Saturday, January 19, 2008


It was instructive last night watching the U of C Dinos men's volleyball team take on the U of A. (Bear with me, I know this isn't the right sport for most of our readers quite yet)

When we got there, you couldn't really tell (I'm by no means a skilled spectator of volleyball) which team was going to win. Drills were the same, stretches were the same...

Then the game starts (the match is best of 5 games), and the U of C takes a respectable lead. Then shit starts happening. The U of A battles back, wins the game (which the U of C had a good chance of winning) 23-25. A nice close one. (Seeing a pattern? Let me draw it even further...)

Next game, it's clear the Dinos are rattled. Mistakes start piling up. Individually, they're trying a lot harder. They're swinging at the ball harder. They're taking more chances. But as a team, they're falling apart, because they're not really depending on their guys anymore. Now they lose 19-25. (See what I'm getting at now?)

Next game, there's no way the Dinos are winning. The U of A easily secures a six point lead that turns into an eight point lead that the Dinos just aren't going to catch up to. And the mistakes are getting worse. They're missing serves. They're hitting balls out of bounds. All of this due is the extra pressure they're putting on themselves, as individal players. This results in less creativity as a team, because you no longer trust your teammates to put together an elegant play that p0wns the other guys. YOU'RE going to be the guys who hauls your team's bacon out of the fire.

Why, if they were hockey players, you might even say, you've seen that game before.

Haven't we all?

I was startled by how similarly the Dinos last night and the Flames in the last week past reacted to adversity. As soon as the other team didn't roll over and play dead, they fell apart. They looked fragile. It struck me, how much of sports, at that high a level, is about what happens in the head as much as it is on the court or on the ice.

Stuff to think about, at any rate.

Anyways! When I went to check out some volleyball action, it seems like I missed a gooder of a game! Mind you, it wasn't exactly against the toughest competition this year has to offer...

What struck me, listening in on the festivities intermittently, is that our special teams were good. Especially the penalty kill. I've been meaning to bring up the number of PP chances we've been giving the opposition in weeks past... you can't do that and win the game. No way.

Anyways, good job, good job, and now we have an ENTIRE WEEKEND without the Flames playing. I believe they're doing their skills competition tomorrow (anyone going?), but with that and the All-Star game next week (a second ENTIRE WEEKENDwithout the Flames playing), who the hell designs the schedule?


In other news, looks like we will not be able to complain about Don Wittman's play-by-play come playoff time. Rest in peace, all that good stuff.

1 comment:

  1. skills competition tomorrow (anyone going?)

    i was thinkin about it but couldn't get past the thought of screaming kids (and their parents). so i think i'll just stay in bed...