Friday, October 29, 2010
I believe that a hill, an actual, up it goes hill, has a personality. The big one's, the one's that you see from afar, are absolute *%$holes. They want you to fail and they do everything they can to make it happen. They gloat and belittle you at every chance. That's why, when I'm running or cycling, I determine myself to kick it up every big hill. I don't want to let it get the better of me. When I know that a hill is coming, I start thinking about it's personality and push on to get there and run it down. When I win, the hill gets a little bit smaller. The more times I win, the smaller it gets. I have a hill near my house that my wife and I call the 'demoralizer.' It has a nonchalant, almost innocent look but once you get on it, wow, the legs and heart have to work to win. I've taken a few licks from that hill over the years but it's getting a bit smaller every time.
So, think about the hill, or hills, that you face, consider their personality, and beat it out of them. It can be actual hills, or it can be metaphorical hills like injury, fear, mid-terms, whatever, just don't let them get the better of you.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I apologize for taking so long to write since my last post but this is the life of a university coach juggling a million things at one time. Regardless, I wanted to offer my thoughts on our home playoff game and the road ahead.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I put this one together this morning at 6am before work, just to let it marinade for the day. Easy, quick and tasty way to cook red meat...
500g (medium size steak) beef sirloin - cut into strips
1/3 C of soy sauce (low sodium version)
3 T brown sugar
1 T sesame oil (buy it and it will last forever!)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
Stir the sauce in a bowl, throw in the meat and let it sit for as long as you can manage (minimum is 20 minutes, which is fine bc you still have to cook rice.)
RICE - preference for jasmine rice, which tastes great and cooks in about 20-30 minutes. Make as many servings as you need and refer to the package for cooking info. Sometimes I cook the rice in organic beef stock - tasty!
VEG - pick whatever veg. you love and make it as a side dish
Before you cook the beef strips, pull them out of the sauce so that they can brown when they hit the HOT pan. Brown them up, then drop the heat to med-high, add the sauce and cook for a few minutes (medium) or a bit longer (well done.) Throw the meat and sauce on top of the rice, add the veg. side to the plate and go for it.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Now that we know all that, our job is to shore up those areas, refine and maintain what we do well, and keep high on our list what we need to do to be at the top of our game when it really matters.
The first order of business is balance. I don't mean something gymnastic, nor about tipping or teattering. I mean, finding a way to balance the demands of school and midterms, with the training, weights and competition schedule and still have time for good nutrition, enough sleep and even an occasional social outlet.
Time management and balance are such important skills at this time of the year. Staying healthy, not getting bogged down by deadlines and time-wasters,
and bringing energy to training day in and day out..... that is the athlete's challenge. Those who rise, will be successful. Those who procrastinate, who aren't focused, who don't keep their eye on the prize and see each action they take as a means to an end, will falter.
As a coach, I can provide direction. I can provide encouragement. I can hope and pray that the athletes I impact will figure it out to their advantage.... and when one doesn't, I can try to be there to help pick up the pieces..... but ownership is huge. The athletes need to own their own balance, their own discipline and their own decisions.
Ahhh, I love this time of the year. What would late October/early November be, without such challenges? Challenges are something to rise to, not to make barriers or excuses. Some will drown, some will tread water, and some will take the tide head on and swim upstream to success. After all, this is the time of immersion.
Monday, October 25, 2010
A trip to
On a more positive note, fourth-year guard, Brittany Moore saw her first action since injuring her ankle in early September. Struggling in her first game, the second outing was noticeably better, while her third game she managed 14 points, including 3 of 7 from behind the arc. She was also selected to the Tournament All-Star team.
Overall, while discouraged somewhat by the losses, I am encouraged by aspects of our play. We continue to play hard, regardless of the score. Our rebounding improved significantly over the weekend, actually out-rebounding a significantly taller
We have one more weekend of exhibition play, our Tindall Tournament, before diving into league play. Ottawa U,
Up Next at Home:
Friday, October 29 vs
Sat., October 30 vs
Sunday, October 31 vs UQAM 2:00pm
Friday, November 5 vs Laurier 6:00pm
Sat., November 6 vs
Have a great week.
QUEBEC (October 24, 2010) – Brittany Moore of Hannon, Ont., returned to the Gaels line-up as the Queen's Gaels were winless at the Laval Invitational women's basketball tournament over the weekend in Québec City.
Moore, who had been out of the Gaels lineup with injury, returned over the weekend, posting 14 points in an 89-63 loss to host
On Friday, the Gaels lost 76-55 to Le Dynamo du Québec – a senior team out of
Saturday saw the Gaels in tough falling 70-56 to St.FX. Queen's opened that game with slim 28-27 lead at the half, but fell after a disastrous third quarter which saw Queen's score only six points. Bullard and Meaghan MacDougall of Martintown, Ont., led the Gaels in scoring with nine points each.
Queen's will conclude the exhibition season next weekend hosting the Tindall women's basketball invitational at the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC).
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Just got home from a trail run. I was excited to give it a go after being sick and it went really well. The beauty of trail running is that time just seems to disappear. In my effort to not overdo it in the wake of 2 weeks off, I decided to walk at 10 minutes in for about 1 minute. So I glanced at the timex when I thought I was 10 in and I was at 20??!! That's what I love about trail running. If you are able to focus, it can be an awesome sport. If you like tunes in your ears and tend to watch the world go by when you run, don't do it on a trail:) I also love the gear. Just bought the new salomon xt wings - wicked shoes. If you ever saw the amount of gear my wife and I have collected over the years, you would think you were standing in a trailhead store.
That's makes me think of today's words of advice...never regret spending money on good gear:)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
A friend of mine coaches a high school girls rugby team. He recently went to bat for the team regarding unfair scheduling of the only playing field that the school has. Football had traditionally gotten the field and everyone else had to figure something else out. Long story short, the girls now get to practice on the field, as they should.
I thought about those girls when I saw the women's rugby team on the front page of the journal yesterday. It's great to see such a dedicated bunch of women get the credit they deserve. I'm just about to forward the journal link to my friend and perhaps he will pass it on to his team. It might serve as a bit of inspiration that they otherwise would never see.
Good job ladies.
Monday, October 18, 2010
We just returned from
The first game was a sloppy affair, as we had difficulty finding the hoop (26% shooting) and adjusting to Memorial’s match-up zone. Memorial jumped out to a 16-6 first quarter lead. Our “1” good quarter came in the second as we outscored MUN 18-9. Sydney Kernahan (
Game 2 was played in Pacentia, Nfld (about 100km west of
Game 3 was played in downtown
Overall, it was a very successful weekend. I thought we improved each game against a very tough, aggressive team. We only had 10 (mostly) healthy bodies for each game – 7 rookies, 2 second years and 1 fifth year. The games really helped us mature as a team. In addition, we had time for a cultural excursion to Signal Hill and be exposed to some outstanding hospitality, especially at
Up Next on the Road:
Laval Tournament – Quebec City
Friday, October 22 6:30pm vs Montreal Sr. Women
Saturday, October 23 2:00pm vs St. Francis Xavier U.
Sunday, October 24 1:00pm vs Laval U.
Up Next at Home:
Tindall Tournament – Queen’s University
Friday, October 29 6:00pm vs Ottawa U.
Saturday, October 30 12:00n vs Guelph U.
Sunday, October 31 2:00pm vs University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM)
Have a great week.
I hate being sick! It slows everything down and sucks the wind out of your sails, no matter how hard you try to remain positive. I was down for almost 2 weeks and now that I'm back in the land of the living, I can't wait to start training and working again. Trouble is, and this is the lesson for today, it is SO easy to overdo everything when the sickness chains disappear that you can lead yourself right back to square one in no time. So, I will do my best to fight the urge to blast back at full speed and see if I can be smart about it. If there is another 2 week gap in my posts, you will know that I overdid it:)
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Time for another update. As we head into Thanksgiving, the team is somewhat besieged with injury and/or illness, but we are managing through it. The weekend off should provide a much-needed rest, allowing further recovery. We then have a couple of days to prepare for our trip to Newfoundland to take on Memorial University in a 3-game series (October 15-17). Always a very strong team, this will give our players another good taste of CIS basketball. This will be the first time to "The Rock" for most of our team and we are planning a couple of cultural excursions during our visit.
For prospective Queen's players, we have set the date for our annual ID/Training Camp. Set aside Sunday, December 5th for a visit to the Q's campus. We have on-court sessions planned from 9:00 to 11:00am and again from 1:00 to 3:00pm. This is a great opportunity to showcase your talents, meet and work with the Q's coaches, and see the campus. Tours of our new Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) will be conducted between the on-court sessions. I would encourage those in Grades 10 through 12, who are interested in Q's to attend. There is no cost for the training sessions. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
Although it took me longer than planned, I now have photos from the 100th Anniversary Banquet available on-line. I threw in a great photo taken after the Alumni basketball game as well. The following address will get you there:
As Queen’s University celebrates its 100th Anniversary of Women’s Basketball we are launching a new fundraising campaign to help broaden our number of supporters. In light of our 100 years of tradition and success of women’s basketball, we would like to attract:
· 100 or more donors;
· Donating $100 or more
With an overall goal of topping the $10,000 mark
On-line donating is very easy – please visit: www.givetoqueens.ca/womensbasketball
While the campaign is called “100 for 100”, any amount is welcome and greatly appreciated – and, of course, you will be provided with an official tax receipt.
For more information about this campaign visit:
That's about it for now. Have yourself a great Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Heading into the game our biggest concern was whether we would be able to physically hold our own at this point in the season. We realized that there would be breakdowns on both ends of the floor as the new and old players continue to get to know our systems and each other. However, the questions of whether we would be able to rebound and defend well enough physically were the more pressing points of interest.
With a starting lineup that included Dan Bannister, Tim Boyle, Bernard Burgesson, Matt Baker and Greg Black (the latter two both being first year players) we started the game very well. The starting group showed good poise and physicality from the outset as we were able to hang in the game early while working out the expected jitters of our first game. Dan Bannister and Tim Boyle provided some early scoring and both showed flashes of their all-around improved offensvie ability throughout the night. In the defensive end we rebounded the ball extremely well and for the most part limited their second chance points.
Despite scoring early we began to find it more difficult to score as the game progressed. After the opening few minutes Laval quickly made the decision to move to switching every single screen on the floor. In doing this they took away a lot of the reads and looks that our players have become accustomed to seeing in practice over the past month. This is where our youth hurt us a bit at this point in the year. In the past with a more senior group this method would likely have been less successful, however, with so many new players we had a difficult time adjusting. Nonetheless, we defended and rebounded well as group and shot the ball well from the perimetre in the first half and as a result led by two going into the half.
We knew that we would see a much more aggressive and determined group of Laval players in the second half and we were right. Laval came out of the half very hard and played much more physical in both ends of the floor. At the same time our guys did not answer back as they are capable of doing and the result was a 27-10 drubbing by the end of the third quarter. In that ten minute time frame our guys got a clear indication of just how quickly a game can turn around if you are not completely focussed and determined to compete. During that run we struggled to score without question, however, the lesson that was of greater importance to our players is that when things are not going well in the offensive end we have to be able to dig down and defend our basket even harder. On this night that was not the case as our frustrations on offense directly translated to a lack of discipline and concentration in the defensive end.
Despite the loss there were a great deal of positives that can be taken from this game as we move ahead. I think without question we now know that we can compete physically in the defensive end and on the boards in both ends (rookie Greg Black finished with 5 offensive rebounds) and in fact Rob and I both feel that this group will eventually be capable of being the best defensive group we have had at Queen's (hopefully sooner than later). In addition, several of our rookies showed flashes of the potential to contribute in different ways to our growth as a program. No question, there is a great deal of work to be done and progress is crucial throughout this preseason so that we can be prepared to compete when the OUA season begins in November.
For anyone interested we host Bishop's in the ARC at 6 PM this Friday night. It should provide another unique challenge as we will see a much quicker, pressure oriented team this week. The following week we are off the Saskatchewan for a very tough tournament and the week after that we will close out our exhibition schedule at the McGill Invitational.
I hope this post finds everyone doing well and in good health.
Many of my athletes will know that I was SO pleased with myself when I got the i-pod sound system for the program last season. I had finally stepped into the world of downloadable tunes. Granted, the first songs I put on there were from CD's, but, baby steps. Last week, I even took the amazing step of getting internet at home. I even downloaded an episode of Jamie Oliver that I hadn't seen. Finally, I am not embarassing my technologically advanced little brother with questions about VCR's and CD players (although I do still use a VCR.)
This should bring to light the fact that blogging is quite a leap for me. I'm really not that old, honestly, but I never bothered myself with computers and all that junk, I just played sports.
Also, keep in mind that if you can't make fun of yourself, you're too serious - that's the lesson for today:)