now owe 12 double cheeseburgers and 2 large pizzas.
POSTERS & POETRY IN MOTION - I just sat back and enjoyed lady athletes at their best. No pictures, I just enjoyed the moments. Way cool!
BATTLE - "Toughness is OUR choice" - The girls are getting tougher, most even like the new Duke Drill. Those that are sick, no longer make complaints, those that are injured mend fast and play through pain and those that do the Duke Drill in practice and the game will hear "AND ONE."
Starting Phase III - Catholic High School League Championships
Our season is broken down into four phases (Pre-Leauge, Catholic League, Catholic Leauge Championships & State Final). This week we are preparing for the CHSL. It starts this Wednesday (10/25) and ends Sunday (11/5).
We will be seeded number one in our Division and it will take three wins to be Champions. What I did not know is we have never won a Catholic Leauge Championship.
We started off by having a planning meeting last night (10/20). Some game film was watched and the coaches agreed the team needs to step up our tempo, identify mismatches on offense, get even tougher and win the battle on defense at every position on every possession.
We won our last two leauge games this past week.
Our record is now 14 - 1.
I now owe 15 double cheeseburgers and 2 large pizzas and 2 ice cream cakes. Extra 2 ??? if the Bigs (KNK) can get 2 "clean" blocks on the wings.
Part XV"Special" Seniors Take Charge & Chid 1000+
We won our first Catholic Leauge Tournament game and two familiar foes await in the wings. The Semi-Final Game is Thursday and the Championship Game is next Sunday.
The Seniors on this year's team are a Special group. They are so diversified you can't fit them into the same box. Three of them are captains but they all play a leadership role in their own manner. We have all types; loud, quiet, colorful, and hard workers. My favorite are the ones that "Lead by Example".
Click Pics to ENLARGE
Leading by Example is the toughest role because it is a season long grueling job that generates the team to new levels and keeps momentum in both practices and games. If you are fortunate enough to be a captain and a "Leader by Example" your role multiplies.
Most of the time things go pretty smooth but there are times when coaches can be a pain in the butt and seem to expect too much from this type of player on a daily basis. Most coaches do this because they know the player can take communications and commands and make sure all her teammates are ready to follow her even if that player feels signaled out and things don't go her way (you see every player has a bad day, sometimes many bad days where they feel the coaches are against them).
We have such a special leader on our team and if this leader has a bad day or game and does not keep up her leadership qualities it affects the whole team AND coaches.
Our team is very fortunate, of all the players that I have been associated with both boys and girls these girls are way ahead in terms of leading by example. Special Is as Special Does!
Good Coaches, Good Support and Good Programs produce Good Players. The team I help has all of these qualities. It is very special to see the A.D., the Principal and the Pastor at the games cheering on the team and supporting them both on and off the court.
Some of the folks that get overlooked are the announcers, book keepers, time keepers, parents working the concession stands (plus taking tickets and cooking, etc...) and of course the fans.
The reason I recognized those people is because last week one of our very talented, hard working and most of all a good person scored her 1000th point in her career. This athelete also has one more year to play to add to her legacy in Basketball and each sport she plays. Best of all she is the first person to tell you she could not have done it without the support of the people I mentioned and of course her teammates.
Shout Out For the Week -
"OTHER TEAMS WILL SHOOT 3S, BUT WE WILL GET 3 POINT PLAYS
BY DUKEing IT OUT"
We won our first two Catholic Playoff games and we now play for the Catholic League Championship of our Division tomorrow. It should be a good game since this team is the only one to beat us this year. It should be a fun game because we are not the same team we were 3 weeks ago.
I can't wait ...
Part XVII – School History Is Made
Today was a great day for the Lady Monarchs. They won their first Catholic League Championship in the school’s history. It was a very competitive game from the start to the finish. It took a full 32 minutes to secure a win. It is possible that we may see this same team again during the State Tournament run that begins Monday November 13th.
Click Pics To Enlarge
Props to the Coaches (MR, JB and MM). Special Kudos to three great Monarch supporters (Mr. Nolan, Mr. Sweeney & Coach Harrison) who go unnoticed but not unappreciated.
There were also a number of awards handed out and the team received their share:
- Two players named All Catholic
- Two players named All League
- Two players named All Academic (my favorite)
I now owe 16 Double Cheezeburgers, 2 Large Pizzas, 2 Ice Cream Cakes, Steaks, and some yet to be decided food from Donut ( Burger King dessert: Hershey®'s Sundae Pie) and the Scrapper Twins.
Additional Pics ...
Next Week ...
Another Benchmark Game & Drive the Devils off the Island!
Last night's win was a key victory to see if the team could keep our intensity after winning the Catholic League Campionship Sunday afternoon. It wasn't the best played game but it was emotional and gut wrenching to the end.
Emotion can be both positive and negative influence. Sometimes I cross the line but I am happy to say I have a good friend that keeps me in line. Perhaps when I see a player get hurt my judgement gets cloudy (even for a short time) as it did last night. We lost one of our key player's in the first half to a knee injury. The team can only hope it is not serious and A.B. will be ready for next week's State Tournament.
This player has worked hard all Summer and Fall to be a complete player. Most importantly she is a great person who works hard in every practice and is an "A Number 1 Teammate."
STORY BOARDING - DISTRICT
The Ladies won their last regular season game and end the season with a 19-1 record. I missed the game because I was scouting a District Opponent.
Everything that has been wriiten in this post leads up to Monday's game that starts the District Championships of the State Tournamnet for our Class Category. In order for us to win the District we WILL win 3 games this week (M,W,F).
11/12/06 - Update
The Team got some nice coverage in the Detroit Free Press this morning. I wish some other things were mentioned but the reporter is correct this team is special and yes "They Really Do Get Along."You can read the article at:
I just got back from a Sunday evening practice in preparation for tomorrows game. The coach has a tradition that he does each year with a Rope and a Poem named "Hang onto the Rope." This was my first time and I will always remember watching their faces and listening to the players speak about the season and friendships. I too am grateful ...
I'm not going to get into particulars but it was a very special setting, even for an old man like me. For those of you who are lucky enough to have been on teams that bonded friendships for life you will know what I am writing about.
This program would not be possible if it were not for the efforts of Coach Ro and his assistants (JB, MM, TM & KS) and support folks (TK, MH, JN, TS). He is truly loved by his players and I know for sure how deeply he cares for each one of his players as people first and athletes second.
A good win tonight, all the girls saw action and Donut fills a hole!
The Buffet is growing with each victory.
I now owe 18 Double Cheezeburgers, 2 Large Pizzas, 2 Ice Cream Cakes, Steaks, Burger King Dessert: Two Hershey®'s Sundae Pies, cheesecake and 2 gallons of chocolate chip ice cream.
Dominique (Don't call me Nikki) - BATTLE!
Move/Push her out of her Comfort Zone --> all game!
11/15/06 - It Hurts
50 - 48. Leading the whole game we lost at the end. Somehow everything is a blur except for the faces of the girls after the game (it hurts). Perhaps I can write more in in the next few days, but perhaps not. Maybe I have written enough for one season (20-2), besides the best memories are those that are kept inside and not shared.
What an incredible group of players and coaches.
Thanks for stopping by this season and sending me the many Emails wishing the team good luck.
PAYOFF PARTY NIGHT & the game
Last Night was fun. I was finally able to pay off just about all my debts. I still owe six double cheeseburgers but I will pay those off during Soccer season to S.S.
The Coach did a great job bring the teams together for a post payoff party. Hopefully this will start a tradition. I will start saving now because I feel this is going to get bigger next year.
We also attended the Women’s Basketball Game between Duke and the University of Michigan. Duke smoked them big time but it did not seem to matter because we went back to school after the game and finished off the pizza, ice cream, cheesecakes, cookies, and pop.
I need to send out some pictures to the Lasses who put 50+ plus pictures on my camera. I must say they are really funny. Sorry the one with me have been deleted.
We have one more scheduled event as a team and that is the Banquet Monday December 4th. I’m not big at attending these types of functions. I prefer to stay in the background like a proud teacher that is sending student players off to there next level of education and athletics. That has always been my hope in both in work, education and sports.
I don't want to be
Anything other than whatI've been trying to be lately
All I have to do
Is think of me and I have peace of mind
I'm tired of looking 'round rooms
Wondering what I've got to do
Or who I'm supposed to be
I don't want to be anything other than me
December 4, 2006 - The Banquet
Today was the coldest day of the season outside but inside the banquet hall it was warm and friendly as the Coaches introduced their teams from Freshmen to Varsity.
Awards were given and gifts exchanged but this night for me will be the memory of seeing the girls together and seeing how sincere they care for one another, their coaches and families.
Personally I will think of this night as Once Upon A Dream when I was privileged to have been associated with such a fine group of people.
The pictures, cards, letter (SM - I got your back), ornament and surprise will always be treasured.
Six Seniors will be leaving for bright futures but they will always be remembered by this old man. Sammi said it best "This isn't goodbye its just until we see each other again."
To the Cabrini One Tree Hill Girls these shots are for you!
Pass the Double Cheeseburger!
I took a number of pictures and will post them at different times. I will send others to Dominique.
So long for now Lady Monarchs, just wait until next season just you Wait and See!
Cabrini "One Tree Hill Monarchs"
Cabrini Tradition For Each Player Does Not End With a Season or Graduation