Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Newbie Blog: Be Careful Out There

I can’t think of a sport where you want to find yourself nose down on the floor. But this is where I found myself 20 minutes into City 2’s match against Abingdon 2 on Sunday.

We were 2-1 down and attacking as the ball threatened to go out for a throw. Somewhere deep in my brain – let’s call it the Stupidity Centre – I decided that should not be allowed to happen. So I rushed after it, jumped, landed badly, and spend a minute on the floor doubled up in pain after hurting my ankle. That was the end of my match.

My ankle hurt as I hobbled off, and so did my pride. But, more than anything, I was angry that I’d hurt myself while doing something so bloody stupid. This is not something we practise in training. In my mind, the sympathetic clapping from everyone else only served highlight that stupidity.

So what can we (or, let's face it, I) learn here?

Mind the Gap: There isn’t much space between the edge of the court and the wall. You only realise this when you’re crossing the sideline at speed, and that lack of space makes it very difficult to slow down quickly. Trying to do so can lead to injuries.

Get Good Shoes: I have a dodgy left ankle anyway, so it doesn’t surprise me that I hurt it. However, I feel lucky that I was wearing basketball shoes with high sides that stopped my ankle from twisting even further. If you don’t have the right shoes then put a pair on your Christmas list.

Let It Go Out: You may want to keep the ball in for your next attack, but you’re not much use to your team sitting on the sidelines nursing your ankle with an ice pack.  It’s better to let the ball go out then spend the next few days hobbling around.

Korfball People Are Good People: Thanks to people from City, but also the people from Abingdon and Didcot Dragons who don’t have a clue who I am but still asked how I was. Getting an injury is horrible, but it did show me how supportive people are in the Oxfordshire league.

Thankfully, it's only swollen and bruised rather than broken, and should be fine if I sit out training for a week. I’ll be back in December, after I’ve given my Stupidity Centre a stern telling off.

Rich Heap

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Match Report - Oxford City I vs Reading Uni

Oxford City 1 vs Reading Uni 16.11.13

The match against Reading was on a Saturday, unusual, and in Reading... Even more unusual!

We started the match with only 7 players as our 8th player was driving back from doing a 10k obstacle course/actually lying in bed and fooled us all ;)Our division of 3 started in attack and actually took the game to Reading, scoring twice and then defending excellently. Our other division of four worked the ball well, Simon particularly as he was marking/being marked by a giant!

The game was close with only 2 goals in it as half way through the first half Dan arrived to make the game a more traditional 8 v 8 layout. Playing against our traditional rebound defence and with no numerical advantage Reading started to suffer. At half time we were roughly 4 goals ahead and playing well.

As the second half progressed we continued to pass, shoot and collect well and we started to edge further and further ahead of Reading. Dan got a fresh opponent, just in case he wasn't tired enough! But whilst Dan had tired legs he managed to make the most of his advantage in experience, being a able to run past his player at ease scoring a number of running in shots (Even though one of them has earned him a drinking fine!) provided by excellent feeds and collects from Taissa and Ruth.

Down the other end Alice and Jo were working tirelessly with some excellent collects and feeds, Gaz was running the legs of his poor opponent, Simon was keeping himself nicely free so that when his defender dropped off to cover Gaz he was free for a shot. And shot after shot went up, some excellent recycling of the ball and something reading just couldn't match.

Final score was 15-5 to Oxford City, lots of great goals but more importantly excellent team work in each division to allow those players to score. Special mentions to Taissa playing up and fitting in to the division like she had always been there. And to Simon for marking someone almost twice as tall as him.

Player of the match is a hard one to choose, so many great goals... Player of the match goes to Alice, who had an excellent game, feeding and collecting brilliantly and providing some great passes at the right time to allow both Gaz and Simon to score some excellent goals.

Goals - Dan (5), Dave E (3), Gaz (3), Jo (2), Ruth (1), Simon (1)
Official MVP - Dave E

Dave Everett Roving
OCKC Journalist

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Newbie Blog: The Only Way Is Up

I reached the pinnacle of my sporting career on Sunday. That's not as impressive as it sounds.

The problem is that it makes it sounds like my life has been packed with sporting successes, which it hasn’t. The previous pinnacle of my sporting career came when I got a rosette for coming third in a gruelling 50 metres sprint at a school sports day. My sporting pinnacle doesn’t tower like Mount Everest. It’s more like the minor undulation of a molehill on a well-manicured lawn.
But let’s ditch the self-deprecation and get onto the facts.
On Sunday, I played my second competitive korfball match, and only my third full-length match. In both previous matches I’ve played in my team has lost, which sets off dark thoughts in a newbie.
“They won their first two matches, but now we’re losing. Is it me?” “What else could I be doing?” “Am I letting my teammates down?” “Would we have won if I wasn’t playing?”
Yes, it's a team game and it's the team that loses but, as a new player, you can't help but think that a loss might be somehow your fault. That’s what I was thinking as I headed into Sunday’s match between City 2 and Oxford Uni 2, and probably why I spent the first half apologising to the other members of my division – Charlotte, Taissa and Dan – for most of the things I did.
But that changed at half time. We held a 3-2 lead against a combative and fit team, and I had been run around and shoved a lot, but I now felt like we could win. I just had to keep going.
For me, the second half continued just like the first, and I was knocked over a couple of times but I didn't care. I managed to keep doing my job until the end - just - and we ended up winning 9-2.
It's a great feeling. I’ve never been proud of anything I’ve done physically – except my supporting role in the creation of my daughter – and Sunday is definitely the new pinnacle of my sporting career.
And as long as I keep improving and stay confident, there should be plenty more pinnacles.
Rich Heap