Monday, September 24, 2007

On Your Mark, Get Set... (wait for it)

Can the players get any readier for Dalat League (not implying they are ready... it's just a negative statement in positive light)? One week left now, to brush up on their skills and fitness before showtime.

This week in training Mr. Jason's drills were more on the physical side, coming back off perpetual comments of training being not 'tiring enough'. Yet thanks to the attendance (15 again), the players' lack of fitness (with exception to a few) was not really exposed. Training being cancelled last week, the players returned to the court, perhaps a little less fit and skills a little blunt.

Still, training got a fresh makeover with Mr. Jason reconstructing most of the drills to up the challenge levels. Starting out with... Snakes (duh), training went on and on and then to the last drill, being a new one: termed "(what was it? uh...) Fake War"... or something like that. Here the players would utilise the whole court; half a section being the 'waiting area' where the players did ball control, the other half being the 'pressure cooker' zone, something similar to Prison Break, one section being the passing zone and the other being the 'pass-sprint-sprint-receive the ball-shoot' zone.

The game started, and just like last training, the two entrances to the court were used as sub-areas. Play went on quite smoothly, SanJeevan and Kuan Yang providing a few moments of brilliance: one firing off some rocket shots into the goals (albeit keeperless, take nothing away from his skill) and the other waltzing past two players (Jason and Steven!) and effortlessly lifting the ball into the net.

Later on during team talk the players revealed what their goals were, and how this week's training felt. Most admitted it was more tiring than usual, though Pei Li commented that she could still play, to which Mr. Jason replied: "Then I haven't achieved my goal." Jokes aside, Mr. Jason was either in a very good mood during training or had made it a resolution to be nice.

Well! One can only hope and pray that the players are ready.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

GAS To Fuel The Flame

Training this week was less serious and more fun-based (an unusual occurence for Mr. Jason) which was surprising, considering that Dalat League is just the week after next. Perhaps Mr. Jason thought the players needed a break from his autocracy, and thus did not even scream at the players once.

There was one new face in the court this week, invited by Miss Tania Loke. Here the club officially welcomes Sonia Frances Gopal into Frontliners Floorball Club. Training started off with Snakes (obviously) and ended with... some weirdly named drill... something like galah panjang where a team of four players had to dribble past four lines with another four players guarding each line, turn around, get back through and shoot.

There were more laughs than serious plays as this drill apparently turned out to be based on survival of the fastest, for the slowest player got all the attention from the players guarding the lines. This drill showed how much the players have developed, some, as Mr. Jason says when danger comes "face it head-on" or "wait for the openings".

Then came the game, but it was slightly different, for Mr. Jason was looking to select the players for Dalat League. Divided into groups of three (mixed), the teams used the two entrances of the court for the allotted place for substitutions (albeit inevitably getting a bit cramped as everyone craned their necks in to watch), to simulate the real deal during tournaments and friendlies.

Later on during the team talk the one resounding observation that everyone had made was how Tania had improved in her game, being able to have fun on the ball and pass with vision. Which gets us back to the title. GAS (get a stick) To Fuel The Flame. Tremendous improvement was shown by Tania after borrowing a proper stick from the club only last week and practicing daily.

Only one more training left until Dalat league. Will the players be trailblazers, running high on fire and desire to excel?

Come for training and find out.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Frontliners Training 010907

This week in training the focus was shifted slightly from the basics Mr. Jason has been hankering about for week after week. The drills were slightly varied from the previous trainings, them being more focussed on shots and passes rather than ball control. There was no need for Mr. Jason to reemphasize his no-recoil policy as the players efficiently undertook the drills.

Attendance was encouraging(too much has been said about attendance these past weeks, so let's give it a break) with fourteen people coming for training.

The one new drill held was taken from basketball, as there were three stations for a player to run to, all at different angles in the shooting zone, receive the ball and shoot. It was good training for the senior(not to be equated with old) players, who were expected to receive the ball and shoot, all in one motion, and hit the target, while for the less experienced players, their first priority was to stop the ball properly.

Match time. Divided into groups of three and segregated by gender, the players gave quite a good account of themselves as they played rather solidly. Looks like all that hard work has paid off after all. The teams played without a goalie for a short while when Felicia bravely went for the ball at June's stick and got a little starry-eyed afterwards. Nothing too serious, but credit to Felicia for wanting to get back between the posts as soon as possible.

Only two more weeks until Dalat League begins. Are the players ready? By the looks of it, they are improving vastly under the coaching of Mr. Jason, but are they really ready for the real thing or will they be a disappointment?

Well, technically, there's not much to be disappointed about, seeing that Frontliners Floorball Club aren't really in the top rankings of clubs in Penang (okay, bottom, then) based on their recent performance in the Penang Open Challenge, but, hey, that was in May. It's September now. Three months of nothing but steady improvement.

Still, it's not for this writer to say; it's the players themselves who'll decide who stands and who falls.