D-Team rocked at practice today.
The day started as every other practice day does, with me rising at ~6 or 6:30 to eat and then get on the train at 7:11 to get to Edison at 8:04 to get picked up and driven to practice by Dono. Except that this time when I got to the car, it was completely packed with Dono, Mellen, Dono’s brother and a bunch of luggage. We had to fit both Mio and myself in there, plus all of my crap. And by crap, I mean beer. Specifically some PBR (which I purchased at Whole Foods, of all places, at a $6 per 12-pack rate) for the team after practice and some Old Speckled Hen for Dono’s birthday.
D-Team’s focus at practice was to play as aggressively and with as much hunger against our own O-Team as we do against other teams. Hammering home the mental identity of being a team that fights for everything and never gives up is a key component at this time of year as well. It’s all about “Dog,” dog.
We worked on a couple different zone/man variants paired with small-score scrimmages (to 3 and 5 points) to dial in the specifics of playing the defenses as well as playing against them. The D-Team beat the O-Team down in each scrimmage—and we were sure to tell them all about it. We made some errors, but they were errors of aggression rather than passivity. That is exactly what the D-Team needs to be. We had 8 guys, one of whom is an O-Player who was heard to comment “It’s just so much fun playing with the D-Team…”
Also of note, I vomited at practice today. This is the first-ever workout/practice/whatever related vomiting of my life. I’m sure it had to do with Ben’s inability to count to 45 at 1-second intervals (his 45 seconds is far closer to 2 minutes), but more than that, I killed myself at practice today. I did everything I could to demolish the other team, just like I do in games. It’s time to make that level of intensity the norm now that summer league and fun tournaments are done until after Pike finishes up. Making sure I switch that on every single time I step onto the field is a priority right now. I mean, I find it so easy to do that during Pike’s games, but practices have always been different for me. I put in the effort, but what I call the “life-or-death” switch has not been, uh, switched. That’s the one that makes me take that bid on rock-hard fields. That’s the one that makes me fight through contact instead of avoiding it. That’s the one that removes The Fear. I can’t play like that all season at practice—I’ll end up injured (sure I’m sturdy, but not *that* sturdy). But from late August on, I can’t accept less.
It is an interesting mental gymnastic event, to convince yourself that something as silly as ultimate is a matter of utmost importance, but in the end, so long as you don’t let that obsession spill over into the rest of your life, I feel like it may be good for me in some sense. That extreme stress of being in that flight-or-fight mode seems to contrast the day-to-day low-level stress of modern life rather well. It puts things in perspective, actually. When I really manage to amp myself up like that, I realize how stressful all of that other irritating shit isn’t. It’s just life, that’s all.
After practice, Mio and I got shitfaced on Margaritas and PBRs on South Street in Philly while Jamie cleaned out his apartment so that he could drive to New York to move to Baltimore. Yeah, I know it doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what he said he was doing. We played it smart and went to get food. I think he had to see about a girl—at least that part of his day made sense. The ride back consisted of a ton of irritating chatter on my part, as well as Mio’s, but at least Jamie had some noise to keep him alert.
4? Hours of practice
Saturday, September 1
D-Team rocked at practice today.