Monday, February 20, 2012

Desperate For A Win

  Funny what happens when a team works hard together, and plays together. The results can be astounding. Take any of the dozens of cliches or quotes on teamwork in the world:

  • 'There is no I in T E A M'
  • 'T.E.A.M. = Together Everyone Achieves More'
  • 'A chain is only as strong as its weakest link'
  • 'Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable'
  Sure, most of them are corny and cheesy. But guess what? They're also incredibly true. 

Teamwork makes the dream work!
  My team, has been struggling, and struggling mightily since returning to Dunkerque from our Christmases at home. Last look at the calendar, December 25th was quite a while ago. Five straight games without a win can make a team desperate. But maybe, in this case, desperation wasn't such a bad thing!

  Athletes don't play professional sports 'just to play'. Sure we love to play. But we love to win even more. And chances are, we have grown accustomed to winning over our years and years of playing. So when winning has been out of the picture for roughly 2 months, it's no wonder you go back to the basics, and remember exactly what it takes to be successful. My teammates and I have been playing long enough to know what we needed to do. But I guess we just needed to become desperate enough to do it!

  Saturday night we finally put it all together against Le Havre. It wasn't the most beautiful of games, but after two months of losing, you'll take a win any way you can get it! We jumped out to a double-digit lead right off the bat. We played fast, and moved the ball on offense. And defensively, we had Le Havre on their heels. Then, we hit a wall.

vs. Armentieres.
  Our gym, was inexplicably 25-30 F degrees warmer than it's been in months. I have regularly been practicing in long sleeves, and more-recently, long tights to stay warm during the winter season. But Saturday night the heat was on full blast, and it about zapped me out of the game.

  By the end of the first half, my legs had turned to mush. I take a reasonable amount of pride in my conditioning, so if I was feeling that way, safe to say the rest of my teammates were feeling the same. Good thing there was another 20 minutes still to be played!

  When your body isn't responding physically, basketball becomes even more of a mental game. You have to out-think your opponent, and not make any mental mistakes. Be one step ahead of the play, so-to-speak. Positioning on defense, and rebounding becomes that much more important. And offensively, you rely on your teammates. You move the ball, and find open shots.

vs. Armentieres.
  So we hit the wall, and let Le Havre back into the game. But it was through our teamwork, on both ends of the court, that allowed us to push through that wall, and still come out on top.

  After weeks of taking baby-steps, we finally figured out how to eke out a win together. Now, we just need to remember how it felt during the game, and remember the things we did. With only seven more regular season games left, our team can still do a lot of positive things. We just need to continue to do them as a TEAM!

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