Saturday, June 22, 2013

Winding Down The Days Of Competitive Basketball

After a slow start to the season, my Friday Night summer basketball league team played hard and cruised to a 57-47 (or something like that) win tonight.  It was our second win in a row and we are 2-2 overall with 3 games left to go.

As the season winds down though, one can't help to think that an era will soon end.   We had 12 guys officially on the roster and 9 guys over the age of 30.  I have a history of playing with all of the guys.  However, it is the older guys with whom I played with the most.  We've gone through some ups, downs and all arounds through the years.

Two of the guys played in our first game, got injured and are out for the season.  One guy missed the first game, played the next two games but was recovering from injury.  He recently declared himself out of the season as well. Another guy is coming off of shoulder surgery.  While he is otherwise relatively healthy, the constant banging takes a toll on his body.

Interestingly enough, we have a guy that is ALMOST 49 and can still play well.  He's slowed down a bit recently but even a few years ago, he was moving around pretty darn well.  The reason why he is playing is he stopped for a long time.  He got back into the game two or three years ago and he is trying to make up for lost time.

For the rest of us 30 somethings, it's not really any injuries that are holding us back.  It's the fact that we feel we're a step slow.  We don't quite move as fast or jump as high as we used to.  It's a lot tougher to recover after playing basketball.

For me, I actually feel quite good.  I had my share of injuries in the early 2000's.  It took a little while to heal physically but even longer to get over the injuries mentally.  However, I did get over it and I feel I've played at a pretty good level since 2007.

I'm in pretty good shape and can get up and down the court.  But banging around the basket with the 20 somethings in our league is tough.  Also, I realize I just do not move all that well laterally anymore.  I used to love the opportunity to guard young guys.  Well, the young guys have been having a field day lately when I guard them.  I was never the greatest of defenders when I was young and definitely not a great one-on-one defender now when I am older.

There is some talk that once this summer season ends, a few of the guys made ride off into the sunset.  They are not going to stop playing basketball.   However, the days of running and competing in league ball may be over for some guys.

Personally, I'll still be playing as I enjoy playing and the social aspects of the game.  Yes, it is getting harder to play against young guys, but fortunately, I have options to remain playing even as I get ready to hit my 40's next year.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Passing Of The Torch

After a month off, it was time to get back into the swing of league basketball.  One of the summer league's began this afternoon with a 1 PM game which we lost 47-41.  This particular team is talented on paper but a lot of the guys have not played with each other that much.  That showed in our chemistry today.  There were a lot of turnovers because everyone wasn't used to playing with each other.   The chemistry can be worked on as we lost a couple of guys to injury and that will shrink our rotations down a bit.

But the one thing we can't work on is our ages.  Out of the 11 players who played today, eight of them were over 30 including guys who were 47, 39, 38 (two), 35, 34 (two), and 31.   The other three guys were 27, 26, and 24 respectively.   The old guys looked a little slow against our competition, many of whom were in the early to mid 20's.  They were stronger,  more physical, quicker and simply more athletic that us.   Our 24 year old was our most effective player simply because he could still get up and down the court. Most of the old guys struggled against the other team's quickness.   

Yet, as I look at some of our old guys, I remembered the days when we could do the same to other teams.   Our team will be fine as we all know how to play.  It'll just take some time to get the chemistry together. 

However, I see there are a few other athletic teams similar to our opponents today.  We will have to play real well to be competitive.  We can no longer out run and out jump our opponents.  That's what the next generation of kids are going to do to us instead!  :)

Saturday, June 01, 2013

The Simple Things

A good friend of mine and I usually talk at least once a week.   I'm not particularly sure why we got into the routine but it's beneficial for the both of us.  My friend lives alone and is pretty far away from me so I feel it's good to give them some company.   On the other hand, I like to chat and get things off my shoulder.  My friend is pretty relaxed and gives me a nice outlet to vent if I need it. 

My friend and I had talked briefly on Tuesday.  It's been a stressful time for the both of us so talking a bit was good.  I was a little surprised when my friend pinged me on Thursday to talk again.  We'll talk more than once a week if either one of us needs it.  Thus, when I called my friend back, I was expecting to discuss something serious. 

As it turned out, my friend wanted to ask my opinion about a camera they were looking to buy.  The camera was expensive and we had a long discussion.  In fact, we even looked at some of my photos I took to show what could be done with a good camera.  We had a good time talking and got a lot of laughs.  Before you knew it, three hours had flown by!  

I commented to my friend that the talk was good.  It was good to have some fun and laughs.  I told my friend that lately our discussions have been short plus a little more oriented on stress and other things going on.  Changing up the script was beneficial. 

In today's world where the texting, emailing and other forms of electronic communication are used heavily, never underestimate simply just talking to someone.  I sometimes don't have a choice with certain friends but when possible I think a chat is much better than electronic alternatives.