Our boys played well enough to make it to the finals this evening against Brent - a school in Manila. It will be streamed live and the video archived here: http://126.96.36.199/APAC/index.htm.
the way these tournys work is for all twelve teams to gather for a long 4 day event. We are broken into two divisions (Asia and Pacific) of 6 teams each and play round robin to determine seating. Then a bracket tournament is devised and played out with hopefully the best from each division playing for the final.
Our team captain, Tom, had a very unfortunate death in his family last night and showed up ready to play this morning in the Semi-Final game. The boys played like never before and really demolished the ISB team 3 - 0 that we had lost to twice before.
Our head coach has a real laid back attitude and his philosophy is really to let the boys play and direct themselves. As a result they take a real ownership in the game. It is a very different philosophy of coaching than what I've seen in team sports - mostly basketball and football where the coach is often in the kids face yelling and screaming to get them fired up. Coach Veitch, instead, is smiling in the huddle and very calmly cracks a joke and asks them questions, leading them to discover the intended message on their own. He does this even at 23-23 in the heat of a set when we've committed a few errors and need to shape up.
Me, I keep stats and support his mission. I've got an XL program that a former student here (volley ball fan) created himself and it makes it easy to track. Since our big win this morning, A couple of coaches have approached me wanting to know wheat I do and how my stats program works. It's actually quite comical that they're asking me!
We had a very poor set the 3rd game of the tourny. John gathered the kids in and calmly told them that they had played poorly and made way too many errors. They looked down and listened and he said, "Mr. Matuschek has been studying the stats to that game and said they are the worst stats he has ever seen...in any math class he's ever taught!" Said with a grin, the kids laugh and rebound quite efficiently.
So we head out in about 15 minutes here to take on the Brent school from Manila...gotta go!
...and now it is 5 hours later and the Brent School from Manila showed us a thing or two. These guys could jump, hit and they had a more sophisticated offense. Cheers to them and we leave with a 2nd place trophy.