6.20.2010

Here's the Scoop

It's been a little while, and I know some people have been anxiously awaiting to hear whats up. The truth is, the lack of material is mostly due to the fact that I've been trying to get everything figured out myself. Fortunately, it looks like the pieces are starting to come together. Going in a new direction with a new partner and new goals. We're both ready to play the rest of the season, and see where it leads.

New Direction:
I'm playing with one of the other young guys who's ready to break out on tour, Steve Marshall. It's the first time since high school that I'll be playing with someone in the same stage of development as myself. The last few season's have been spent with older players, who were all great mentors on and off the court. I learned a lot from all of them, but now, with Steve and I on the same level, it's time to learn from our own experiences and become masters of the game on our own terms.

New Partner:
Name: Steve Marshall
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Age: 20
Height: 6'3"
Spike touch: higher than mine
Stats: Steve just came off a solid CIS season, ending up with a national all-star and a silver medal around his neck. Very athletic, and extremely fast twitch. The only thing he's lacking is experience. We played in an OVA tournament this past weekend, teams gave me way too much respect, and Steve got served a lot. Little do the other teams know, the more opportunity Steve has to side out, the faster he's going to rack up that essential experience, making our team that much stronger.

New Goals:
-Let's start with a big tournament win with the Sawridge Pro-Beach Tourney in Slave Lake, AB, July 9-11
-Take home a big Cheque at Centre of Gravity, August long weekend
-Play, and do well at, the last 3 FIVB World tour opens in Marseille, France,- Kristiansand, Norway, and Aland, Finland
-Take on North American teams during NORCECA events in September
-Hop on the podium at Canadian Open Nationals in late August

It'll take a little time to develop, and we might not win tournaments and games instantly, but hopes are high. The tracks are being laid and the Saxton/Marshall train is about to leave the station.
All Aboard!

Cheers,
Ben Jammin

6.09.2010

Tribute

I'll get right to the point. Jessi and I have decided to end the partnership. I won't go into details as to how or why, but in the end there were no hard feelings, and I wish Jessi all the best in his future endeavors. To commemorate our journey, I've made a little slide show of highlights. Sorry it's not longer, I didn't take a whole lot of pictures on the road. Most of the ones I do have I got off facebook and tournament websites, so thanks to them. Its a big change, and we'll see where it takes us both.

Enjoy the movie, sorry the quality of pictures isn't all that great.

video

I know there's still a few questions to be answered, but I figured this needed to be addressed.

Cheers,

Ben Jammin

6.06.2010

Cyberworld

We really take constant internet access for granted. Only when we don't have it do we realize how much we wish we did. Such was the case at our recent event in the very small town of Pnov, Czech Republic. We actually did relatively well at the tournament, finishing 3rd, but there is still a bitter taste in our mouths after a 16-14 loss in the 3rd set to top Czech team Kubala/Benes in the semi final. I have the scores of all our matches written down somewhere, but I can't find it at the moment, so hopefully I have them posted by the end of the night.

Back to the original topic, The Internet. Such a useful tool for all of us on tour. With our constantly changing schedules, it's often necessary to make a last minute hotel booking, or flight change, etc. and roaming phone charges would be ridiculously expensive, make the net a top priority. When we don't have it, we'll find a way to get it. In Pnov, for instance, Martin Reader, Chaim Schalk and I all ended up at the summer home of brothers, tournament hosts, and competitors, Petr and Joseph Benes so that we could get a quick email/facebook/world update.

As a means of communicating to friends and family, where would we all be without email. Blogging only lets me send info, not receive it. Though its not like I could much of that down in southern Czech (could be southern, i have no idea, I'm just venturing a guess. My internal compass does not exist here). Sometimes it's just nice little pick-me-up to receive a little message from someone back home, even if all it says is "Good Luck" (bsaxto@gmail.com in case anyone back home has forgotten. Hint hint). So when I go to somewhere without the net, those little emails just pile up (Maybe someday they will anyhow), and it takes all day to respond to them. I struggle with responding to emails even when I'm not away from a computer (bad habit, I'm trying to break it).

To conclude today, when beach vballers lose internet access, it's almost like losing a piece of ourselves. A luxury that didn't even exist for players 20 or so years ago, but for us technology crazed kids, it's like the third arm that we wouldn't know what to do without.

Cheers,

Ben