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Davis: Inclement weather freezes area teams

POSTED: January 31, 2010 11:31 p.m.
In case you aren’t on the up and up where sports clichés and coach speak are concerned, it’s imperative that teams are playing their best come tournament time.

Peak too soon and false hope sets in, as does a certain team and momentum killer known as complacency.

Peak too late and it’s one and done, if a team even gets that.


What doesn’t show up in said sports clichés and coach speak is that the regular season is a formality.

If you aren’t a believer in that then answer me this: Do teams make the state tournament for going undefeated in the regular season? Does a team win a region title because it won a subregion title in the regular season? Is a team automatically included in the top four in the region – i.e. the teams that go to state – if it loses to three or fewer region opponents or state-ranked teams in the regular season?

No, no and no.

The regular season is summer camp scrimmages with real uniforms and documented results; an exercise in building chemistry, competitive spirit and momentum simply so a team is playing its best come tournament time.

Routines are built in the regular season that if interrupted, can throw a team off center, out of whack and cause a loss in focus.

Practice routines, game day routines, eating routines, travel routines, pre-game routines are all figured out in the months of intersquad play so that a certain comfort level is attained and teams and coaches don’t have to think so much about the peripheries come postseason play, but can instead focus solely on surviving and advancing.

A team’s rhythm and pace are found in the regular season thanks to set schedules: play on a Tuesday, play on a Friday, play on a Saturday and practice on the days in between.

That rhythm and pace are good because it doesn’t allow time off, doesn’t allow for game conditioning to fall off, doesn’t allow for a break in the process that leads to peaking come tournament time.

That rhythm and pace are good unless there’s an unforseen break in it, like what’s happened twice this month.

On two separate occassions, area teams have gotten ramped up only to be let down by cancelations due to inclement weather.

For some of the games, especially the ones that were supposed to be played Friday night, rescheduling is a must because they’re subregion contests and go toward determining seedings for region tournaments.

Coaches made schedules months ago and didn’t account for inclement weather and, therefore, have to play on irregular days.

Routines are messed up, rhythm and pace fall off and as West Hall coach Warren Sellers said regarding this latest weather break, “You have to now have a camp mentality: no preparation, just show up and play.”

As much as the regular season is in itself preparation, it’s turned into a survival of the fittest for area teams that are now simply hoping to just hold on until tournament time.


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