Monday, August 22, 2011


A guy with a violin case went up to a New York cop and asked how to get to Carnegie hall.  The cop answered, "Practice, practice, practice."

The Outlaws practice a lot.  Starting in January and running up to the first game in what, April?, they practice three times a week.  And have skull sessions in between.  I love doing photography at practice because I can get close to the action.  I can stand right out on the field - just have to remember to move if the action comes my way. 

Some practice photos may make you smile.
I browsed my practice photos to see if I had any you might enjoy.  And I found a few.  Some made me smile.  Some I found just fun. 

Ski's shredded jersey.

Ski making a powerful tackle during practice.  Ripping her jersey?
I liked this one (above) because of the damage to Ski's shirt.  She wears number 34 in practice which is the number her son Chris wore playing for Leander high school.  She is obviously hard on shirts.  The reason is obvious when you see her play.  Even in practice she plays hard.  Wears out her shirts.  Wears out running backs.

That brings up an issue - should players go all out in practice?  Or take it easy because we're among friends.  I'm in the go-all-out school.  Football is an all-out sport and holding back invites injuries.

When you're lining up against your own teammates, you get an idea of who is good and who is really good.  When KJ Scheib was playing for the Outlaws, she had a reputation as a no-holds-barred quality player, in the game, in practice.  I can imagine teammates hoping they wouldn't be matched against her in drills.

KJ Scheib in one-on-one drills driving her teammate
into the ground.  An act repeated frequently that day.

You're coached to get lower than your opponent so you'll have leverage and you'll be in a power position.  Getting low on KJ shouldn't be hard because she's 5' 10" tall.  But there's more to getting low.  Need to have butt down, shoulders up.  Need to drive through.  Easy for me to say.  In the one-on-one drill, KJ kept putting her opponent on the ground. 

Makes you feel sorry for opposing teams.

Chaos.  Power struggles.  Is there any order to what's going on here? 

A value of practice is figuring out what's going on.  I played the line and honestly I often had no idea who had the ball.  I just did battle with the player in front of me until someone blew the whistle.  If I happened to see the ball, I'd try to tackle the guy who had it.  I like pictures like the one above because it captures the struggle that goes on on every play.  And it gives a sense of some of the havoc.  There must be a ball out there somewhere.

I never liked practice.  I preferred game day with fancy uniforms, bands playing, adoring fans.  Practice was drudgery.  Especially the calisthenics.  But I wasn't as smart as Lorin Smith.  Maybe if I had her style, practice would have been more fun. 

Lorin with eyes closed during stretching drill.  Napping?

Get tired?  Take a nap.  Cool.

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