BCH Season 2021-2022 D1 / Look Back

“To what service is my soul committed? Constantly ask yourself this and thoroughly examine yourself by seeing how you relate to that part called the ruling principle. Whose soul do I have now? Do I have that of a child, a youth… a tyrant, a pet, or a wild animal?”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 5.11

It has been some years.

The more I have learned, the more I understood that there is a vast darkness around me. I remember of a saying that described knowledge as darkness around a campfire. The more knowledge you acquire, the bigger the fire gets. Then, so does the darkness. By achieving knowledge you realize how big the “unknown unknowns” are. Things we do not know we do not know.

Minding my own business – I got a call from Sandy. This is the time I did not use WhatsApp or any of that, so I got more calls than text messages. I do not recall the exact day, but it was around start of the summer as we were changing teams. Opportunity was – to take over first women’s team. What? Bear in mind – this is the time I actually wanted to get rid of training at all, or at least top down to only one Team.
“Okay, maybe I can swap u18W with D1, but I want to do ONLY one team!” was my first response.
Well, we all know how that went. Sleep over it, she said. And I did. Once I told my wife the news, I could see in her face that I have already made a decision. It did not matter what kind of ‘self talk’ I performed walking around our two bedroom apartment.
“You promised to be more around home!” my wife objected.
“I know, I know…” I replied. “But if I do not do this, then who will?” I asked.
Silence. She knew.
So the day after I got back to Sandy and accepted – I will take on first ladies team. And the u18W for the last year. They promised to leave if I did not continue to train them, this was the master plan all along – to train ONLY u18W in the season 2021/22. Worked out fine…

Fast forward – this was a challenging season to take over a team. I won’t even put flowers on it, this is not some book publishing, this is a blog post after three years of silence. This one goes for my books.
We are coming out of the hardcore pandemic and it still was not over. Nobody has any idea, everybody does their best and we try to preserve what we can. Only later I would realize that I am taking over a team that is relatively new, worked its way through pandemic and my mission is to fill shoes of a coach who had it for 5+ years and rebuilt it from scratch. Oh, and by the way – I have to get them back into the higher league. Good luck Valts.

At this point, this is becoming a rant and I won’t even deny it. Why? Because it’s past and we all got over it. Still, it is the part of the story. Season hit us hard at the start and I was really doubting my abilities to pull this adventure straight. One part of it was my persistence to introduce the “free basketball” to the Team. I knew it would be a challenge. I just did not assume it would take a whole damn season and more. Perhaps I had overestimated my abilities and that of the team and underestimated the impact the pandemic had on us.
If you know me, I did not take that hard on the team as I did take it on myself. Why isn’t it working? What am I doing wrong? How do I get to them? How much time do we need? Am I losing my mind? Why are we losing? Why do we keep going back to previous steps and not advancing?
Question after question and at some point it just goes into a downward spiral. We lost first games, it was a complete chaos and I was reconsidering my whole existence as a Coach and a Leader. It was supposed to be my bread and butter, but there I was – not able to follow myself. Most common question I asked myself over these months – “How can others follow me, if I am not able to follow myself?”.

We were standing 1 win and 4 losses at the bottom of the bracket. Only question in my mind – is this how I will fail the team? Take over the women’s team in damn Bezirksoberliga and fuck it up? Sure we had close games under ten points, but it takes only one point to win or lose. If we can’t break it – that’s it. We are going to leave the league. Players can’t do nothing for it, they were following me more than I thought they would. Something was missing.

The turning point? Our game six in the season against München Ost. Before that it’s been three losses against top teams and many cancellations due to Corona. So we could not compete with teams on even level or lower, but had to compete against top notch teams in the league. So was the München Ost also. This is where we take a little discourse.

This season I also completed my C-license in competitive sport as the action got cancelled completely because of the Covid last season. To be able to complete this license, one has to partake also oral examination with three questions. One of them was how to defend 1-3-1 Zone defense. Which I failed miserably – I have never played nor taught this particular Zone defense. This mistakes would me almost cost my license. I took it as my challenge and duty to learn and add this particular defense to my arsenal and got my team to do it. This also collided with the game against München Ost as I planned to use it to throw them off the track by switching different Zone defenses. All I had to do is teach it within one week to the ladies…

Getting back on track – it worked like a charm. Team went full in on the 1-3-1 and our defense got maximum effect on München Ost and even though they were favorite over us (even in my eyes) we managed to pull off the only thing that could’ve worked – great defense and decent offense. This was exactly what we needed as a team – success against a strong opponent. Word has it – they did not anticipate outcome like this with the roaster they brought in..

After, we won another three straight games. We got even with Wolnzach by implementing another defensive miracle with box-and-one and isolating their top scorer, who for some reason, was shooting EXACTLY against us like there is no tomorrow. Literally, she needed as little as 1s release for three-point shots. So the best bet was that she does not receive ball at all. We finished the season against Fürstenfeldbruck with two duels as they were coming out of tough season and re-building the team. For them it was more about getting the experience and toughening up, for us it was a chance to try new things and generally grow together as a team.

So here we go, a tough 5/4 season with uncertainties and more questions than answers. It’s not too far fetched to say – everyone was more tired of cancelled games than the ones being played. Something like that is not good for ones head.

The Biggest Change of all
Perhaps you fret and think you can’t make a difference in the way things are. Wrong. You can make the biggest difference of all. You can change yourself. And when you do that you become a very powerful and important force – namely, a good role model.
I believe you can do more good by being good than in any other way.

Coach John Wooden, A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court

All that, I am really looking forward to another season with Hellenen first ladies team, I think we have had a good “ice-breaker” season and we have developed a strong foundation on which we can build up for the future. Even if tough at start, we came through and I started to see the beauty in their game I had planned from the beginning. It is just beautiful to watch a team having fun, discovering something new and implementing it against the competition. This was also lesson for me, not to doubt my own vision, even if we have to go through the process and come back again, even if the pace is slower as imagined – trust the way, trust the team and they will deliver. At the end, maybe you are the change they need?


BCH U16w Season ’18-’19 [Look back]

After the last game of the League in Ismaning

Ain’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back – everything is different.


Goals of now past season (as of 23rd July 2019) can still be read under the team section of U16 Hellgirls on BC Hellenen homepage. Like a reminder that is put there to remind you of all the things you set out to do at the start of the season and now, when the season is over, it’s your job to look back. Look at all of the things that happened in between then and now. Calculate. What did we achieve? What is still there to be achieved? Maybe there is something to be taken to throw away for ever? Questions?

Did we have to achieve though? Does it matter? Questions. Most of the time it’s not the answers, but the questions that are the important part. Recently I talked about it with my young leaders. Importance of setting the right questions. Somehow I feel like I was too concerned of answers for the past months and a good observer would most likely say – Coach… not only the past months, but the whole season. This is what is standing on the Homepage – for non German speakers, I’m sorry, I hope the Google Translator does a good job.

Die erste Aufgabe wird sein einen disziplinierten Grundgedanken innerhalb der Mannschaft zu behalten. Die Hellgirls sollen sich selbst und ihre Mitspielerinnen in die Pflicht nehmen. “Eines meiner Ziele ist es, dass sie sich selber beibringen wie man fischt. Die Verantwortung das Spiel an sich zu nehmen und auch mal ohne Trainer zu lernen und zu verstehen, was man braucht, und was man nicht braucht.” erklärt Valts. Da diese Mannschaft noch eine Mischung aus der U16w und der U14w ist wird eine Hauptaufgabe die Förderung der Basics, der athletischen Fähigkeiten und der Spielintelligenz sein. “Aus meinem Blickwinkel benötigen die U16 Mädels sowohl das Input von Sandy (U12/U14), als auch von Georgia (Damen 1), damit sie die nötigen Schritte machen können um die Hellenen im Seniorenbereich irgendwann zu repärsentieren. Wir säen die Samen heute und in den kommenden Jahren soll diese Arbeit Früchte tragen”.

from U16w section of BC Hellenen homepage (23.07.2019)

Once again it is the First Season. Before taking over the girls I had the opportunity to train our U16-3 guys. But that is another story. Teach them how to teach themselves how to fish. I thought it will be a piece of cake. Boy I was wrong. As it turns out, this will be a long rise together with the Hellgirls. Not only that, turns out that teaching the basics is not as hard as learning the basics yourself. Keep it simple! Nice and easy. Ha! Probably the hardest thing to do in basketball is to keep at the basics and master them not only as player, but also as a Coach. Technique. Determination to do those 1’000 repetitions. Just as the saying from the far east: “I am not afraid of a man who has trained one hundred moves one time, I am afraid of a man who has trained one move one hundred times.” Of course they are talking about the discipline of martial arts.

What goes for the integration – question was good, execution was not. We are at it for the next season though. Mainly because it didn’t happen on the last one. So there is that. Sometimes looking back gives the necessary push, but I am not doing this whole build up just to explain something we already know. These travels are going much further and deeper than looking back eight months and drawing conclusions what went wrong. Questions?

Now, let’s do the usual stuff. Point one: Develop a strong culture of discipline. This is a tough one at any team, at any age, but I dare to say that U16 age group is one nasty piece of job. If you had the ability to think clearly before the puberty kicks in and you will able to do that again in like 20-30 years after it kicks out, then at the moment of 14-16 years you get wrecked by your own body and hormones. Discipline? This is the word many of us use, but rarely follows. Well, not all the time at least. Though, this is one of the most important things in life (in my humble and objective opinion). This is the asset to have when everything goes wrong, shit hits the fan, you fall to the bottom. You get the picture. When that happens, well then, if you have walked the way of discipline it will keep you going. When all breaks, discipline will get you through to the other side. Over the storming river. Sometimes slowly, but it will. That is why this is number one thing in my book of Rules. Follow the discipline as good as you can and as often as you can. We are only humans and everyone from us slips time to time, but we still can do our best most of the time.

That said – girls did a good job by accepting the challenge in building the discipline habits. We are still just at the foundations, but I am pretty proud of my team and how it has developed it’s discipline. Next season we will start to build the walls.

This brings us to the usual stuff – Point two: Build a structure, teach players to keep each other in check. Woah, yeah – this is even harder than the discipline part. Thing is, to keep others in check you must keep yourself in check first. Like, all the time. It’s a big point for a 14-16 year olds, but the was I see it, they are youth. Transition age, they are not kids anymore, they want and are able to make decisions and should make them. That also means they should learn to keep themselves in check and additionally the others also. At least the team you are playing in, twice-trice a week for two hours of training. Now, this is a part of leadership concepts I have been teaching my leaders. Are we there yet as a team? No. Do we have a chance? Yes. Starting with few, hopefully there will be many.

Point three: Teaching to learn for themselves or teaching them how to teach themselves how to fish. As mentioned above this is one of the main points in my trainings and again – in my humble, objective opinion this is a very important concept to learn in life for life. It’s also not an easy skill to learn, it takes years and years of practice and dedication to master it. Heck, I don’t think I even believe you can master it. You can get very good at it, though. There will always be something more to learn and know in this aspect as our times and society is always changing. Teaching yourself is an important skill to have. As I have read and watched some works of people much smarter than me (like doctors, scientists and the sort) I can take that information they have gathered in their fields of expertise, work and research – compile it and draw conclusions according to my experience. So, I have to say that what I’ve found is – humans are not made to remember everything, but to generate ideas and work with informations. Take input of information and create something new and useful. That said – learning new things and learning to learn is a VERY useful thing. You don’t have to remember everything, but you have to have the ability to find the things you need put them together to achieve whatever you are up to doing. This is what we can also beautifully learn through basketball – get to know what the Coach want to achieve and go and learn how to get it done. How to gather information. How to put it in use. Teach yourself how to teach yourself to fish.

Point four? Yes, it seems so! Basic skills, basketball IQ, Physical ability. So… what is this? Let’s start with the basic skills. What do I mean by basic skills? Running. Dribbling. Jumping. Well, that connects directly with Physical ability. Athletes. I don’t want only to develop “basketball players”. I want to develop athletes and “gamers”. The last one people are used to hear in internet gaming scene, but the way I see it – gamers are the people who are able to learn games. Sports games, card games, board games, video games. Whatever. They are able to take the rules and the environment of the game and develop a strategy with according tactics of how to win the game. Learn from better players (and Coaches) and think fast enough to adapt themselves to different situations in the game. They are able to have discussions about the games what they are playing and find it interesting. They find “playing” appealing and fun! Putting themselves through the training, which sometimes (or most likely most of the time) require much of repetition and training isn’t something mind numbing for them, but they see it as a way of getting better individually and actually have the drive to perform. This is what I call “the gamers” aspect and it goes on through the life. Because you can make everything a game. Later going into life and work scene (again in my humble and objective opinion) the people with “gamers mindset” will be able to figure out how the field and rules work and get better at almost ANYTHING they choose to. Plus, they will do it much faster than all the other people. Maybe they won’t outperform the “natural talents”, but they surely will outperform anybody else in the action sooner or later. So the mindset of “gamer” is also having the Basketball IQ or understanding of the game if you will. Some have it higher, some lower. I believe it still can be developed to some extent taking in consideration the individuals abilities.
Whew, so this is what I mean with developing gamers. People who have fun at cracking the game of basketball and developing themselves to achieve this trait. What goes for athletes – that is someone who has the ability to be physically fit enough to change between sports/games. Other sports look for others skills, but when you are physically an athlete it is easier for you to change between different sports or learn more than one over time. That also includes keeping it basic – master the necessary skills and physique that are required to achieve the goals of the game efficiently.

Last, but not least – Point five: Cooperating with other coaches! Cooperation started between the youth coaches and what we were lacking was cooperation with coaches from adult teams. So this is the next step – partial integration of youth players in adult teams. Won’t be touching this point much. Looking forward to the work we will do in the next season.

This is it! Haha, got you, no it isn’t. I’ve not written in many months. Many, see I’ve even lost the count! You didn’t think I will let you off that easy, did you? Those were the goals. The points. The things we need to keep track of what we have achieved. What has been done, what needs to be done. This doesn’t include one very important aspect of the journey we experienced – the story itself.

You see, the last months have been very busy. Many changes, new things came in my life and they took full focus of my time. Still are. That’s not the story though. This is not the tale from out there, there will be another time for those – this is a story from inside.

Goals is one thing. Goals are the “end” – what you get when you are strong, able and disciplined enough to go the distance and write the checkmark in the tick-box. What I DID FORGET in the last year is that the journey is far more important than the goals set prior to it. Goals are nice to check, but… what happens in between is what people write books about. The stories. Emotions. Small things.

Sometimes we make the process more complicated than we need to. We will never make a journey of a thousand miles by fretting about how long it will take or how hard it will be. We make the journey by taking each day step by step and then repeating it again and again until we reach our destination.

Joseph B. Wirthlin

This article is also a result of many small steps. It has been about two or more months since I started to write. From one side it is because I had forgotten how important those small steps are and didn’t participate of the daily/weekly writing for awhile now. Now, when I look back, the last season was stressful and fast paced. Lost without mindfulness. Lost without stories. Gone by.

For me it is a good indicator to stop. Something feels very off. You know that gut feeling, right? To some extent everybody has it. Some choose to ignore it completely, some rely too much on it. I like to rely on it periodically – when it really kicks in. In past months it started to really kick in. Something is off. Drifting. Maybe it is my perception? Not completely understanding the environment I find myself in? The Team is changing. It is changing because of each individual element in it – players. Recent conversation with one of the fathers, who have had his experience in these changes, let me gain another perspective on the things.

Reflection. Never forget the simple rules and teaching in life. As I started my journey a few years back a good friend of mine suggested for me a must-read book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey where one of the lessons is to be able to differentiate inner and outer circles of influence. As I continued to learn and read works of others I started to see that this very idea is not a new one. In fact, it is a very ancient one. Recently I picked up the philosophy of Stoicism and one of the first ideas what popped out was – differentiate between what we can change and what we can’t.

The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own…

Epictetus, ‘Discourses’, 2.5.4-5

Never forget the action of non-action. Some things must let be and only need to be understood as the part of the nature. That’s how they will yield. I had forgotten these truths of time in the last season. Well, at least for the last months of it. I was like a fisherman, trying to catch a fish with a chocolate. You see, I thought that the chocolate is the ultimate bait. Because I liked it. It might be for some very specific kind of fish, but those are not the fish in my pound. To catch the fish I have access to I need to understand them and present with the proper bait of their liking. That is the way of getting them out of the water and transport into other bodies of water. It’s the natural way. Understand the nature and you can catch and train them, disobey the laws of the nature and you will fail. No bending or breaking will overcome the soft and flowing.

That is the biggest realization from the past months. Asking the right questions. What can I control? What can I not? If I cannot control it – let it flow. That I can – understand it and take action. Get the right bait. This is an art I must learn. But first…

Understand the prey.


BCH U14w vs Bad Aibling

Ex-Army, now basketball court Photo: Vicky Martinovic

To Win Is to Overcome Yourself

Hyogo Narutomi once said, “To win is to overcome your own side. To win, your own side must overcome itself. To win one’s self is to overcome the body with the mind. Unless you train your spirit and your body every day to such an extent that there is none comparable to you among the tens of thousands of samurais on your side, it will be impossible for you to deafeat your enemies.”

“THe way of the samurai”, based on the “hagakure” by tsunetomo yamamoto

This was my first time in Bad Aibling for a basketball game. Game was due to 14:30 and it had been raining all morning with temperature around -1 to -2 degrees Celsius. My usual concern was that we arrive in time, so I hit a WhatsApp message to the group to watch the weather conditions. It was in our favour and till it was the time to get going temperature rised over zero degrees and it was enough for the roads not to be slippery anymore. Just to be sure I started my journey a little bit earlier, I still had to travel through Munich and do some personal chores. My plan was to arrive 30-40 minutes before anyone else. As it always is with weekends, the most of the problems were on the roads south of Munich leading to the Austrian border. As it turned out, it was a wise decision not to take the Autobahn, but travel the local roads instead.

Before my arrival I didn’t know the story of the place. I had heard some history that there were American Forces around the Rosenheim, but nothing concrete. Upon my arrival I noticed a huge complex of buildings which looked something more line hangars than sports complex. A vast area consisting of various building with big numbers on them and football fields near them. When I went into the gym and saw the sign it was clear then, that this place had some military history. As one of my hosts explained to me later, just before the game, we indeed found ourselves in an old hanger which was used to store aircraft back in World War 1! After the World War 2, americans stationed themselves (in 1950’s onwards) in this complex and after they left it was re-build in a basketball court. I must admit – it added a little bit of magic to this place. Anyway, it was a game time.

Before this game U14 Hellgirls found themselves in the Place 4 on the standings and Bad Aibling Fireballs were on the Place 2. We were missing some of our good players and well, Bad Aibling is a good team. I first met them in Klagenfurt where we lost with -3 points by getting the last shot in, but on the line. You can read the story HERE. Second time was the first game of the season at Hellenen Dome when we lost 36 to 51. They were purely better both times than we were. They did their preparations right and I would not await anything else from a club whose Women’s team (1. Bundesliga) plays higher than their Men’s team (1. Regionalliga). This would be a hard game for us, we had to bring our heart into the game and in the last games it was lacking. This was the game of stepping up.

First Quarter

Besides of us getting the first foul in the minute 1 (shots missed) and getting the first basket – girls from Bad Aibling Fireballs dominated us. No head in the game for us and they wrecked havoc upon our defense. No heart. They put 12 points up till the minute 8, when we would start to give some answers in the defense and some points in the offense. Yes, they were technically better, but we were not that dumb as we played and we had our conditioning right. That much I knew, it was just stupid decisions and no focus. Bad passes, no trusting to oneself, not trusting own teammates, not listening to coach, no heart to fight for the balls. That is the reality. Facts.

And that is good. It was time for them to learn important lessons on the teamwork and individual responsibility. Taking individual responsibilty to make the team better. Important concepts had to be learned. This game marked a start of a journey they would experience under my guidance. Road to team with a heart.

We went down in the first quarter with 16 to 6. It was looking bad. It wasn’t. Team did a lot of bad stuff in the first quarter, but at the end of it they started to stop the opponents and Bad Aibling made just two baskets in the last two minutes of the first quarter. Time to play.

Second Quarter

It is always hard to play against stronger opponents if you are lacking some of the good rotation players. Rotations are all off and in order to keep the team above the water you have to sacrifice individual likings. That’s how it goes, this is not the little league anymore. They got it. Hellgirls went in the second quarter and delivered blows back. It looked like a good basketball game now. We were fixing our throw-in strategy against their full-court press and using simple, plain offensive tactics. Play fast, create situations and penetrate the defense. Go to the basket. This lead to teams scoring alternately. This was pretty much how the rest of the game went. I could see that opponents were not awaiting this hard of the game after the first quarter where we slept in and they dominated. No sir, but they don’t know us, I will push the team for the blow. Love these kids, they found teamwork and heart in the second quarter. So we fought and won the second quarter by putting up one basket more than our hosts. 17 to 19 win for Hellgirls and 25 to 33 on the scoreboard going in the halftime.

Thanks to our dearest fans! Photo: Kristina Huß

Third Quarter

We had to took our chances. They went from playing seperately in the first quarter to playing like a palm with fingers together in the second quarter. We had some talk back in the lockers and it was clear that to get a chance at this game we had to make a fist. One team, together and delivering the blow. Trust. Heart. So we went out. In the first half of third quarter our offense did stagnate and opponents had a good chances for scoring and used them. At the minute 25 we had taken four freethrows and missed all of them. It gave a strong confidence to our rivals and they thought they got us. No sir, we blew when they let their guard down. Scoring went up, I pushed the girls to be more confident and take responsibility. It resulted in some good offensive plays for us and team made baskets. It looked good again. Also defensively we did better and managed to stop their penetration more frequently. Girls still had to work on their footwork and staying on the field, not jumping so much. Being more careful on crossovers. Other than that – very good job. We lost this quarter with -3, 18 to 15, scoreboard showed 51 to 40 for Bad Aibling Fireballs.

Fourth Quarter

Eleven points in a basketball game isn’t that much if you can put the defense and offense together. It somehow wasn’t happening for us today. Many missed baskets, too many. Five missed freethrows in the fourth which we desperately needed to pressure their mental game. Our hosts managed to hold around 10 points (and more) lead for the rest of the game and we just couldn’t get to their throats and put this one down in our favour. Hellgirls went on to win another quarter, but just with +1, 14 to 15 for us. We lost the game 65 to 55, though.
To be honest – this was an amazing outcome for us, given the circumstances. We lost the game, but we won something more useful. Understanding. And we started to find the fight in ourselves. Big day for our U14 Hellgirls.


We came with nine players and some of the good ones couldn’t be there. That’s not why we lost, though. Opponents were better prepaired and more skilled. We slept in the first quarter and that cost us ten points. We missed 20 (!!!) points in freethrows. That is a possible win right there alone. Nah, we need to be better in our preparations. At first we need to work on our mental game, be focused, be fighting. With heart. Then we need to take this focus and heart and develop ourselves individually. Take responsibility for the good of the team. Put it together and we will come out victorious. Back to the drawing boards, we are going to have some rough and fun ride.

Hellgirls are still standing strong on the Place 4 with 5 wins in 9 games.

~Coach Valts


BCH U16w vs München Ost 2

This game presented one part of what I like about basketball and sports in general. Sooner or later those not willing to give up will become better and present a good competition or even come over the top. Also – if you get to the top and want to stay there there can’t be one day you let your standards drop, others are coming for you. Competition isn’t sleeping. One of the things I dislike about this season is that I’ve taken too much on my shoulders and meanwhile I can present the development of all my teams it isn’t the kind of development I would like to see as a Coach. The simple reason behind this is that there is not enough time to prepare according to proper standards for every team I am coaching, so some of the stuff must overlap or I just tend to oversee it and implemet later as I would have normally. That said I like to see others put in a good workload on their development and keep moving forward – we need that competition that makes us sweat and check the reality.

In the first game against München Ost 2 Hellgirls dominated the playing field and took the win on the road with onse sided 25 to 97. Though, there is always the thing with the second teams in the clubs. There is also the first team and that usually means that they also pull up the following teams. Coaches learn, get mentored and develop their players to bring them to the level of first team, so at least some of them get the chance to play there. This was the case, headache for us.

First Quarter

I started off like I usually like to do – starting five consisted only from our U14w girls. It turned out that München Ost 2 really had improved a lot since our last meeting at their home and game turned out very interesting and tense. Up to minute 5 we managed to score only two baskets meanwhile our opponents scored four. On the minute 5 I did some rotations and it changed the score in favor for us. Hellgirls scored some more and we took the lead on minute 8 with 11 to 10. After that I put in some of my most experienced players and they managed to stop the offense of our visitors in Hellenen Dome and score some more points in our favor. First quarter turned out good for us with +9 points, 21 to 12.

Second Quarter

As a result of showed strength in first quarter I awaited that this won’t be another game of +30 points, but what I didn’t anticipate is that we would not score. Second quarter was amazingly unsuccessfull scoring-wise for both teams. For first seven minutes in the second period scored only München Ost 2, they put up 7 points and shrinked our lead to only 2 points, 21 to 19. Hellgirls just couldn’t put the ball through the ring! After switching it a little bit up, we managed to overtake the iniciative for the remaining three minutes in the first half and played good defense, stopping offense from our visitors. It resulted in some steals and fastbreaks and we could put some points on the scoreboard. In the second quarter both teams achieved only 15 points together, 8 for Hellgirls and 7 for München Ost 2 respecitvely. We still had a little advantage over our opponents when going in halftime break: +10 for Hellgirls, 29 to 19.

Third Quarter

I like the Coach from the opposing team. He kept his positive the whole game and pushed his team to the limits. Made our life hard, we like hard. Meanwhile the scoring of München Ost 2 got better in the third period ours stayed okayish from what we are used to. For the first four minutes in the second half, scoring was done by our visitors and we could give an answer only at the minute 24. Though, the situation didn’t get much better and we kept losing the baskets. At the minute 27 we stand only with 1 point remaining over our rivals and our Captain made much needed three point shot at the minute 29 to keep us in the game, then the teams exchanged some more baskets and München Ost 2 had burned down our 10 point lead to only 4 points after the third quarter, München Ost 2 took this quarter with 11 to 17 in their favor, score 40 to 36 and Hellgirls leading still.

Fourth Quarter

Now, I wasn’t feeling like having much headache and wanted to finish the game in our favor. So I chose to play mostly those who proved able to bring the energy in the game as for the first three quarters team lacked the energy, heart and power to fight back properly. They slept in, so I took the ones who were willing to change that and defend our Hellenen Dome. For half of the team that day on the bench it clicked and we could make a good fourth quarter. We started off by scoring some two baskets and giving just one in the first three minutes. Still bad scoring from our side, but you gotta take what the team gives you in days like this. Hellgirls managed to keep their defense running good all fourth quarter and scored twice as much as our visitors from München Ost. This brought us the win in the fourth with 16 to 8 and in the game 56 to 44. Good game and team development by our visitors – München Ost 2! Still, our Hellgirls managed to hold their line in Hellenen Dome despite having a bad day.


Days like these is just something you can’t ignore. My girls didn’t show the WILL to fight today. I really hope this was a one time thing. We surely need to work on our attitude and willpower more. This will require job on my side and restructure our trainings to fit this need to train energy and will. Also, as the season is slowly coming to an end, there is a need to plan for the next Season which will bring much higher competition. Skillwise and mentalwise. We can expect that by going in with wrong mentality will bring chaos and needlessly lost games. This can’t be the case, it can’t be that others want to win more than we do. It’s mentalgame crunch time for our U16 Hellgirls.

~Coach Valts


BCH U16-3 vs Altenerding

Warming up Photo: Danijela Marinica

Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.

Sun tzu “the art of war”

Last time we went against Altenerding was at their home and after a very interesting and close game we barely made it out victorious with +2 points 65 to 67. I was awaiting a hard game, but I knew that we could succeed also at Hellenen Dome. We had worked on our conditioning, rebounding and fastbreaks. My guys were staring to understand the benefits of fast paced basketball and attacking before opponent can properly set up the defense. Little did I know how much of a difference we had achieved since last time.

First Quarter

As anticipated the game started off hard. At start opponents took the iniciative and scored three straight baskets in first two minutes. Then Hellboys gave an answer of three baskets in next two minutes, so we stood 6-6 at the minute 4 of first quarter. Change happened again and boys from Altenerding pushed another three baskets, then again Hellboys. At the end Hellboys missed one freethrow shot and visitors took the first half in their favor with 13 to 14. We started slow, so I instructed my guys to play much faster.

Second Quarter

We hit like a thunderstorm in late October evening right before Halloween. We opened the party with fast two points, two three-pointers and another two points. That gave us immediate 10 to 0 in this quarter and only after two minutes in, the opponents could answer with a made three-point shot. That wasn’t enough, Hellboys had smelled weakness and were on the hunt. Till minute 15 my guys made another six baskets in fast-break and put one additional three-pointer. We went up to +26 points at minute 18 in second quarter. Then for last minutes teams exchanged some baskets and we went in the half time break with very comfortable +24 points, 49 to 25 for Hellboys.

Holding the defensive position Photo: Danijela Marinica

Third Quarter

Now, we had all that buffer of extra points and we needed it in third quarter. In this teams experience they were not yet learned how to come back in after the half time break and opponents would usually take us over on third quarter. That was also the case in the first game against Altenerding. Not this time. While third quarter was not as spectacular as the second one, Hellboys did a very good job on holding their line in defense and not letting visitors to score more than total of 10 points this quarter. We did defense for the most part of the third quarter and scored just 7 points seven minutes in the third quarter. Then on the minute 38 we took over the iniciative and went on to achieve four more baskets in the third and take this quarter with 15 to 10 in our favor, stand 64 to 35 for Hellboys before closing it down in fourth.

Fourth Quarter

Beast mode again. Hellboys went in to finish their prey off. This quarter started with three straight baskets before Altenerding gave an answer. Boys continued to carry on by fast paced basketball and good penetration, took some more three point shots and landed another one of them. Visitors answered now and then with total of five baskets in this period (10 points) while Hellboys achieved wooping 26 points in the fourth. Game ended with a clear score of 90 to 45 for Hellboys. Amazing game and much needed victory! After this game we could keep our well earned 4th Place on the Standings and look into the future to get to Top 3.


I am happy to see the hard work to pay off. The best work has been done inside the heads of trusting themselves more, understanding of the concepts and winning the mental game “you vs you”. I am excited for the upcoming games to test our strength against another good and strong team of Ottobrunn here at Hellenen Dome. The first time we met, our Hellboys had shortage of players and Ottobrunn had done well in their preparations. This time we will bring the same thunderstorm what we brought upon Altenerding. Await us. We are coming. For a good basketball game, of course!

~Coach Valts


BCH U16-3 vs Holzkirchen

On the benchPhoto: Dana Fischer

First game in second round went against one of the strongest teams in the league and holder of the Place 1 in the standings on the day – Holzkirchen. In the home game we managed to barely take this team with +2 Points in a very hard game, but then they didn’t have their best player. This time they had. I was awaiting a very hard game as last season both of the brothers played in the team, this year it was just the younger brother. Last season this duo was dominating the league by scoring up to 40 points each per game. Crazy. So it was clear that this game would be very hard. Test of the team effort from our side.

First Quarter

Opponents started off a little bit better than we did and for first seven minutes were better at scoring the ball and took the lead with 10 to 4. At minute seven the Hellboys took the initiative in their hands and had a good run on both ends of the floor. We scored 10 consecutive baskets in the last three minutes of the first quarter and boys did a very good job on the defensive end not letting opponents to score a single basket for the rest of the first quarter. We finished strong with +4 points, score 10 to 14.

Second Quarter

This quarter went back and forth. Both teams had their ups and downs. Holzkirchen opened the quarter with one basket, then Hellboys had a run and went up 12 to 20. In the half of the second quarter home team took over and reduced the score to 1 point with score 19 to 20 respectively. For the last five minutes in the second quarter teams exchanged with the baskets, but the opponents managed to get one basket more than we did and reduced our lead to just +2 with score 26 to 28 finishing the half time and going in break.

Third Quarter

U16-3 Hellboys have went far this season and had achieved better understanding of the game and it’s processes. What we sometimes didn’t manage was the third quarter. Our wooden leg. Today it was particulary dangerous as we had only seven players and one of them was sick and couldn’t help fully. Now I feared that team would lose some crucial focus in the third quarter and that would break us. I was right and wrong at the same time.

Coming in after the break wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. At least for the first four minutes in the second half. We scored some, both teams exchanged with successful three point shots and still held the small lead of +4 points. And well, then at minute 35 something bad happened. One of my lead scorers went to the basket with good penetration, but unfortunately got pulled from behind from the opponent. He got injured shoulder and couldn’t move his arm. Bad news.

From there happened exactly what I had feared. It had happened also in previous games where we had unsufficient number of players and team got a mental block because someone got injured. It pretty much gave us a blow. Opponents started to score with no answer and overtook the lead by 47 to 39. At the end one of the Hellboys pulled a jumper and beat the clock with a made three point shot which we really needed to finish the third quarter with a hope. 47 to 42 and the last quarter was upon us.

Fourth Quarter

Our captain still had pain in the shoulder. It was a bit better and he could move his arm now, but I didn’t trust to put him in the game. I took the decision for the safe side and health. Team was still struggling, but it wasn’t superbad. We exchanged some three pointers, but then at minute 33 opponents had a run and put up 9 points with no answer one of them being another three pointer to demotivate Hellboys even more. Suprisingly opponents took a timeout which worked for us. I tried to motivate the team and it worked. Guys got back in the game. We started to score again and opponents got sloppy. They had a lead of 61 to 45 before the timeout and they had taste of victory on their tongues. Though, we were not done. Not yet.

Hellboys started to score again and around the minute 36 I could change in our captain again. It still looked pretty bad with 4 minutes to go and being -14 points. We started to push more and defend better, opponents did some mistakes and couldn’t score as before. We had a good run and managed to burn their lead to 9 points around minute and a half to go. Their lead player got some fouls and fouled himself out, plus managed to get a technical for the bench. We will take it.

We started to stop the clock and it worked really well. Home team made some mistakes and we had another run to burn their lead down to just 3 points. A very good job from Hellboys, but time waits noone. We had nothing left, last try foul and we were already at the teamfouls, their #9 made both of the shots and that was it. We lost to the strong team of Holzkirchen with 69 to 64 and went down with just -5 which is a very good accomplishment of my guys in a game like this. We had a great experience crawling back from the ditch and I am sure that it made the guys only better, even if the game itself was a loss.


I am happy to say that we can compete and keep up with the top teams of our league which wasn’t the case at the beginning of the season where we would just get lucky. Team has advanced and I can see the development. Hard trainings and conditioning is paying off, though, we don’t fully use our potential just yet. We need to work on our speed in the next game and get the opponents vary much faster. Potential is there and I am very intrigued for the next game to come. For now, we work on our speed.

~Coach Valts


BC Hellenen München u16-3m: Mid-Season

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but by how high he bounces when he hits bottom.”

General George S. Patton

This is a matter of mind. Team’s core players were the same guys battling mental blocks last year. This year – there is only hard work, hard games and pushing. Team of BC Hellenen München U16-3. Currently we are standing at Place 5 (Table HERE) out of eight teams with a W/L ratio of 3-3. Many of these games were very close ones, where we came out only with a couple of points lead. Very nerving games. Due to sickness and injuries there were also some games lost with giving away a big lead. Focus now is to keep the players healthy and keep out of injuries to have a good secound round next year.

Training hard and pushing the players mentally is paying off. One of my biggest goals this season was to leave the mental struggles we had last year and I have to say – Hellboys have grown mentally. They handle themselves better and because of that they also handle their (swings) games better. Players are trusting in each other and are working together. Even when the team is behind and losing, they don’t go down the path of self loathing anymore, instead they keep fighting. BIG DIFFERENCE in the pattern from the previous season. Taking pride in the game itself and not going down easily. Make the other team struggle every minute on the field. Though, how did we came that far? From battling with mentals blocks and being (pretty much) one of the last teams in the league to climbing the middle against stronger teams? Big part of it was winning the fight with inner self and developing great culture of the team.

This is something you achieve with Discipline and Leadership.

How do I handle those days when I’m just not “feeling it”?

Those days when I am tired or worn out or just sick of the grind…

What do I do on those days?


Even if I am just going through the motions –


“Discipline equals freedom” by Jocko Willink

Every training there are things we just do. Doesn’t matter how the day is going for us. Good or bad. Never changing things that makes us stronger. Warm up is a routine, bounce the ball against the board is a routine, run the lines and stairs is a routine, getting some pushups done is a routine. Doing stuff that makes us better over and over again. Every practice. Discipline of one-self and the team. There is nothing more beautiful than a team that is self-disciplined and growing together. Even if it is not the best team in the league, there is something magical happening in this team. They came from nothing and are going for something. A part of getting a team disciplined is to get it’s leadership in order. Coach has to be a leader from the start for the team to be able even to take off, but every good coach also understands that s/he must make the leadership circle bigger. Get leadership in the team, among the players themselves. That is what I wanted to achieve as a Coach for this season. It’s happening.

“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.”

Ralph Nader

A simple concept that takes a long time to execute. As I made my choice to become a leader and help others I also knew that I want to produce way more leaders on my journey. So, as we all have learned – start now with what you got. I find that basketball is a great platform where to start and develop young leaders. Make them grow from inside, then in the team, then move them outside the team in the organization… Now, this is what is making U16-3. Discipline and leadership. As I set up the right leaders among the players – everything changed. The whole structure of the team and how it behaves. EVERYBODY started being more responsible and willing to do they part to get the team further. Discipline allowed the ball to get rolling and make the guys believe in themselves. This belief made them more courageous which led to gain the ability to be able to lead. Then, when you have someone willing to take the responsibility (response to the ability: are you able? [yes/no] if yes, what is your response to this ability?) and lead the team from within the ranks. This therefore allows to strengthen the discipline even more which then starts the cycle all over again. You get the picture.

Now, we have to go after it. I’ve started to teach and implement more concepts of the game and get players to do referee licences to understand the game better. We will keep training hard and prepare for upcoming second round to get some more wins and move up in the ranks. It would be good to finish up in Top 4 this year. If we get it right even Top 3 would be possible! This would create a solid foundation in this league and we would be able to go after the first place next season. We will see. For now this team has taken a solid path of development and growth. Full of struggle, which makes them only more able to succeed in the near future.

Coach Valts


BC Hellenen München u14w: Mid-Season

After u14 Hellgirls game against TSV Wasserburg on 8th of December, 2018.
Team defended Hellenendome with Endscore of 65 to 64.

People look for the shortcut. The hack. 
And if you came here looking for that: You won’t find it.
The shortcut is a lie. The hack doesn’t get you there.
There is only hard work, late nights, early mornings, practice, rehearsal, repetition, study, sweat, blood, toil, frustration and discipline.
What’s the hack? How do you become stronger, smarter, faster, healthier? How do you become better? How do you achieve true freedom?
There is only one way.

“Discipline equals freedom” by Jocko Willink

Middle of the Season is here. u14 Hellgirls are standing strong on 3rd Place out of nine teams in Bezirksoberliga with W/L stand of 5/3. Out of three close games two were won by +1 and +2 accordingly, third one with +6. Losses were against good teams and two of those teams are above us filling the Top 2 of the League. The third one is about the same level as we and they had a better day. At the end of the day it all comes down of how good your preparations were and how did you hold your ground. For both we need more focus and more discipline.

I like this team a lot. Some of the players play also for my u16w Team in Kreisliga [You can read Mid-Season Report on that HERE as they will be coming up for the next season. It helps me to prepare them for what’s coming and allows me to get experience in higher league. Up until now Kreisliga were the highest Liga I had coached and now Bezirksoberliga adds some new and exciting experiences. Also it is a very interesting structure we have going on here as till now u14 Hellgirls were coached by Coach Sandy alone, but as of this season we are splitting the team and coaching on turns. Coach Sandy is still doing most of the heavy lifting on trainings and I take over whenever I can. The situation is also very unique in the Club as Sandy is also coaching u12 Hellgirls. This makes a two-coach overlay over three teams: Sandy covers u12w to u14w and I cover u14w to u16w, and I must say – it is working out very well! Sandy is a coach who focuses more on developing player’s skillset and technique, meanwhile I am more of a athletic abilities, endurence and discipline (including mental game) kind of guy. Technique is my grind, I must learn A LOT on this topic. Anyway, this splited focus allows us to develop the team nicely and allow the players to have a chance for at least three training sessions per week. Plus the players get the diversity of the coaches as Sandy now has also Rabia (Damen 1) as co-coach on the board to help with u12w-u14w Training sessions. We are growing strong.

As we find ourselves with u14 Hellgirls at a place three, we must give our best to stay there. As with all my teams at first I am putting our focus on building strong defensive game – individually and more importantly as team defense. Teaching small things that come together and can make a big difference. Communication, trusting in your teammates and helping them, taking responsibility for your own actions, giving everything on the field, staying disciplined and focused. And I push on the discipline. Why? Because from that derives everything else. If we achieve the mindset of discipline and the hard path then nothing can stop us. I already see the change happening – girls are pushing themselves more and achieving more. Teamwork is taking more important place, trust is growing among the players. “I got this ball stopped, now, I trust you to get my player covered instead.” It’s truly a beautiful thing to witness – development of a team. As they are learning to take trust in their teammates, they are also understanding that their teammates has the trust in them! A VERY important aspect of the team development as it will push their will to better themselves individually for the good of the team. If they got me, I must be ready to help them. That simple.

If you as a leader allow people to halfway do their jobs and don’t demand excellence as a prerequisite to keeping their job, you will create a culture of mediocrity. If you allow people to misbehave, underachieve, have a bad attitude, gossip, and generally avoid excellence, please don’t expect to attract and keep good talent. Please don’t expect to have an incredible culture.

Dave Ramsey in EntreLeadership

“There is only one thing I require from you, my young ladies! Only one thing! Your very best.” I said. This happened today in the Timeout against the TSV Jahn Freising. We had a small lead, but we started to struggle offensively and there was some hectic happening on the floor. As their coach I knew that they could do way better. We still managed to win the game. After the game parents asked me if I am satisfied with the results. But of course not! They laugh it off as they should. Keep it fun and easy going. Though, I can’t allow my players to learn mediocrity, perhaps, one of the reasons is that I’ve grown up in one myself – I can’t stand being “okayish”. Also this club as a organization doesn’t stand where it is because it went normal, mediocre way. No, there were some crazy decisions, there is striving for the excellence from within! We think differently, that’s why we have our culture as it is. The normal path is for others, not for us. So – no, I am not satisfied. Yes, we won and it is, of course, a good thing and should be celebrated! Third place on the list, not bad at all. That has nothing to do with the satisfaction of the performance, though. If it is not our best, it is simply not good enough. That’s one thing I can’t allow – getting sloppy and then getting away with it because we managed to complete the task somehow.  Just as good things become habits, so does the bad ones. I can’t allow our future to obtain a habit of mediocrity. These are smart girls and they understand, that’s why I like this team that much. Hellgirls – different kind of breed. Strive for excellence.

Without a goal, discipline is nothing but self-punishment.


We are coming, await us. And please… be prepared! We like the hard fights. There is a goal, I can assure that. What is the goal? Well, you will have to wait, let me keep the cards to myself just for a bit longer. There are many things to be done in the upcoming round of this season. I can surely say that we want to stay at least in the upper Top 3 of Bezirksoberliga. My personal goal with this team would be to bring some more surprises to the table and make other teams sweat. Get some more good and exciting games and experiences in there. Have some fun and learn valuable lessons for life while doing that. Get better, get faster, get smarter. No, no… that came out wrong! BE! Be better, be faster, be smarter. How will we achieve our goals? There is only one way. The way of discipline.

Coach Valts


BC Hellenen München u16w: Mid-Season


“Most of us aren’t defeated in one decisive battle. We are defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we should really be.”

– Jocko Willink

How can I help? This is the question that got me here. Well that and advice of my Coach from BC Herren 2. “You should get into coaching girls. Yours will grow up and you’ll need the ‘know how’ if she wants to do the sport.” About at the time came answer to my question – I could take on u16w girls team and help out at u14w. At this point I had been coaching only boys at the same age. This meant even bigger work load and time in the gym, but, man, I was curious and wanted to take the challenge.

Last year the u16w girls went to win the Kreisklasse without losses in an quite easy manner. This year they went one league up, which ended up to be a one step too small. Team is combined from u16w girls with some coming out of 14w to fill up the roster. As I overtook the team, our Spielleiterin Miriam and u12-14w coach Sandy pointed out that girls needed discipline and structure as they’ve been doing nothing else than winning easy in that little league. Roger that. Bring in the big guns from the day one.

Unfortunately I didn’t know myself what I will get done. I brought the discipline and hard trainings. That only made them stronger, some left because it was not as fun anymore or because their injuries/growth at the time could not keep up with the training pace. It happens. I don’t like complicated things, all I do is follow one simple idea:

“I don’t require much from you, but only one thing – your absolute best.”

Now, the problem with this is (and what I didn’t realize till now) that when you get a team that bring havoc upon it’s whole league – it’s hard to get them to develop themselves. They do it more for fun. Many have what we could call “natural abilty” for the sport (or sports in general). Intelligence also. But when everything comes easy, they get sloppy, they don’t want to push. What for? It’s too hard. Better stay at the little league and win every game with +30 and up. What the hell? Sadly there is no option to change the leagues once you have started the year… Next season. So, there need to be preparations! Starting with breaking the team.

This half a season they went 6 games, 6 wins. Demolishing the league with no mercy. When you do that there come dirty thoughts and bad attitude in your head – you start to think that you’re invincible. NO SIR, not your coach girls. We are in the wrong damn league! Winning all the time is not normal! IT IS NOT HEALTHY.

But how can it be? Out of ten Top-Scorers we currently got two. Not even in the Top 3. They sit at the places four (14 pt avg) and seven (11.2pt avg) respectively. This is without unleashing the true power of the team. I have been playing to develop the newer players for the next season coming up and some more unskilled players who need the game practice to sharpen their abilities. So we don’t particulary win in the offense. No, sir, we don’t – we D the hell up! Noone in this half of the season managed to drop more than 39 balls in our bucket. This is where the story starts with every team I get – Defense and Team Effort.

Everybody likes to score. They feel the adrenaline of the basketball going throught the hoop and get the pride looking at the scoresheet after the game. I like to fustrate opponents of not letting them score. I like to watch my team to develop in Defensive Machine and taking pride on running down the court. Taking pride in statistics not presented anywhere. Noone’s counting.

Stop the ball, push it sideline, push it baseline, double it, get the helpside in, defend the picks, switch the picks, slide, get the defensive rotation straight, box out, rebound, close out, hands up, move the legs, close the middle, close the penetration. That’s how we roll in here. Hard, fast, effective. Most of the teams got only one or two offensive techniques, three at the most and we know how to defend all of them. In past couple months girls have developed a team and individual techniques to stop the ball early and push it where we want the opponents to go. It’s a beauty to watch in the action. Now we can start to work on the offense and push it really hard.

Oh man. Up till now it has been like this: we get the ball, we do a fastbreak. Almost all the game long. Fast break basketball. At the beginning of the season the endurance of girls was pretty bad. We are running a lot, but we should be doing even more as it is not up to my standards. After three months I can feel that all that suicides and stairs running starts to add up. Breathing technique in-between allow them to bring their mind back in the game. Though, I knew that this is not the way to develop them. We were staling on our basketball education, all except defensively. So I had to come up with some action.

I decided to go insane in the last game on this half of the season. We played 35 minutes without doing a single lay-up and shooting exclusively outside the paint. Okay, a few of the shots were one step in, but the world isn’t perfect, is it? So this was a hard game. It was up to strong girls team from MTV Schwabing and game was tough. Just as we like it. They also had a leagues #1 top scorer in their lineup and there was some job to do in the defense. This worked like a charm. We barely won by sliping through in last quarter with end score 39-46 to us. We played at their gym and it was perfect what I had in mind. It was smaller. Way smaller. Maybe the smallest gym I’ve ever been into in my fifteen years of basketball. Three-Point line was almost at the middle line, there was less place around the paint, funnily enough one corner of the court was cut off with a wall. IT WAS A MESS. Just what the girls needed. No more bravura, no more calmness… I dare to say it all went to shit for a moment there. They had to get themselves together to return and hold the game at equal score. They played hard defense as always, but they were not able to get a reward for it all the time in the other side of the floor with fastbreaks. There was just no space and they were not allowed to do layups for most of the game! So they played defense for the sake of not getting beat. They had to start to think how to pass and make place around the paint in the offense in order to get some shot free – and believe me, opponents didn’t give them one free and easy centimeter of that floor. They wanted to win, they had the chance and they fought. This game was the start of the breakdown which will continue in the next half of the season after the holidays.

“If you can get through to doing things that you hate to do, on the other side is greatness.”

– David Goggins


– “We can’t shoot coach!”

Yes, you can’t. Well, you can shoot when you are alone in the gym. You can’t shoot in a two times smaller field with constant pressure from all sides. It’s okay. Maybe noone ever pushed you to do it. Maybe someone let you think you’re good as you are. Sorry, not me. We need to talk. I will present you the reality, maybe you will even hate me. Fine. Somebody has to do it. There is nothing more dangerous in this world as words “good job” in the wrong time (“Whiplash” reference). It’s a hard reality to get checked in the face.

It might not be your fault, but it is your responsibility.

From now on we are doing shooting. We are doing exactly that what we are not good at. Anybody can go through meadows filled with nice flowers and butterflies in the day with warm sun shining and a light breeze to cool you down. We ain’t going there ladies. That’s the way of the weak and we are all, but weak. We are going to get nice and uncomfortable. Even if we can beat the league, we are going to beat it in crazy fasion. With doing what we suck at. Can’t shoot? You better believe we are shooting 95% of the game. Can’t pass properly? Roger that. We are going to play a game with just passing, no dribble. Can’t cut? We are going to do offense with only cutting and filling. Can’t make layups go throught with left hand? Some games with doing only left hand coming in! We are going to that dark place and face our weak side, then we are going to come back from there with many lessons. Nex time – we are going back in. Lessons for life, young ladies. Break it down, build it back up – stronger, better, more complete.

Let’s get back to the quote at the start of this post. Parents tell me – they are getting better, they are developing. Yes, of course, because before that they were getting worse by winning. What? Let me repeat – getting worse by winning. They got to the point where they can win and then they went on winning all the time, at the wrong league. And every game won made them lose themselves a little by little. Well, at least that’s how I see it. I see the intelligence, potential, skill, natural ability. What I fail to see is the hunger. They have been in the easy game for too long. Nobody to kick them in the butt. Confused?

It’s very dangerous.

“Everybody wants some magic pill – some life hack – that eliminates the need to do the work. But that does not exist.”

– Jocko Willink

It all leads to this. It’s a false reality. Me, I am in this to teach the youth. Basketball is a very good platform to do it. Recently my good friend reminded me of the fact what it is – that it’s a parallel world. You can do much in it, you can be a good player. Heck, if you’re lucky you can even spend half of your life playing the game. For most of us – it all ends, but we will always share the love for the game. What matters is – what lessons learned in this parallel world we will be able to apply into our real world? That’s why I am here. Teach the youth on this platform. A tough ride. Hate me now, thank me later.

Coach Valts


United World Games in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee(AT) Part 3 of 3.

-And what happened?

– Life.

/My Blueberry Nights

Day 2

Beep-beep-beep. Should I smash it? Nah. Five more. Beep-beep. A’ight, let’s roll. Naked feet hit the ground. Morning to myself, everyone else is sleeping. Except some people outside. There is always someone awake before me in Klagenfurt. Norm. Take a sip of water. Two, three sips. Rule of the morning – get’s your system going. Time for shower and waking up the girls. Have never met no one at the showers, but some guys are walking from them. At least it looks like it.

Most of the youth is already up at the time I get back to the tents. Good. Not so much fuss. After some time we are ready to get some breakfast. Same as yesterday, but with some hot beverage it goes down. We are overall disappointed at the fact that it is only possible to get one “portion” (2-3 small pieces) of pancakes per person. They could just keep their bread rolls and make some more pancakes instead. Oh well.

Go down, get ready, take the bus. Boom – St. Ruprecht 1. We meet the freedom early at nine-thirty in the morning.

Game 3: HellGirls versus “Stuttgart Eagles” (USA)

This is the game that decides if Hellgirls go out of the group for quarters or will play for fifth place. We meet a team of eight people. Aggressive as are all USA teams I have seen here at Klagenfurt. Game will be tough and rough. Await no mercy. They come in clanging and banging from second one.

First Quarter

As awaited – pit bull game. On our every advance we get hands on us.  The problem is – refs don’t show particular interest in this kind of game. This indicates that this will be one of the “let them fight” games. Fair enough, our defense is clean enough, I am hoping to get them “fouled out” as they only have eight players. Get some out, others can’t be as aggressive anymore. I bring this idea to the team – keep going, go through hands and hope that refs will whistle at least half of them. Well, this could’ve worked only if this game format wasn’t in favor for foul game… Eight minutes running time with full five fouls per person. Most we got out of this was one with four and another one with three, then couple two’s and one’s. One have to experience something like this to be able to counter it. Sadly, my coaching career had been too short.

For first half it worked in our favor that not only we could not score (or even go through), but also our opponents didn’t do nothing. We managed to score one layup so achieving two points, Eagles dropped a three pointer on us so finishing first quarter with three points. HellGirls could’ve accumulated more points, but missed all four free-throws. As I wrote already – free throws turned out a massive weakness.

2 to 3 after the first for Eagles.

Second Quarter

Aggression continued also in second quarter, but HellGirls found some ways to get through and score some baskets. Sadly continued to miss free throws (three out of four missed for second quarter) and we couldn’t burn the difference as Eagles accumulated one basket more in second quarter. Luckily they weren’t shooting any good from the free-throw line today also and missed six out of six free-throws, that gave them just minimal advantage over us and we went in the half time with -2, 7 to 9 for Eagles.

Thirds Quarter

They wanted it and they wanted it bad. We wanted it, but our offensive “freestyle” abilities didn’t allow us to advance. This quarter went down with 0 to 6 for Eagles as the birds locked down the HellGirls. On top of that we got two of our players injured and unable to continue the game. That happened when we started to get hang of the game.

First went down our number 63 with nasty slip. She sat down on her left leg, but right one stayed stretched to outside, out of the game situation one of the opponents were also falling and landed on the knee. In the moment that happened hot wave went throughout my body. First thought, please no tears in the knee. Thanks to all basketball gods – it was alright, just a hit with a knee in the ground. No tears, nothing.

Second was a bad landing and semi-turned ankle for our number 72, classic. Though as I feared – I won’t be able to use her for the next game also as ankle was worse. Once you stretch it – you’re done for that day for sure till it heals up again.

Anyway, these injuries hit us pretty bad and we went behind with 7 to 15 for Eagles.

Fourth Quarter

That was pretty much it. As we could not foul out the opponents and use our advantage of more players in this game mode, everything added up. We were able to get four to four in this quarter, but not to get back those lost eight points. This game was something to remember in case meeting something like this in future. This game also showed our inability to attack aggressive defense properly. Girls have to get better dribbling and passing skills to be able more easily and with less stress to advance over the field. Make less mistakes in passing. Smarter positioning to open up defense for better penetration possibilities. Aaaand free-throws. As they say it – if you can’t win the game, you can learn from it. We went down with 11 to 19 with Stuttgart Eagles flying high to quarter finals. Still, this game showed many things that we must add to our arsenal to be able to compete next time or with other teams like this.

HellGirls now had to get ready for the game at 16:30 against Bad Aibling Fireballs. So we got some time to waste and went back to quarters to go watch some basketball/volleyball at Players Town and Pädag gyms, then get some food after for lunch and rest a bit before the upcoming game. We wouldn’t finish last, but we wanted to take the fifth place instead of sixth and we should be able to do it!

I will skip over this time as I could not describe what was happening at the games anyway. It was just spectacular. We once again loaded gyms with our kids and got really amazing atmosphere there. This is like taking pictures of the nature – like mountains. You can never capture that beauty and magnificence in a picture. Same way I won’t be able to describe this happening and feelings in them. More over – everyone has their own. Let’s just continue.

Game 4: HellGirls versus “Bad Aibling Fireballs” (DE)

This was a special game. One that, if not all, then most of the people would remember long after it was played. Game that reminds one team of hard earned victory and the other one of unforgivable rules and chance that slipped out of the finger tips despite giving your last efforts. Game that makes teams stronger. Game of basketball and as always – there is one winner and one loser.

First quarter

Despite the positive attitude we had by going in against Fireballs, my expectations lowered once I met and spoke with the coach before the game. He had it. He was in the craft for some time and he had to be respected to had done his homework and preparations. Instead of me. Even Latvian Men’s team is known for their adventurous playing style. That’s also something that had developed by HellGirls as mentioned before. “We just get offense.” Then there comes a time where you meet a prepared and disciplined team like this.

Fireballs started strong by strong penetration and receiving two shots two times in first two minutes. As used in women basketball, scores are usually pretty low in average game, so every point matters. They made three out of four shots and added an layup on top of it till minute three leading by five to nil. Our number 15 received some chance for free-throws, but missed both. They put up another bucket, HellGirls answered with their first two points. Basket for Fireballs, missed free-throws from HellGirls. Some back and forth.

HellGirls had some hard time getting over the field through full-court press. Despite all my trys to get them understand basics in countering it, it didn’t happen till the middle of third quarter. I sensed some lack in basketball jargon. Another thing to be worked on in pre-season. For now we had to suck up and learn, but learning means – getting shot at. HellGirls came off the field after the first with eight point deficit. 4 to 12 for Fireballs.

Second quarter

If we wanted to stay in the game we had to score and avoid easy points. If the girls from Bad Aibling wanted to score, we had to make their job difficult. Bad shots, push them out, slow their progression. At some extent it started to show in second quarter. Unfortunately for us, we got some fouls and opponents were good at shooting ball from free-throw line. There was a progress though, we managed to play six to six and start to get hang of countering their full-court press. 10 to 18 for Fireballs at half-time.

Third quarter

This is where the tables changed. Fighting spirit came back with full power and girls showed why we had to shorten the name from Hellenen to Hell. Giving up was no option. Work in defense was better than previous half and offense didn’t struggle anymore. They had grasped some of the countering technique against full-court man-to-man press and could advance down the field more easily. That meant also more buckets in the offense and with buckets comes confidence. Needless to say – this game I went for victory. That meant sitting the ones that did the job poorly or made mistakes. In normal season games you would never find something like this from my side, but I had the chance to get some things done here and see the reactions.

So, I went full competitive sport mode. This is also what we would see in the first teams of the club in the future. Oooh, here we had to work to do also. With winning a league previously, assuming – not even trying hard, came a price. No bench presence and no understanding of what it means. If you don’t play on the field, if you make mistakes, if your skill level today is not enough – you play from the bench. That’s competitive sport. You get your teammates going, you help them in defense, call to turn around, help to pass. When there is a break or timeout – you let them sit, get them water, towel – so they can focus on coaching. You high-five them coming down the field and encourage when going on. Yes, you are not on the field, but you are still here and you are in the team. Today isn’t your day, but it will never be if you don’t get that bench presence going. Now, this was a bit off, but had to be explained. Let’s see how many read these lines.

Competitive mode also meant to get on the field best possible combination of players to counter opponents. At third I got it quite right and almost got switches in order. Not perfect, but good enough to fight for the W. HellGirls won the third quarter with eleven to six and came down the field after third with 21 to 24 for Fireballs. Race was on.

Fourth quarter

“To win the big games you must get to the Free Throw line, and then you must make them.”

– Rick Majerus

There are two things that win games – lay-ups and free-throws. Well, we had the first one going for us. Up to this point the opponents had proven that they are better free-throw shooters than we are. So we made lay-ups. Up to minute seven HellGirls managed to gain the lead for the first time in the game. After good run in offense and strong defense we went up to 27 to 26. Then minute seven hit us. Free-throws. Opponents got two and made both going 27 to 28 for Fireballs. Then we received two short before minute eight. Both missed. I was hoping for at least one, to get it at zero, but oh well… Then the next goal was to get D settled in and get a lay-up to get plus one. Boom. Hand slipped from a HellGirl and Fireballs were on the free-throw line again. First one went in. 27 to 29 for Fireballs. To myself I thought – okay, we can get this done, get the ball, we got about half a minute left, get a lay-up, overtime. Swish, second one in. We stand 27 to 30 with three behind. That was the moment I knew that we had to get a three-pointer, there was no other option. Up to this point girls had understood how to counter full-court press and ball went in, went to the other side and they stood spread out. After a few seconds looking for wholes shot went up, but bounced against rim. A half-centimeter here or there. That’s the game. Then luck happened. Ball went out from the opponents. I had to take a quick timeout. About 4-5 seconds left as we had no visible game clock.

Battling the past three games and half of this game – I just hoped that girls will get it right. I assigned throw-in, two pick makers, trick player behind the three-point shooter. It seemed that they got the drawing. They delivered. That was already a small victory for me. Pick down, roll out to other side, pick up to free-throw, run, pass, shot pulled up. It looked amazing. Then my heart stopped on heartbeat. I fell on the ground to see through legs if my eyes weren’t just playing games. Whistle made everyone silent right after the three-point shot went in. Nothing but net.

Nah, I had seen it right.

As our number 63, assigned to take the last shot, came out of the pick and over the three point line – small field confusion kicked in. Now, as I already explained, fields were smaller. Meaning – three point line ran into the side line at the wing. Despite that there was another field about 60-70 centimeters apart. Now, what I failed to predict in my drawing was that maybe I had to put the shot more up not at the wing. She simply oversaw the lines because of the habit of regular sized field, where three pointer runs down to baseline. As she turned heels went over the side line of this small field. Shot made, didn’t count. With three seconds left and a mild after shock – they failed to foul and we went down with 27 to 30 for Fireballs. Hurts. That’s basketball.

Thanks to this game HellGirls, under my coaching, now have a set play for baseline throw-in called “Over the Line”.


Well, that’s it folks. Then there was another fun evening with everyone at Players Town, next day early games, rushing to get everything packed and the way home. I won’t write here anymore about all the great fun we had there playing, watching, cheering and just enjoying the life. Some things have to be told not written. Remembered and shared at the dinner tables. Because nothing brings the good moments back as the voices of the tellers who were there and experienced all of this wonderful adventure called United World Games. Best memories are saved in the heart.

Coach Valts




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