Monday, February 25, 2013

A Delayed Debut

A fun graphic I put together.

  A glance at the calendar tells me it's a little late in the year to be making debuts. But Saturday marked my 2013 basketball debut.

  Going into the game, I wasn't sure if it was going to happen. And if I did get into the game, I was even more unsure of how it was going to go. After missing my team's previous four games (because of a back injury) since the flip of the calendar year, I finally put on my uniform, and was able to compete with my teammates.

  All day Saturday, and leading up to tip-off, I was a question mark. I hadn't been in practice the two days prior, and the two practices I had participated in during the week, were touch and go.

  I thought I'd be okay to play. But your mind and your body are two very different things. Often times, your mind is willing while your body says otherwise.

  I just wanted to be smart, and do the right thing for my team and myself.

Differing Mindsets: Before, During, and After the Game
  It's interesting how different your approach, and mindset, is going into a game you are unsure you will be able to play in. When healthy/normal, you're focused on your performance and particulars about your opponent.

Team huddle, earlier in the season.
  When your 'form' is up in the air, your focus is solely on yourself. Will I be able to play? What will my body allow me to do? There are so many uncertainties that you hardly think of the people you are playing against.

  Will I be able to help my team, or will I hurt it? You always have to put the good of the team first (along with your own personal health, of course). If, when going through warm ups, I wasn't comfortable with my ability to move and play, I would have shut it down.

  Even after the game, my feelings were different than normal. We lost, and I was upset about that. But when your main concern is surviving the game uninjured, it gives you a slightly different perspective. Usually I'm very critical of my own play. When you've been on the sidelines for six weeks, and only practiced a handful of times in that time frame, you give yourself a little more leeway. 
Game action from earlier in the season.

Confident but Rusty
  I was able to play freely. But it was never far from my mind, that it was my first game in over six weeks, and first time playing an extended period of time.

  I wasn't as rusty as I thought I would be. But I was playing with no legs, and even less explosion than I'm used to, so that was a tough adjustment. It was a start, and I'm glad I got the first game back under my belt.

  As I've written before, you have to trust in your body, and have confidence that it won't fail when going up for a rebound, or driving to the basket. For the most part, I had that on Saturday. And as long as I continue to feel comfortable and confident, I'll be out on the court, doing my best to help my team win!

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