Thursday, January 15, 2009
My name is Garto, Harry Garto pt. 2
Well, well. Where was i, ah yes, just left the school. The trip home from the school was great. John T and myself caught a cab together and the scenic view on the way back was breath taking. Imagine sky high mountains filled with trees capped in snow, every house had a vegie patch in the back yard, a vegie patch probably as big as the house growing all sorts of vegetables from cabbage, choi, leeks etc. John T was really keen on finding where we could get some fresh fruit as he, as i believe is trying a new healthy streak. We drove through a small market place, comparison wise would be freo markets ten fold, and once again the japanese dont muck around. You can get anything and there is plenty of it. Helpful hint: dont barter with the japanese, its not bali and they dont like it. After John T got some fruit and i some how managed to get my hands on more pocky and coke we were off. Let me just take this opportunity to tell you that you can get almost anything from vending machines in japan, and there is one on every corner of every street. Now, you can get your regular pepsi and pepsi tasting coke, but you can also get hot coffee and underwear. Just in case you have an accident or just feel like a fresh set. Lovely innit?
Be prepared as i am now going to speak on the phenomenon that was photo of the day. Barty and myself were given the job of coming up with a topic of the day where all the players would have to take pictures of that topic but also have a Cat in the photos too. We were walking around the market place trying to think of a good topic for the first day. So we looked around and thought that we would start it easy, we decided to make the topic on what there was a vast amount of in the market place. Day 1 topic - "Funny looking old ladies with hats". A great first topic and in good fashion myself and Barty won the photo of the day. Check out all the photo of the day pictures on the Wheelcats page on facebook. Day 2 and the topics started to get a little crazier and we decided to go with "Man or Woman?". Same rules apply, wheelcat must pose and obviously as the topic suggest find someone who your not quiet sure is packing sausage or not. We all got out and gave this one a go, but everyone was beaten hands down and shocked in horror by Ben E's entry on what looked like a man pulling off a mangina. Nobody is sure who was posing as im sure no one wants to know. Day 3 was "Freak", a little tired after the days play, there weren't a great deal of entries. But Clare B entered a photo of team mate Kim R and we said that was a winner much to the disappointment of Kim. Day 4 and my favorite topic was up, "Look alikes". It was a great case of put your egos away but get out your stick to bash others. Fortunately i figured if i took the piss out of myself others wouldn't bother, great move as my picture of Ben E and myself posing as the muppets Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker won the photo of the day. But other great entries were Benny W as Ron Jeremy, Adam D as Guy Smilie, John T as Mario and Mr Potatohead and Kim R as a Beatle. If you dont do anything else tonight check them all out on facebook. Hilarious.
Back to day 2 and after we got all the school shennanigans out of the way it was soon time for the team training session at the gym. This was going to be the first time at this gym for us and some of the guys were hungry to hit the court, including myself. Something you need to know about me, i get bored very quickly, if i get bored i will do either one of two things, sleep or get up to severe mischief. Just ask anybody i have ever been on tour with such as Robyn M or Marcus L. So training went for 2 hours and we were going to split the session into two parts. Part 1 consisted of the Cats running through some drills and then going through their plays. For those who dont know wheelchair basketball, in laymen terms, is the smaller players setting screens for the bigger players to get as close to the basket as possible. Wheelchair basketball is a very inclusive sport where everyone has a role, and even if they dont score they have set someone up to do so. I believe a coach must base a play that they want to run around the players and their abilities, too many coaches watch others and just see a play being run by a good team and envision their team running it well. Big mistake, but Ben E does it well. He has got different plays for different combinations of players he has on the court. But it does also help having the depth of players that the Cats have. The second part of the training session was the captains run, where our elected captain for the tournament Sam C ran the last hour. What a greatly run hour it was as well, Sam and the players pushed hard and ran some really good drills. I have said this before, but there is nothing more satisfying to a coach than seeing the skills and work ethic that they have taught over years being put into practice. Thats why I coach.
The difference between coaching able bodied basketball and wheelchair basketball for me is the amount that the players care, how intense they are and how much they listen. For some reason most able bodied players try hard to make a team then as soon as they do they slack off and muck around. The wheelchair athletes however never stop pushing, never stop going for the next level, but i dont understand why. Is it because able bodied kids know like i do that the top level is unreachable? I was never like that, i thank god for every moment he gives me in basketball ooh rah. Or is it because the wheelchair athletes know that the next level is very reachable, or they are grateful for what they can achieve? Im not sure, all i know is that if you want to survive in one of my teams you will be pushing yourself all the time, no matter what. Or i will show you the door, i dont care how good you are. No one is bigger than the team. No one.
After training we had a half court shoot out, deal was that everyone kicked in 100 yen ($2 aus), and the first person to hit it won the lot. Clare B, Nang and myself air balled our first shot, compared to Sam C and Adam D almost took out the windows. Round 2 didnt see it get much better, until Ben E won and took away 1400 yen ($28 aus). Adam took him for double or nothing but missed. I was surprised with my 2 air balls as i beat Brant at a half court shoot out earlier that morning at the school. Although i did it with a size 6 on a smaller court.
Im going to have to let you go here as i am getting tired and almost broke my back at work today. Im about to watch robocop and have a big glass of cider, dont take the piss im irish, im allowed to have cider. Stay tuned for more later.