2017 Blog 8 Motivation

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Hera one of our hit ballers had a birthday this week so happy birthday from all of us Hera. There will be a lot of additional stuff to Hit Ball in this blog, all roads lead to Hit Ball but I will need to mention two other influences in the course of this blog.

My gym, CrossFit Northern Adelaide (yes shameless plug) ran some sessions on improving yourself. They tackled the body, mind and nutrition. In the course of this program they got me onto motivational dvds and cds and my goodness the results have been amazing. Now I got onto Zig Ziglar and I want to give him credit for the ideas that I will discuss but you have to appreciate as you read this blog that you are getting my interpretation of his ideas. If you want more direct information go check him out if you have a mind to but I will give you fair warning that he’s into God (or at least he was he’s not with us now) and he had some crazy ideas about homosexuality. I was almost tempted to dismiss his work because of that but I decided not to throw the baby out with the bath water. I would like to think that if I had a chance to talk to him I may have got him to think differently, who knows?

The first way Zig helped with Saturday’s game was that he actually got me to go to the game. I am in the middle of doing the crossfit open, we do it on a Friday night and by Saturday I am stiff and sore and sorry for myself. Saturday morning I was tempted to ring up and say hey I can’t make it but I had already said that I was going to go. Now Zig puts trustworthiness high on his list of qualities of success. It’s not like the animals were crook or the car didn’t work, there wasn’t a real reason for me not to go I just felt too stiff and sore. I thought about this and I thought I want to be someone who if she says she’s going to do something she does it, so I got to training. This made me feel good about myself because I had kept my word, I said I would go to training and I did go to training. The second effect is a little interesting, in social situations, if I now accept that if I say I’m going to do something then I will do that thing I’m going to be dam careful what I say yes to. I think previously I have said yes to be polite and then backed out or gone and haven’t wanted to. I am now going to work on, thank you for the invite but no thank you. Allrighty back to Hit Ball.

Zig had some things to say about how you approach your matches and what he had to say resounded with me. When you walk out onto that court what thoughts are in your head? I was looking at players on opposing teams and thinking, they hit really hard, they’re too fast for me. I’m too slow to block their shots and because I thought this most of the time I was right, they were too fast and I didn’t get to their shots in time. Zig says and I’m paraphrasing, you move to the strongest impression in your mind. So do you want to win or do you want to not lose. Do you see the difference in focus? If you think that the opposing team will probably score against you then they probably will. Now what I wanted was that ball to not go in the goal when I was supposed to be stopping it so that’s all I thought about. See the ball, get to the ball. This didn’t stop me working as a team and passing and receiving shots but every time that ball came towards the goal I was there and most times I blocked it. It was very very satisfying, I certainly blocked much more than previous games. You still have to be fit, you still have to train but your mindset will give you a much better chance of being successful. I am a huge fan of Zig’s words. Next time I play I will apply these strategies when aiming for the oppositions’ goal. I’ll let you know how I get on.

During the strength and conditioning Alessandro mentioned that we should do our wrist exercises at least three times a week to get the full benefit out of the exercise. You don’t need to warm up before you do them, they are the warm up. These exercises are great for strengthening your body and I only do them when we train but not anymore I shall be doing them at least three times a week. They are a little hard to explain but if you ever want to come and train with us we could show you how they are done.

We also moved onto a side plank this week and then when you’re in position you dip down and up while still sideways. I recommend you try it, it’s awesome for your side obliques.

Our drills were practising the side strike and bowling ball shot. People feeling confident could do the front strike. We finished with practising looking at the ball, taking our eyes off the ball and looking at where we wanted the ball to go and then shooting. It’s tricky but it’s so good to practise in a drill rather than in the hub bub of the game. It does wonders for your aiming.

That’s my lot for this blog thank you for reading and I’ll catch you in the next blog. If you would like to come and try Hit Ball you would be very welcome. We play Saturday mornings at the Seacliff Primary School gym 10am.

 

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2017 Blog 7 A Guest Star

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A friend of mine came to training today to give Hit Ball a go and it was a lot of fun to be able to show her my sport. Melissa is involved in a lot of sporting activities in South Australia and I was keen to see how we would measure up as an enjoyable activity.

As you know I’ve been trying to get more people involved in Hit Ball and I have not been very successful so to have a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective was incredibly valuable.

Unfortunately for me I am in the middle of doing the Crossfit Open and I have been as sick as a dog. So doing the open workout the previous night left me pretty well crippled and then trying to drag my crook body around that court was tricky to say the least. Melissa did ask well why didn’t you just cancel and the thing is unless I am almost dead I don’t like cancelling because you never know what will happen in the future. I like to take each day as it comes.

I picked Melissa up on the way so we helped the planet by car pooling and it also gave me the chance to explain the rules and ask for her advice on how I could promote Hit Ball. It was a really useful car trip. If anybody reading this blog has some suggestions on how I could get more people to try Hit Ball please contact me and let me know. I swear I’m an approachable creature.

We got to the gym and did some warm ups. We did our stretches and conditioning and then we started Navy Battle and that allowed Melissa a chance to practice hitting the ball and warmed everybody up.

Alessandro picked one of my favourite drills. I call it Jack Rabbits and it is a hoot and a half, children would love this drill and it would be excellent for ice breakers. Two groups line up opposite each other with a line in the middle. Your coach rolls the ball down the line, the first two players from either side take off like jack rabbits and try to get the ball over to their side. You may not use your feet to get the ball only your hands and you may not cross the line. It’s a lot of fun, it’s good for speed, reflexes and strategy as you try to figure out how you can beat your opponent and get the ball to you.

It didn’t seem long at all and we were ready to play a match. Melissa got kitted out with the arm bands and then we were good to go.

I moved around that court like someone in quick sand but I had a couple of moments where I thought ok not too bad. Hera demonstrated that she can bend the ball, it was amazing. She hit it, it went right around Kit and hit the wall in the back. Most impressive I thought. Kit was just everywhere on the court and still blocking like a boss. Drew did a great job with his shots and Carlo is a definite up and comer. I cannot believe how much he has improved in such a short space of time, yowza.

Melissa was amazing. She was physically brilliant to meet all of the games’ challenges but you could also see that she was thinking about the strategies of the game and she ended up getting a goal in her first ever match. What the????

 Alessandro asked Melissa what she thought of Hit Ball after the game and she said, and I’m paraphrasing, that she enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere it wasn’t all pressure and I think that’s the nicest thing she could have said. You want to be able to enjoy your sport.

That’s my lot for this blog thank you for reading and I’ll catch you in the next blog. If you would like to come and try Hit Ball you would be very welcome. We play Saturday mornings at the Seacliff Primary School gym 10am.

 

2017 Blog 6 An Inbuilt Censor

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It was such a good game today I was stuffed afterward but my goodness did I enjoy myself.

We started with a warm up and then moved onto to stretches, conditioning and drills. Sophia returned as assistant coach and she wasn’t mucking around. I believe I got undue attention from the assistant coach with comments like, Dad said you should do twenty on each side, was that twenty Trish? Trish, you need to practice this and it continued throughout the drills. The girl is five for Heaven’s sake. Whoever taught that child how to count to twenty has a lot to answer for.

During the drills Alessandro came up with a new Hit Ball song, Bend Your Legs I’m not sure what tune he was singing it to though.

I paired up with Kit first and then Carlo for the drills and these drills were a great mental challenge. We were all running around the perimeter of the gym passing the ball without holding it, then changing direction, changing who was on the inside and who was on the outside of the perimeter and then we had to do this with two balls, oh my gawd! It was fun trying to work out how we could keep moving around the gym passing two balls between us without stopping or holding the ball.

We also did drills where we set the ball up for each other to serve I found those really useful and we practiced some bowling ball shots, twenty each arm or twentyish.

Every now and again Alessandro will make classic comments or because my hearing is poor I will hear what he says as classic comments. A few weeks ago when we played Chaos and Order I heard the name of the game as Cows and Order which really got me to chuckling because we have an expression in Australia when something is a fair cow it’s not going quite as you would hope so the idea of a game being called cows and order really appealed. Todays expression was not to make a hideous hit, that got me onto Hideous Ball instead of Hit Ball and just try concentrating after that.

The match was amazing I just enjoyed it so so much. I actually had some energy and the teams flowed. It wasn’t all do this do that it was make your own decisions support players and it was great. Funniest moment goes AGAIN to Hera and I told her I was going to put this in the blog. She called five seconds on her own husband when he took longer than that to get to the ball. I thought that was hysterical. How ruthless is your playing when you get to that stage.

I played with Carlo and he played against Kit which is how I witnessed an awesome shot. Carlo hit the ball really close to the defence line. Kit “Block Like A Boss” went in for the block. She blocked it, the ball ricocheted back into Carlo’s face knocking his glasses meters away from him. He’s not stopping, she’s not stopping, Alessandro had to step onto the court to get those two to halt so we could save the glasses. It was amazing. Now without wishing to be a complete ego maniac and in all fairness I do not do this often buuuut I did a gorgeous save during that game. Guys I went flying in the air with this expression of despair on my face to get to the ball before it hit the goal and it touched my fingers and went out and it was gorgeous just gorgeous. So many times that outcome has been completely different. I love Hit Ball I just love it.

Now for the inbuilt censor. I have started swearing like a sailor, I don’t know why it just gets things out of my system. So when my favourite five year old is anywhere near me I have to shut up because I don’t believe in swearing in front of children and my goodness it was hard. The amount of times I was going to let rip during the match and then I looked and saw her refereeing the game with her dad and I thought she is more important than the game and swearing just didn’t happen. Funny hey? I don’t swear at school either in front of the kids it’s like you get into a way of being and then once outside the school grounds you can cuss to your heart’s content.

That’s my lot for this blog thank you for reading and I’ll catch you in the next blog. If you would like to come and try Hit Ball you would be very welcome. We play Saturday mornings at the Seacliff Primary School gym. http://hitball.com.au/

2017 Blog 5 A Fresh Set of Eyes

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We had the coach’s daughter guest starring as assistant coach today. She has started school now and it makes me realise how many milestones we have seen in her life while we have been playing Hit Ball. I was listening to her boss us around and I was thinking this girl is going to coach if she keeps her interest up in Hit Ball. She also remembered a toy I had left at her house last week and brought it to me at training and I had totally forgotten about it. I don’t know how she does it.

Mind you I thought something was up with her school when she started referring to the balls as green or blue. I thought what the heck are they teaching at that school, the balls are black. Then I looked closer and saw that the inflation valves on the balls were green on some balls and red on others. I’ve played Hit Ball since 2013 and I’ve never noticed this. It just shows you what a fresh set of eyes can do. She ended up keeping the score during our match and I thought mmm, Hit Ball the way to teach your children maths. She did a really good job of keeping score and then she awarded prizes it was one of my favourite games ever, even though I got a face full of hit ball at one point. I got a pink ribbon for my prize and I liked it every bit as much as any of the medals I got for running.

Now that being said not every game has been one of my favourite games ever and because I enjoyed this one so much it made me think of times when I hadn’t enjoyed games much. More to the point it made me think of when you have a bad game and you think about quitting. Now I think you make a mistake by quitting when you have a bad game. You need to go back, have a good game and then decide. If you don’t like your sport when the game is a sucky one fair enough but if you don’t like your sport when the game goes well then you know something is wrong. I just wanted to share that.

Kit has been a person that I have learned a lot from with regards to keeping your cool when a game doesn’t go well. I have seen her doing this time after time. If a game doesn’t go well she never spits it, she never loses her cool. She gives a smile, regroups and then generally annihilates the opponents in the next set. Using her example I have now been able to not get as flustered as I used to get. I still get worked up sometimes but not as much as I used to.

Back to the coach’s daughter. In her role as assistant coach our youngest hit baller kept collecting and lining up the hit balls and the way she had all of the balls lined up they looked like that pendulum desk thingy where one ball hits the others and starts everything in motion. Then I thought the balls looked like giant malteasers and it was a miracle I was able to concentrate on the drill at all.

The drill in question was a way to deal with the ball when it spins. I’m going to call this drill Come In Spinner. One person spun the ball towards the goals and the other person had to block it, a tricky job because the ball would start in one direction then go off in a completely different tangent. It was a handy drill and I was able to use it in the match.

At the very end of the session Kit and I played against Alessandro and his daughter with two balls on the court. It was really tricky trying to keep track of two balls, not letting them go in your goal, trying to hit their goal, making sure that your ball did not hit a little girl – yikes it was tricky. When Alessandro told his team mate to stop the ball she laid on it and that very effectively stopped the ball but we now have to teach her about ‘holds’ as her move while cute was not allowable.

That’s my lot for this blog thank you for reading and I’ll catch you in the next blog. If you would like to come and try Hit Ball you would be very welcome. We play Saturday mornings at the Seacliff Primary School gym.

 

2017 Blog 4 Tournament

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So 11th of February was Tournament day and my goodness there was some good playing. Alessandro put up some worthy prizes and it was on for young and old. The weather was hot and the playing was hotter!

I looked at the score board before the playing started and it was like a little bit of calm before everything started to happen.

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We were all split up into two teams. You had to pick a folded up piece of paper from the coach’s hat and that let you know whether you were team A or team B. Once you had your team you then got to choose a team name. Hera became our team captain and she was brilliant at the job, that woman can really make snappy decisions. For each game we redrew the teams and for every game I played with Hera she chose a fruit name for the team. By the time we had been called Banana, Pineapple, Watermelon and Dragon Fruit I was getting peckish.

Here’s how the board looked at the finish of the tournament.

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Everybody played really well and it would have been wonderful to have been a spectator. Oscar won the tournament and chose a T-shirt as his prize. I got second place with an accuracy challenge and I was very happy to receive a card giving me my next four games for free.

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A special mention should go to Hera’s shots, her aim and how low she got that ball to go (the low ones are harder to get back) was amazing. Carlo did a fantastic job and as a new player I was so impressed that he lasted the distance because it seemed like we were playing game after game. Kit was devastating with her shots as was Oscar and Drew. Even though this was Kirsty’s first time back this year she has lost none of her blocking skills.

It was a great day, thank you to the people who attended and thank you to Alessandro for organizing it and supplying the prizes.

That’s my lot for this blog thank you for reading and I’ll catch you in the next blog.

 

2017 Blog 3 Chaos and Order

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This week our drills started with us trying to get a cannon ball shot through the gap made by two lined up chairs. You had to keep your shot low and the chairs were make believe players. To begin with the chairs were side by side and they represented two players about to come together for a back block. At one point I thought the safest place to be was sitting on the chairs. My balls were going everywhere except where I wanted them to go. Then Alessandro staggered the chairs so that you had to get the ball “past two players backing each other up for the block” and that added to the difficulty of the drill quite a bit. Still it was all most enjoyable and by the end of the drill I was getting some beautiful shots with both left and right arms. One of the main goals of this drill was to develop a middle area shot. You wanted your ball to be not so high that your opponent could easily reach it with their hand and you wanted the ball to be not so low that they could easily get the ball with their foot. I guess the philosophy might be “make them work for the ball don’t just give it to them”.

We played an extremely fun game this week and I want to share it in case you are a teacher or coach and want to try it with your students. The game is called Chaos and Order and you need those small disc cones, I hope you know the ones I mean. You can play this game with two people, or two teams or divide a class in half. There’s probably heaps of variations once you’ve tried the game. Spread the cones out in an area that you choose. The bigger the area and the more cones you use the harder the game. Tip half the cones over and they are Chaos, leave the remaining half of the cones right side up and they represent Order. Give your players thirty seconds or the time you choose. Decide which side is Order and which side is Chaos. The game begins and Chaos has to run around and tip all of the cones over. Order has to run around and put all of the cones right side up. It would be quicker if the players could stay low while they are tipping cones over or putting them right side up. At the end of the time if there are more cones tipped over Chaos wins and if more cones are right side up then Order wins. It’s a hoot and a half – try it you won’t be disappointed. To be honest some of these games would be brilliant at parties for adults and kids.

The game itself was fantastic. I was just totally in the mood for it and I was playing with people that I enjoy playing with. That’s always a good combination. I was exhausted at the end of it so I know that I didn’t ‘leave anything on the court’ which is always good to know.

The first tournament of the year is on this Saturday and it sounds like we are expecting a good turnout for it. I get as nervous as hell about these things so this time round I’m going to work on keeping a calm head space and just doing my best. I think your performance in the game starts way before you even set foot on the court. How well did you sleep? Did you get a good breakfast? Are you tuning out any comments that will distract you from the game? Sport is a fascinating beast there is a lot more to it than just the physical.

If you would like to come and watch the tournament this Saturday and see some Hit Ball in action you would be very welcome. We are holding it in the same place that we train at, the Seacliff OHSC gym. We will be starting at 10.00 and I guess we finish when we get a champion. Also please remember that if you would like to come and try Hit Ball we play on Saturday mornings at the Seacliff OHSC gym from 10.00 to 11.30. You will have fun and improve your fitness, I guarantee it.

That’s my lot for this blog thank you for reading and I’ll catch you in the next blog.

 

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2017 Blog 2 Highs and Lows

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I wondered last week what 2017 had in store for Hit Ball and the first thing on our agenda is that we are going to have a tournament. So all you past Hit Ballers dust off your trainers and come and play, there will be prizes and games and good good playing. Anyone who has not taken the plunge and tried Hit Ball yet this is a good opportunity to come and watch and see how it is done.

Last week I was unhappy with my playing. I had done a lot of training the night before and I think I was too wiped to play well. So this week I halved the amount of training I did on the Friday and kapow I was juiced for the game. It made me appreciate that you should never quit your sport over one or two bad sessions, one week can be a shocker the next week can be fantastic.

I got to train with Kit and she always makes training fun. The drill we did was to put the balls in the middle of a circle while the players stood on the line of the circle. The coach says go and you dive in grab your ball go back to the circle and then try and hit the other person’s foot. You need to dodge your opponent as well as aim for their feet. It was a lot of fun. I’m going to call this drill Round and Round the Mulberry Bush because at one point we were running around this circle trying to tag each other with the ball, it was huge fun.

I really enjoyed the match today. I had heaps of energy and I just felt like it was set em up smack em down. Kit did one of her Blocking like a Boss blocks and it got in the goal and then I did one of those blocks and that was a first for me. There are few things I find as satisfying as hitting that ball so that it rockets into the opposing court.

That’s my lot for this blog please remember that if you’d like to come and join us on Saturday mornings you would be very welcome. Thank you for reading and I’ll catch you in the next blog.