Monday, March 7, 2011

Brickwall's gone Pro

Noah had a great 5th grade season as a Beaver Dam Baller.  With the crazy weather we had though, several of their games and practices were never rescheduled.  As a result, we were a bit disappointed not to cheer for as many games as we usually do.  It was a pleasant surprise to learn he'd been picked to play on an AAU team for Ohio county.

Now, I'm such a basketball novice that I had to look up what AAU even stood for, but I did know it was a traveling team and would not only give him more play time but continue strengthening his skills.  At his age, we felt this was perfect timing to develop the budding basketball star we believe he is.

Noah's team is a mixture of multiple schools within our county and is known as the OC Hoop Squad.  For the past several weeks, he's been in pretty intense training - at least 3 days a week, about 2 hours a session.  The first night alone he learned new techniques and skills so he's loved every moment of it.  I can tell it is more physically demanding though, as he sleeps pretty hard on those practice nights!

Their first official tournament begins this coming weekend, as we travel to Grayson county.  The boys had an opportunity for some good practice though on Saturday by playing in a 6th grade tournament.  Not only would they be playing older and more seasoned teams, they would play four games within a five hour period.  That was certainly a change from what he was used to!

We made sure he was well hydrated and rested the night before and treated him to a power breakfast at Subway that morning.  He was a jumping, jittery boy at the restaurant, a mixture of adrenalin and nerves.  I pumped him full of encouragement and confidence, inside hoping for the best.  In reality, I knew it would be very unlikely for them to win any games but I knew it would be good practice for them.

Even though Noah is very tall for his age, you could see the size difference even with him compared to the other teams.  They drew to play their first team and it happened to be boys they knew - the 6th grade Beavers.  Although the score was 18 to 46, I was very proud of the way they played.  For their first game, knowing they were nervous and the odds stacked against them, they did very well.

I was especially pleased with the way one coach led his boys, letting them practice passes instead of shooting for points and giving our guys opportunity to learn better defense.  One of their last games, with a score of 32 to 58, was a surprisingly good effort.  By that point, the boys were all tired and I'm sure aching in spots they didn't know they had but they held in there and played hard.  Although we didn't home take any trophies, I felt they were all winners.  It surely prepared them for their tourney this weekend and showed them areas they need to improve, like passing for the best shot and rebounds.

Overall it was a good preview of what's to come this season.  I'm happy to be a proud mom cheering from the stands and discovered some things on my own...  I've learned that sitting for five hours can make you more tired than you'd think, areas you didn't know possible can go numb, and that next time this chick's bringing a pillow - I just won't be using it to nap!!


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