Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Let me start with a little explanation for what’s been going on here on the site. I’m not sure there are any people left checking in anymore, but if people are like me with blog reading, they probably look in every once in awhile and see if there is anything new.

Obviously I haven’t been updating. There are a few reasons. One, and the most significant, I’ve been writing a lot, but not about volleyball, and I just haven’t had the extra will power to write for this site. I may start a different blog at some point where I’ll post the short stories, etc… I’ve been working on but first I’ll have to write something that I think is good… Second, and I’m going to talk more about this below, volleyball has taken over a large part of my brain. Even when I’m not at practice, I still think about it a lot, so writing about it also can be a bit tedious. Third, I’m a little lazy. Fourth, our schedule can be hectic sometimes, that means little time left over for blogs!

So, if there are still people out there checking in, hopefully I’ll update a bit more often. I could imagine a few posts finding there way online at some point; however, I can’t guarantee anything.

Now to the volleyball:

As a team we’ve just been through a really interesting time. Starting before Christmas we were in what has been referred to as a “crisis” of sorts. We lost a few matches in a row. More importantly, we lost badly. Even more importantly, when we played, it didn’t really look like any one of us cared that we were losing.

Needless to say, it wasn’t a good recipe for success and it wasn’t a fun time for any of us.

Since then, we’ve done quite a few things to turn things in a new direction. We’ve had multiple meetings, with coaches, without coaches, with administration, etc… And I think, in the end, and without going into detail as to what was said, the meetings were very positive. It’s a good thing to be able to honestly express yourself in front of your teammates.

This is also where volleyball kind of takes over your life. Not that it isn’t huge for all of us, it is what we do for a living, but it can be hard when you feel terrible all the time because you know you’ve been underperforming. It’s a double-edged sword, you love the game and you get to play it as a professional, but when you lose and you don’t play well, it’s depressing. Fulfillment in your job comes down to tangible wins and losses. Two points in the fifth set can be the difference between a good week and a bad week. Kind of a bitch sometimes.

But all the meetings in the world couldn’t guarantee anything. We also had a lot of work to do on the court – just straight technical stuff – in practice in order to really develop ourselves.

As soon as league play resumed in January we saw a difference in our game. We beat a good Unterhaching team 3-2 and followed that up with a 3-2 win over Eltmann. Both of those matches were huge as far as the standings go because both those teams figure to be close competitors when we come down to the end of the season. We also beat a team that has been dangerous on their home floor, Koenigs Wusterhausen, 3-1 at their place. Three wins out of three chances, all in one week, pretty good right? Well…Yes. But…

We followed it up by catching an absolute beating in Leipzig last weekend. And I’ll be honest here, this weekend we’re playing Moers (better known as this guy and six other guys who hope to touch the ball every once in awhile) and we pretty much have no choice but to play well.

I do think that the game in Leipzig was a hiccup. I think that we are a better team and that we are headed in the right direction. I heard someone saying that every time we have a real chance to move forward and break through that we always end up taking a step backward. I don’t think that’s true. I’m choosing to look at it from the viewpoint that sometimes you have to take a couple of steps backward before you can move even farther forward. Because we are a better team right now then we were three months ago. I can only hope that we are a better team in two months than we are now.

Personally, I’m getting some playing time. I’ve played quite a bit. There hasn’t been a game in recent memory where I didn’t get a good chunk of playing time. And I’m doing pretty well. You don’t believe me? Well, as we all know, statistics are the only thing that really matter in sports, I mean, they never lie. So check this out. It pretty much means that I am the best setter in the world. Possibly ever.