Baby Steps

One, Two, Barbeque.
That's what people say about a team that finishes 25th, or last, in the main draw, as we did this weekend. It's a pretty hard pill to swallow, especially considering we had opportunities in both matches to turn things in our favor. I'll probably be a little pissy about how i played and dwell on a missed block here, or a failed side out there. But we live and we learn.

I'm not saying we played poorly. If I look back on both losses today and both wins in the qualifier yesterday, we made far more good plays than bad. Those bad points in my mind are so few that they will fade away, and be replaced by the many positive plays that came out of these last couple days. And as the season rolls along, those mistakes will continue to be replaced not only in my head, but on the court as well. In Main Draw play, all it often takes is one extra break, good or bad, to make the difference between winning and losing. The teams that stay on top are the ones who have a tendency to make that break work in their favor.

On a positive note, we did actually play pretty well all weekend long, with the exception of one set, where we got picked apart by the Brazilian serving. We advanced through the qualifier easily, taking down a higher seeded Swiss team in the process. We were the only Canadian team to do so. We pushed Fuerbringer/Lucena (One of the top teams in the U.S. and one of the hottest teams on tour at the moment) right to the wire (11-11 in the third set, before missing a few opportunities at the end).

To top it off, after our worst performance of the tournament, I ran into Phil Dalhauser in the elevator of the Main Draw hotel. The first thing he said to me was: "Nice blocking out there, you got Thiago a bunch." Coming from unquestionably the most dominant blocker in world, I took it as a pretty big highlight. I think I managed to play it cool for the rest of the conversation though. That was as long as we've spoken since I've started playing on tour, so I guess you could say we're pretty much best buds now. It will be pretty embarrassing if he ever reads this.

All in all, there is a lot to be said of our first FIVB event ever as a duo. It may have had a rough ending but there is a lot to be taken from it, and used in future events. Even as I write my sour mood from our loss is being alleviated, you can probably all tell that the tone of this blog gets lighter as it goes. But in future, it will always be nicer to write about winning a few games than BBQing.

Ben Jammin


  1. Now the trick will be to block Phil a few times, how about in a final this summer!

  2. Tough draw alright but like your dad always says:"Just get me another two points!" Those few points will come. It's a process and you are well on your way. Just bouncing back in the second game of your second match is big. You should have booked your new best bud for a private blocking clinic next fall in Huntington... but now it's on to Prague! Parcel on it's way to T.O. in the meantime. Regards to Christian. Looking forward to meeting him somewhere along the line. mom

  3. Hey Ben,

    Live and learn, my friend. The points will come.

    Keep swingin'!

    Dwayne W

  4. Its great to hear you talking positively about your performance, bro! Keep that attitude, it's a huge sportsmanly step from the way you used to destroy yourself about the impossible little details after a game. I'm proud of how you're playing; 5th or 25th you're still playing and matching the best in the world