Friday, 26 October 2007

A very long night

“That's what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games.” Richard Bach

There’s no escaping it, this was the biggest beating I’ve ever been on the end of, but I’ve felt far worse about much better scorelines before now.

We lost to Wirral Hornets by a whopping 128-48! But let’s be clear, these guys are 'National League' good and we knew before we started that it was going to be a long night.

When you’re playing against a much better side, the first few minutes hit you like a rush of cold water in the face as they race away and rack up the points. It's not pleasant. But then things settle down, you get into a rhythm and then you have a chance to take stock of what’s going on around you.

As we came into the last quarter I looked around and nobody’s head had dropped, nobody was sitting back and letting them walk over us. Of course no-one likes losing, but coming in for our last time-out there were still smiles among the players (no matter how wry), which is so important... it’s a game!, it’s supposed to be fun, especially at our level, and if you can’t find any fun in playing a game then there’s really no point to it.

I was massively impressed by our the guys who came off the bench and lifted our game, with the younger lads working hard right the way to the end. That’s such a key role. If you can do that, it inspires the people who have just sat down, who end up itching to get back on the court to try and match that determination.

Immediately after a loss like that, all you can think in terms of your own game is what you did or didn’t do that might have let the team down or could have helped (in my case shooting... again). Fortunately though, you are able to be objective about the other players and even with a few of our big guns missing, there was plenty to be pleased about.

Mike led from the front, our long range sniper Max was looks set to ignite from three point range at any second, and our former Warrior Rob Clarke put in some nice moves on the inside and judging by the amount of running he did is getting fitter and fitter... Though that may have been his shiny white new shoes, imported from America on the back of a unicorn and made of gold (...apparently).

At the end of the game, we had earned some respect from our opponents for fighting hard to the buzzer and walked off the court with our heads high, in fact my biggest concern was not the scoreline, but that one or two characters on the squad threaten to kill the team spirit we have been working so hard to build. There’s nothing gained by shouting criticisms at your own players in a game, especially at the younger guys who were doing such a good job.

The American writer Richard Bach once said, ‘it’s how we lose that’s important and how we’ve changed because of it...’ and I really did feel a change in us, as we each started to realise that the people around us were prepared to work hard for each other and wouldn’t give up.

Richard Bach went on to write that “in a strange way, losing is winning”... but sadly that’s just crap.


1 comment:

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