Modern Hairfare

It's been a while since I last rocked a wild hairstyle. I used to do it for nearly every game/tournament a little over a year ago. Terry Danyluk, Golden Bears head coach, once commented how he found I always played more focused and intense when I had a crazy mane. Here's a few examples of past hair disasters/triumphs (to each his/her own opinion):

I'm not entirely sure why I went away from taking out the clippers and gel before I play, but I think it's about time to go back to a good thing. But I'm not going to go back to one of those old styles, I've already worn those out. This time I'm really going to take a walk on the wild side for Center of Gravity in Kelowna, during the August long weekend. Here's where blog followers come in, I've attached a poll to the right of this blog entry. That's right, I want you to pick my next fashion statement/faux-pas (again, whatever your opinion may be). Here are the styles I'm prepared to take on:

The Reverse Mohawk - I've already done a Mohawk, lets see it in reverse.

The ZigZag Mohawk - A small addition to a classic hair adventure.

The Checkerboard - Unlike the picture, I want it to cover my entire head.

The Face - This design speaks for itself. Literally, it has a mouth.

The Handprint - Perfect for petting.

Those are your options, and don't think that if I don't get any votes I won't do it. One of these is happening, and that's that, so you might as well pick your favorite. Voting on the right ---->


Ben Jammin


A look back

Just because I haven't been writing blogs for a while, doesn't mean I've left out one of the most important parts: Answering questions. I went back a ways trying to make sure I found all the queries that have been neglected but not forgotten. I will leave them all anonymous, for appearance sake (One day I'll get questions from more than two people). So, with out further ado, I give thee answers:

How does your strategy or approach for a game day change to anticipate the weather conditions? What are your most favoured weather conditions?

It really depends on a few different factors. Wind direction, severity, and consistency. 
Whether its a side wind or a headwind will is factored into which side of the court we'll choose, what part of the endline we want to serve from, whether to step back or forward on serve receive, sometimes even which player will be hitting with or against the wind on what side of the court.
On a calm day, no adaptation is required, but the stronger the wind, the more drastic the adjustments that need to be made. 
Wind consistency is probably the toughest factor to adjust to. A very gusty day will make the ball move in any direction at any time. The less consistent the wind, the more consistent as a team we need to be. Maybe that means taking a few less risks, but keeping the ball in play. Trying to force the opponents to make errors rather than go for the direct kill all the time.
Slightly off topic, I'm glad there's a question about wind, because its the perfect opportunity to put up a few pictures I took just recently here in Marseille, France. Marseille is renowned for consistently being the windiest tournament on tour every year. (Note the bending flagpoles)

Judging by the length of that first answer, this could be a long one folks. Bear with me.

When you're playing against a beach opponent who is left-handed, how does this affect your beach game? In your experience, do many beach VB lefties actually convert to right-handed styles of play?

I don't find it affects how I play at all. Lefties are exactly the same as righties, just in reverse. Everything I would do against a right handed player on the rightside, I would do against a southpaw on the left. Every individual has their own style of play. Like snowflakes, no two opponents are the same, Be they right or left handed, every opponent gets their own game plan. Which, coincidentally, is the perfect lead in to the question.

When you study your opposition what do you look for and how does it improve your understanding of the game?

When making a game plan, it's time to get mean. We're looking to pinpoint every little weakness that the opponent has, and exploit it to our benefit. If we could break down every facet of an opponents game to the point that we knew exactly what they would do, and when, then volleyball would be easy. The problem is, just like there are no identical players, there are also no identical games. Nobody does the same thing every single time, but everybody has preferences. Sometimes an opponents favorite shot plays perfectly into our defensive style, in which case, we want him to do that as much as possible. If someone plays in a way that we aren't comfortable with, then its our job to figure out how to make them play the way we want them to. 
The key is staying one step ahead, because the whole time that we're analyzing our opponents, their gaze is directed right back at us, often in just as piercing a glare.

To finish off today we have a fun question that I answered in my head within about 10 seconds:

Which newspaper cartoon character would you want to be and why?

This may or may not surprise you, depending on how well you know me. My answer is Garfield. Especially after a difficult day of training or playing, all I want to do is sleep and eat, and who better personifies that post exertion desire as the fat cat himself.
I'm actually kind of curious as to what other comic strip characters get idolized. Please leave a comment answering the question yourself if you have the time. Let's see how many more Garfield's there are out there.


Ben Jammin


We Now Return to our Regularly Scheduled Program...

Don't worry, I am alive and well. I apologize for taking so long to update everyone with a new blog. Would you believe me if I told you I've spent the last few weeks trying to think up a topic to keep everyone enthralled? Well good, because you shouldn't. Rack that one up to sheer mental laziness. Shame on me!

So here's a quick rundown of how things went during my internet absence since the OVA tourney ended way back in late June, complete with several pictures. Enjoy:

Got a ride back to Toronto from Jay Nuttall, thanks again Jay.
Picture taken by Jay himself, by accident, but very artsy nonetheless.

Became a Star Alliance Elite Status Member
Received several Upgrade coupons in the mail

Flew home to Calgary, took a quick break

Trained at the Volleydome for a few days with
Scott Lahey, Jason Hofer, Josh Muise, Jeremy
King, and of course, lifetime coach, my dad

Played an AVA tournament at John Fry park in Edmonton. Finished second to Lahey/Hofer.

Stayed in Edmonton for the week, played several games of Settlers of Catan with Justin Merta and Jeff Ross. Went 1 for 10 - Brutal.
Trained at Malmo beach courts with young National athletes, Cam Wheelan, Ben Chow, Garret May, and Nick Del Bianco.

<<==Cooked dinner for Steve and I. Bon Apetit!
^^^Had a little too much fun at West Edmonton Mall....^^^

Finished 3rd at Sawridge Pro-Beach event in Slave Lake, AB

Used a coupon and flew first class to LA.
Cuz we're Ballers!
(No I'm not holding anything, my hand is just like that for some reason)

Trained in Huntington Beach for a week and coached some developing youth athletes. I don't know everyone's last name, but best of luck to all six athletes in the future: Alex, Brett, Cole, Jack, Mac, and Sean.

Flew out to Marseille, France to make some final preparations before Steve and I appear in our first FIVB World Tour Open event together.
Qualifier starts tomorrow, wish us luck.


Ben Jammin


Forgive me for taking so long to update. I planned on doing so upon our arrival in Slave Lake, but my connection to the internet is almost non-existent. I'm taking advantage of the little access I finally just got in order to update the page and let everyone know a new post will be up shortly. There is a live webcast of all the games for the current Sawridge Pro Beach event at the following link:



Ben Jammin