Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Review 37: Shop till you drop

I can not believe that we are less than 20 days from Christmas! I'm also officially 2 months away from jetting of to sunny Cabo. However, our current mild temps aren't really making me crave that hot weather right now, talk to me in a month though. When you can go outside comfortably in a winter jacket and aren't afraid of losing your nose or some phalanges, you know it's a good winter day in Minnesota.

Friday night was basically the perfect night for me. I went to happy hour with some friends and then I picked up 22 Jump Street and a nice warm meal from Lund's on my way home. I was able to get to bed at a decent time so mom and I could get an early start to our day of shopping.

Late Saturday morning we headed up to Albertville in hopes of beating the crowds.  I'm not a big fan of clothes shopping because I don't know what my style is, well, I know what I want it to be but I can't afford it so I just buy what I can afford and what is on super sale. We walked in to Ralph Lauren and I immediately said 'I want everything', but we walked out with nothing.

I told my mom I want to get classy pieces because I really don't feel like I dress my age. I ended up getting a couple dresses and a blouse from Anne Taylor that were on super sale. I'm looking forward to getting them for Christmas.

After we hit all the stores we wanted to at the outlets, we headed back down to Maple Grove and hit up DSW, Home Goods, Marshalls, Costco and Whole Foods. We settled my Christmas shopping with some practical items like socks and a Britta water pitcher.

After shopping we went back to my parents so we could do some wine tasting so my mom could decide what wines she wants to serve at Christmas. We did Pinot Grigio vs. Sauv Blanc Cupcake and we both agreed to go with the Sauv Blanc. Their Pinot Grigio tasted too much like a dry chardonnay. After we topped off those two bottles she opened a deep red Menage a Trois called Midnight. It was delicious!

Sunday was my new typical Sunday. I made a nice breakfast and hung around until it was time to head to volleyball. Practice went so much better than Tuesdays practice. We added another player to the team who I think will be a great addition. She has a ton of strength and an insane jump serve.

I also realized the girls pushed back with the other coach, just as much as they did with me, she is just more authoritative than I am. We worked on passing and serving for most of the practice and I'm starting to see some nice improvements. I'm sure the season will still be filled with its ups and downs, but days like Sunday make me very excited for this season.

Junior Year Parents Night
I met with the Club Director and we signed my contract which was nice. It means it's official and I really do get paid to coach/play the best sport around.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Coaching Is No Joke

Last night I had my third volleyball practice and second practice as solo coach. After Sunday's practice I felt pretty good about my coaching abilities and spent a lot of time researching drills and writing out a great practice for Tuesday night.

Tuesday was anything but successful. On Monday I found out one of my players was moved up a team. On Tuesday I found out one of my players, probably my best player, decided that this team wasn't going to be challenging enough so she wasn't going to play (decided that after coming to just one practice). When I showed up to practice, the other girls said another player was moved up. However our club director said that was not true. So I guess we'll wait and see on that one.

We started practice with some peppering so the girls could get warmed up and moved on to what I thought would be very simple partner passing drills, but mixed up a bit from our first two practices.

The first drill was an Active Passing drill. Half of them just didn't understand what I was asking, so we demonstrated and the light bulb clicked. But instead of running to the other side and keeping control, they just moseyed over and would let the ball drop.

The third drill I asked is the most simple of the drills. A simple pass back and forth. Once you've completed that for a minute, back up and put more space between you and your partner then do the same thing setting.  Girls just started peppering or setting when they should be passing, passing when they should be setting. It was just excuse after excuse.

The last passing drill I wanted to do was the Pass & Go. A beginner drill that anyone should be able to do successfully. For whatever reason, everyone fought me on this, saying they couldn't shuffle and pass the ball. It was my last drill and I just gave up. They just continued to do what they wanted to do.

I came in to practice with low self esteem after feeling like the player who isn't playing club because it isn't challenging enough, meant that I wasn't a good enough coach and wouldn't be able to challenge her.

This is my first year coaching, and everyone has to start somewhere, but maybe 15/16 year old girls wasn't the right choice. The lack of focus and respect for a coach is somewhat surprising. I'm twice these girls ages and they question everything I say and every drill I ask them to do.

Our next practice I'll have my co-coach back and she can take control again, but I'm going to have to grow some balls if I'm going to keep these girls in line and make a successful team out of them.

We finished practice sharing the court so we did some hitting lines and scrimmaged the other team. In a game setting these girls have the skills, they just don't understand that we need to constantly work on improving our most basic skills in order to be a successful team.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Weekend Review 36: A Thanksgiving Recap

My long weekend started with my first Timberwolves game in many many years. It was a close game until the 4th quarter. I've never been much of a basketball fan, but there's so much going on besides just the game, that I stayed fully entertained and was surprised at how fast the game went.

Thanksgiving morning I headed over to my parents house to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade before we headed over to my cousins house. This was the first holiday that there were two babies and it was so much fun having them around.

Years ago my aunt Jane gave my aunt Linda a box of old baby clothes that my Grandma Izzy and Great Aunt Dorothy wore. Linda forgot about this box over the years so she brought it out for us to go through and take any clothes that we might want for future kids. I took some towels/hankies that had a 'P' on them that my Great Grandma Page had, because my middle name is Paige. A lot of the items had notes attached that had my Grandmas writing, so it was fun to be able to go through this box as a family.

Since my office was closed on Friday I headed up north to the cabin with my parents. Dad worked on ripping out the kitchen ceiling so he can raise it, and I worked on drinking and tending to the fire. Mom made round two of Thanksgiving so we could have some leftover turkey, and I happily ate another full Thanksgiving feast.
Saturday was a balmy 35 degrees so before we popped any bottles we headed to the wood lot and picked up some wood for the fireplace. This meant tossing in wood and stacking it in the bed of the truck then getting it home and re-stacking. Once our single chore for the day was complete, mom and I worked on our mimosa drinking skills while dad continued to tear down the lovely ceiling he installed earlier this summer.

The Badgers played the Gophers and since Saturday's are $2 build your own burger night at Jed's, we had plans to head there for half time. Since neighbor Sarah was up she came over and went to Jed's with us before her and I headed to 'Deer Camp' to hang out with the rest of the neighbors. We played some games of Screw Your Neighbor and I was surprisingly good at that.

Sunday was a very special day, it was Miley's 7th birthday! I can't believe she is 7! I think by now she has lived with my parents longer than she has with me. Some day we'll be living under the same roof again, just as long as it's not my parents roof.

We loaded up the truck to head back to the cities because I had my first solo volleyball practice. I have an assistant coach, but to start we are going to co-coach until I feel comfortable on my own. Well, after yesterday I feel pretty darn comfortable. We start our practice with strength training then move on to the courts. I really like the group of girls that I have on my team and I think this is going to be a really fun season.

We worked a lot on passing, which none of them wanted to do so I tried to compromise. If you get x amount of perfect passes to your setter, we'll add hitting lines. Wouldn't you know it, they made their perfect passes the first go around.

As a hitter I know the eagerness to just want to get out there and jump and hit the ball, but if you can't pass, then you'll never get set up to hit the ball.

We also really need to work on serving. The tough thing is that the club director just wants the girls to focus on jump serves. How do you expect a girl to jump serve if she is still struggling with an over hand serve?

Needless to say we have our work cut out for us. But, We have over a month until our first tournament and we will be doing a lot of passing drills in the meantime. There's so much potential on this team, it's just making sure the girls listen and retain what we tell them.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Review 35: Is this your daughter?

Friday night I finally got to see the move Gone Girl. I've been wanting to see it ever since I heard the book was going to be a movie, but trying to plan a girls night was proving to be impossible, so I got to have a date night at the movies.

Like most books turned movies, I liked the book more than the movie, but if I didn't read the book, or know what it was about, I'd say it was a pretty damn good movie.

Saturday I headed over to my parents house to take advantage of cable. The trashy reality tv Gods were looking out for me. As soon as I sat down and turned on the tv Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was on and that went right in to VanderPump Rules. Then I totally caved and flipped to the Hallmark Channel where I proceeded to watch every Christmas movie they had on. It was a very productive day. I also discovered that I could absolutely survive on a box of Ritz crackers, a log of summer sausage and a block of colby jack cheese. That might have been the only thing I ate for 24 hours. Not sure if I'm proud about that or not.

On Sunday I had my volleyball teams pot luck. It was the first time I got to meet all the girls and their parents...who thought I was a player. As the parents came in I would talk with them and as more parents came they would ask if I was the parents daughter who I was talking to. I will take that as a compliment, but I certainly don't think I look like a 16 year old Sophomore.

We had our pot luck at one of the players houses out in the country, and it was one of the most beautiful houses I've ever been in. Each girl brought a dish to share and we had everything from chili and sloppy joes to fruit and bunt cake.

It was more of an informational meeting for the parents. We went over our schedule for the year, goals, rules, etc. One of the most refreshing things was seeing all the girls get along. Especially since no two girls go to the same school.  Observing a few of them, I think my biggest challenge this year is going to be keeping them focused long enough to get through 2.5 hour practices. 16 year olds have a lot of energy!

For dinner I finally got to try 5-8 Club. I had been craving a good burger for over a week, so when the 5-8 Club was suggested I jumped at the chance to finally give their Juicy Lucy a try. I would love to do a side-by-side comparison with Matt's Bar because I remember their jucy lucy being pretty good as well. I will say that the 5-8 Club has some pretty damn good french fries though.

Have a happy, healthy, and filling Thankgiving!