Saturday, 25 February 2012

Rant Time

Some stuff has been weighing on my mind about 'professional' basketball in Israel. Obviously the rest of the world doesn't have alot of the advantages that North America has in terms of sports and facilities and things like that... But some stuff here just makes me so angry. First and Foremost, and this is like complaint 1 through 27, is that there are no gyms available. Yes, that's exactly how it sounds. We do not have a basketball court to play basketball on except for the short time we have practice, and even then it's not under ideal circumstances. Our practice gym is also home to a day school I believe, as well as a number of volleyball, gymnastics, judo, etc, etc, etc, classes. So if we have practice at 7pm, usually there is gymnastics until like 6:50 or something. What this means is that even if I was inclined to come to practice early and work out by myself from say 6:30-7, I wouldn't really be able to. On the other end of it, when practice is over we only have a short period of time where we can continue to be on the court. The equipment managers hustle us off the court and into the locker rooms to shower so that they can take all the practice gear and laundry and get out of there. Now it has to be said that it's not like I'm used to the finest facilities or incredible access to the gym and such and such... Lafayette wasn't exactly the pinnacle of that type of stuff either lol. But I assumed at this point in my career, being paid as a professional athlete and being expected to perform, that I would be able to practice and improve if I wanted to. To that end, I assumed that outside of the established practice times (which really is only around an hour and a half), there is no available gym time to speak of. Yes,  you heard right, there are no times to come to the gym and work out on your own. Actually thats not true, every once in a while they'll tell us that we can come to this alternate gym with a concrete floor to shoot around from like 8 to 9am.... great. thanks for nothing.  This annoys/bothers me to no end. Like I'm being paid to play basketball but can't practice my basketball skillz other than in the small window of practice which is often not revolving around personal development. I had the same feeling many times during my Lafayette career. The feeling that the circumstances surrounding basketball didn't allow me to be the best basketball player I could be. Here I am, with people expecting results and strong performances, but I can't work to make sure my skill level improves or maintains itself. This is especially bothersome for me, and I honestly believe has hurt my level of play this year, because of the type of game I have. My accomplishments and skills as a basketball player revolve around having a great touch around the basket, feel for when to do what move or play, and finishing a high percentage of plays/shots. All of these things revolve around getting a lot of shots up on myself and being very comfortable with the ball etc. Sadly because we almost literally have no time to be in the gym and do our own thing, I haven't been able to keep up with my usual level of that type of thing. Which angers me. and frustrates me. Obviously I want to practice more and play better but I can't. I could go on and on about this so I'm just going to stop.

Another thing is everything about practice. First off we've stopped practicing on Saturdays (shabbat) so we're down to 4 days a week practicing, 1 game, 2 days off. Second, practice is only around an hour and a half, and alot of it is basically bullshit. People are lazy, lots of stupid bullshit euro drills. Our coach is very quiet and unemotional. Said he's "not here to motivate us"... which I think is almost a part of the definition for a coach's role in leading the team, at least at some times. Altho I don't put much blame on him, its mostly the team. I am constantly thinking how it compares to the far more structured, intense, and challenging practice atmosphere in college. Also I keep thinking about how much better the young kids would develop under college coaches and practices than they are here.

Altho the locker room, training staff, and other surrounding circumstances aren't NBA level, that doesnt bother me that much. Like I said I didn't grow up with a life of being spoiled by incredible athletic facilities etc. rant over for now i guess.

Anyways we've got 7 games to go in the season and are sitting in 5th place. It's a close league so it really depends how the next couple games go to determine if we're going to stay in the top 8 and make the playoffs. Honestly I'm almost indifferent. I want to come home already, have time off from basketball for a while and then be able to work out on my own terms and be back to playing at the level I'm accustomed to. But alas, gotta grind it out for a little while longer and try and stay in the playoff hunt.

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