Sunday, August 26, 2007

4th Practice

Hot! That is the word of the day. It is 105 degrees today. I stopped and picked up my team mate who was walking from the station. Come to find out, he was coming all the way out to our practices from Toda-city. That sounds a lot like me when I was a young player in the UFL. Travel an hour, practice or play for 4 and then drag oneself home with another hour plus of travel.

Practice was just unbearable. It was go, go,go. I could feel the water just pouring out of me. It seemed that no matter how quickly I replaced the fluids, I was expelling them. The humidity was 90 percent and we were out there in full gear, hitting and running plays.

There was a lot of talk about this but I was glad we were doing it from the perspective of me dropping a bit more weight. But towards the end, I was feeling a bit bad and had to take myself out. I was getting a bit of what the Japanese call Natsu-Bate which basically means that your body feels lethargic in spite of being hydrated. At one point I probably over did the water input.

After about a 15 minute break, I was able to get back out and keep practicing. But this was one for the records as far as the temperature went.

My knee was bothering me again today. I really should be careful with it but I am hoping that all of the snaps every practice and squats on off days will help strengthen it to a point where I can get through the season.

Down to 112kg after todays practice. Going....going...gone....LOL

Sunday, August 19, 2007

3rd Practice

Another practice. Hot. Hot. Hot. Way too hot for anything much less practice. But we have a good group of guys today with almost everyone showing up in spite of the temperature.

Now that we are doing all of the normal warmup drills, I am getting tired even before we start play drills and walk-throughs. But that is a good thing.

I think that my young team mates are worried about me because they keep asking me if I am ok. I know that I have a long blank but I will get back to it. My conditioning has not come along like I thought it would but of course, endurance takes time to build.

I am back at center today doing a ton of snaps again. I am still trying to memorize all the plays and the assignments and yet we are running through everything. Snap count was a problem with me today. I kept jerking the ball. I must get off of the giddiness and start paying attention.

Hopefully the weather will cool off because these hot days are getting old. It has been triple digit weather for two weeks now and no relief or rain in sight. Maybe a rain dance will help matters.

I received the defensive playbook today. While it was familiar to me, I was a bit disappointed and actually wish the team ran a different defense which would use its personnel better.

I am now down to 113kg. I am surprised how fast the weight is coming off. Especially with the weight lifting during the week. But I suppose I just was too dog gone fat when I started.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

2nd Practice

This is the second practice. I have dug out the remainder of my gear and have finally gotten everything ship shape for the season. I could use a new pair of gloves, but that will have to wait.

15 guys showed up today and so we could have a bit more of something that looked like a real practice. It was still not at full speed, but the temperature was once again in the hundreds and the humidity was out of sight. I keep praying for those 70 to 80 degree Seattle like days. But that is about as likely to happen as pigs flying.

I started working as the backup center at the start of practice, but by the time we got through the practice, the first string center was looking to me to take over the position for him. It looks like this will be my position for the season so I better get better at it than I am now.

We had a bit of kicking practice today too. I was going to kick this season but after I kicked my third field goal, I felt my knee pop again. Thats it for kicking. No more for me.

At the end of this one, I signed all the official paperwork and other pertinents that had to be done. I received the offensive playbook from Mr. Iida (the Outlaws coach) and instantly started perusing it to see if there was anything different.

I also lost another 2 pounds today and am definitely feeling lighter. But the knees still don't seem to know that I am losing the weight. Hopefully they will get better with time.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

First Practice!!!

Football season is once again up us. As I head for practice there is the excitement in the air of a first day of school. It has been 6 long years since I played a down and 1 year since I went to a practice.

Since I joined the Tokorozawa Outlaws last year, I figured I better try and get through one season with them. Last year, my TV work just took far too much of my schedule and this season I want to play football.

I got to the practice field which is not much more than just a small field in the corner of Kokukoen (Airplane Museum Park) in Tokorozawa. But I won't complain because we practice every week on nice grass where most teams here in Japan don't even play their games on grass.

Unfortunately, only 8 people showed up for the practice. It is Obon week and many of the guys are off to their home towns for the week. But that is ok as I am a full 116kg (255lbs) and out of shape. It is 105 degrees and just plain humid. But that is good as it makes me sweat.

The whole practice went ok for me but it was light. We only had a little bit of light contact drills, mostly blocking drills as personnel are not available for the full practice drills.

My body feels like it has been through a grinder. I lost 4.5 lbs at practice and feel like a wet rag that has been used too much. My mind keeps asking, Do I really want to do this? But my pride and ego keeps saying yes. What do I do? Play on as they say.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Welcome to Bill Martens Football Blog

This blog is the notes from Bill Martens' time with the Tokorozawa Outlaws football team of the JPFF. After a number of years of not playing, Bill has returned to the league and will be periodically posting his weekly notes from practices and games here. They will include insights from the practices, notes about plays and even the nitty gritty such as weather and weight.

Stay tuned for more!