Did the Holiday Layoff Affect Your Game?

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            Well the Christmas and New Year’s Holiday season has come and gone which begs a question that I am sure every coach is asked “did the long layoff during the holidays affect your team’s game?” Granted, most all members are recovering from less activity and practices, a couple of weeks without games, too much time in front of a TV or computer etc. It is not uncommon or surprising if a team can lose a bit of their competitive edge during a break in action.

I think that I may have been affected by the break as well. There were fewer sports to cover and sometimes one finds himself needing to attend other functions that trump the ballgame during this time as well with church, family, and company gatherings being aplenty during the month of December.

Anyway, on my first high school event of the new calendar year, I forgot to charge my camera battery and wouldn’t you know it, about 8-10 shots in and the camera says the battery is spent. I am by no means a world class photographer, so it takes me several shots just to get warmed up and in the flow of the game. It’s not as if I didn’t have two weeks to charge it during the holidays. So there’s example one that maybe my game was affected by the holidays.

A second example of the down time bringing me down is my lack of energy for getting up and going. That could be a result of advancing age in my situation as well. It seems as if I get one extra day off, I long for two and if I get two days, I need three. The numbers never seem to come out right and I always need more days to get back my “game” for better lack of terminology.

Finally, the last obstacle to hurdle is just “knocking the rust off” and setting a regimen, setting the schedule, and just getting up and going. Once you get there, whether it is advertising or covering a game, everything eventually comes back to you. Although, it seems as if my recall is sometimes still on backorder or got lost in transit.

January is a busy month with our winter sports and we also will begin practice in our spring sports during the last week of the month. I have talked with two coaches recently, one involved with baseball and one involved with softball and they are eagerly awaiting day one of practice. Game one of the season will come in late February, as they both were quick to remind me as well. Already there is excitement and anticipation for these coaches as they look forward to their respective seasons.

Another event on the horizon is the Union County Basketball Tournament and it will take place January 17-19 at New Albany. Make plans to come support your favorite school as they battle to see who the champion is for the 2013 tournament.

The following Saturday, the New Albany Gymnasium will be the site for the 22nd Annual Hotbed Classic and there will be local area schools participating as well as schools from north Mississippi whose coaches have Union County ties and/or Hotbed experience. The Kiwanis Club always puts on a good day of basketball and rolls out the red carpet for all the schools participating. Make plans now to attend and enjoy the games.

Here’s trusting that by the reading of this column, we have all recaptured the fire and are all back on top of our game.


About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County and occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. I have lived in Union County my entire life and strive to use my articles to promote our players, teams and schools. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams.