Late again! I couldn’t be anymore frustrated with the current arrangements for our Thursday practice session. I finish my teaching at 4.30pm and then have to make the 78 mile journey in rush hour traffic, at both ends, to start practice at 6.30pm. I couldn’t do it, not in a Ferrari and with a willingness to drive faster than I already do, I just couldn’t, not even if I tried harder. The truth of the matter was, of course, that nobody was to blame. We had lost our training venue and as a result have been occupying a temporary time slot at a central venue, and wouldn’t you know it, the only available time slot was 6.30pm. I had said I wouldn’t be late, but I am late every Thursday at the minute! What was the impact of this? Did it have a negative influence on available practice time? The way the players engaged in our Thursday practice unit in my absence? I didn’t know but then I didn’t want to be late!
Having arrived late I was pleased to see some structure to the practice. The boys were engaged in a conditioned game, there was some discussion and evidence of some effort to meet our game model. I apologised, asked a couple of questions and then allowed them to play a little longer before getting into some other stuff I had planned. The players were responsive, understanding and appeared okay with my now regular punctuality issue. I stood and watched them practice for a while, slowly regaining my composure, removing my 145 minute drive from my shoulders, I entered the room and began to look forward to the weekends game.
Practice flew by, we got into a number of different activities, structured to promote decision making and problem-solving, and which led to a number of small successes. Players were talking to one another, directing, explaining why they did what they did, and most importantly of all, they appeared to be having fun. We came together, shared a few logistical details regarding our upcoming fixture, and then just like that it was all over. The drive home allowed me time to think about time, the lack of, the effective use of and the need for more. Was it poor planning on my part, an unfortunate predicament or just what it was? It wasn’t long before I was home and busily moving around my home office preparing for work the next day…clearly I had ran out of time, again!