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Old Fri Jan 26, 2007, 04:10pm
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Location: Arlington, TX
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Pressure situation

Kinda long…forgive me. I saw a comment in another thread and had an experience last night that got me to thinking…hide the children as it can get ugly when I do that seemingly simple task.

The comment was about “pressure”. Last night I called the JV game at a school in our area that is the 800 pound gorilla of basketball in their classification. You walk into the gym and it is lined with district, regional and state championship banners. Basketball on that campus is IT. Even for the JV games, the place is ALWAYS packed and vocal. They are not the typical vocal crowd…they KNOW basketball…they KNOW their teams are top notch…they KNOW if you kick something (how did I get this game?). The varsity coach is always sitting at the end of the bench and remembers you…at least your face if he hasn’t been introduced to you.

Before the game last night, my partner and I were chatting with the varsity coach of the visiting school as our dressing room wasn’t real close. They were getting started late because the visiting team was held up in traffic and both teams had returned to the locker rooms...we entered the gym at what we thought would be the right time only to see them reset the clock to 20 minutes to allow for their meeting and a proper warm-up. The home team varsity coach comes up, shakes our hands, looks at me and says “I remember you from a JV tournament early in the season. You did good work in that game. Give us another good one tonight.”

When the game started, it was fast paced, intense and competitive (at least until the home team decided to press to start the second half…game over). Every dead ball or break in the action, you could feel the varsity coaches watching you. Both (very politely) asked a couple of questions during the game about situations and during a chat at halftime (they shortened the half to make up for lost time…we just stayed in the gym). While it wasn’t the ideal situation (with the varsity coaches), it was different and, in a way, exciting. When the game ended, I realized I was exhausted…primarily from the atmosphere. I kept telling myself…”It’s a JV game for crying out loud. Relax, you have done varsity, games between heated rivals and been in a packed gym. Relax.” An evening very different from my others.

All that to ask, are there similar schools/programs in your area that you know, going in, will be pressure packed every time? Be it for the coaches, program history, gym set-up, etc. I can see why someone told me when you are sure you can handle a competitive JV game and are ready “to move up”, you need to work a game at that school.
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Old Fri Jan 26, 2007, 04:20pm
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Good job!

Just a reminder...before the game and at halftime...keep the "chats" to a minimum, if possible.
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Old Fri Jan 26, 2007, 04:45pm
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I know of a few schools like that and a couple coaches who are like that. They seem to be the funner schools to ref at. It's nice when a coach (even if he/she is just using you to get you on their side) did his homework to know your name before you get there and is polite and actually asks questions on the floor. The flip side is when coaches yell and complain a lot...those are the poor coaches IMO.
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