Month: October 2017

Compete with yourself

Today one of my players sent me an observation of himself. He has observed that there are more athletic players at his age than he is. They seem to have played basketball longer than him. Bare in mind that this is U16 player. Now, while it is good to observe yourself and know where you stand in the scheme of things, I think it is important not to look at other abilities in self-destructing way. You can’t beat the others. There always will be someone more athletic, faster, bigger, better, smaller (also this counts!), stronger, more experienced, more intelligent.

One side

Now, if we acknowledge that there will always be someone better we can start to do what we have to do – work with oneself. You can’t beat the other person if you don’t beat yourself first. This is the practice of the greats, this is what all the great guys has done and that is the reason why they were the best. The only competition for them was themselves. That’s right. Only person you have to compete in the quest of life is yourself. Not your brother, not your sister, not your mama, not your dada, not your annoying, perfect cousin Jess (no offense to Jess), not your best friend, not that random athletic guy at the opposing team. No, not them – you, you have to compete with yourself.

This is the secret. This is all there is – be better today than you were yesterday. One-half a second faster, one push-up better, know one word more, read one more page. Even if it is a little bit – be better. Learn something new, train a bit more, help someone you know, help someone you don’t know. Be a better version of yourself. Others doesn’t matter. Your action does. Your attitude and your work.

The other side

My daughter is at the point where she is slowly learning to crawl. If you are a parent or oldest sibling in family, you will know that every kid does it at his own time. Of course we can do some things that help them to get hang of it faster, but still – every kid does it at a different time. Now, this observation brings me back to the idea what I read in one of the Zen stories. Nature has it’s own pace. You can’t really ask a tree when it will be grown. The same kind of tree will grow differently, or by moving it over continents – it might not grow at all. That is the nature of a tree. Of a living being. Also – it can be observed between other kinds of plants and also we humans have natural pace build into us. Kids start to roll, crawl or walk whenever they are ready and able to carry out this action.

“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function on of what the whole ocean is doing.” /Alan Watts

There is this thought of Alan Watts that we are “it”. There is no point in seeking around us (outside of ourselves), we have to seek within and the more you look, the more you understand that there is nothing in, because you are “it”. You are the Cosmos itself. Everything else is in relation to you and you are in relation to everything else. You are your mind and that is everything else. So, there is no point in looking at others and saying they are better or worse than you are. The only place to look and improve is yourself. That is why improving yourself you will also improve everything around you. This is one of the Universal Laws of Life. Pace of Nature itself.

Valts R.

BCH U16-2 game against Haar 2


Mental struggle continues. After our first game against Ottobrunn it seemed as good Season start for my boys, but unfortunately at second game in Holzkirchen Team got mental block. Since then we are struggling against every other team that comes before us. Mentally. Also in this game where struggled the whole game and then broke down in last six minutes because of the mental issues. Lost 34 to 42.

We managed to achieve a goal as a Team to play good defense. It still isn’t perfect or even very good defense, but it is good defense. Good defense is good enough for now. It will develop over time. At least team has no mental blocks there, only thing to do defensively is to keep working on communication, out-boxing and foot work. I am happy to say that my young sirs understood the message from the team defense and now it is question of time and effort.

Offense however… is not so good. Part of it might be that I put a bigger emphasis on defense at the beginning of season. Since the game with Holzkirchen I’ve been putting emphasis on offense which requires a different kind of mental game as defense does. While in defense the players has no problem taking on contact and closing the players – in offense team is somehow afraid on taking the contact. I have to find a way to make this work. Willingness to do lay-ups and plays without being afraid from contact coming.

This refers also to 50-50 balls. Because of the fear from contact players also don’t go for loose balls (which are called 50-50 balls because of the same chance anyone getting it – opponent or yourself). This is a big problem as there are many situations per game where the ball is for the grabs and the opponents get it just because they want it a little bit more. This transfers also directly to rebounding or any type of fight for the ball – after first step of aggression, that is – jumping and touching the ball, players stop and don’t go for the second, third or whatever step to SECURE the ball! This is mental thing, this has to be drilled mentally not to stop on spot after first step, but do whatever is necessary to secure the ball and start our possession.

Now, these are the observations I have. It is very important to act on this mental game as it can’t just be fixed with more drills or more running or whatever. It is also important to act upon them as it reflects the whole being of a young man. This mental fear can come or go into young man’s life and do a damage there. My goal here is to teach them to become mentally strong on the field and hope that they will be able also to transfer this skill of mental toughness into life. This is the vision.

Coach Valts

BCH U16-2, game against Holzkirchen


“Don’t be upset about the results you got with the work you didn’t do.” /Unknown

This pretty much sums up the game of today. We went in with confidence, too much of it and came out crushed. Focus had went to sleep, courage ran off and heart seemed to have stopped to beat. There was nothing in my knowledge I could’ve done to turn this around. That angers me. Also, as a Coach, my job now is to find a way, a solution to this problem we faced today and expel it from our dictionary. It can’t happen again. It will though, but at least we will be ready for it.

Complication of overconfidence and ignored rules of war.

I let them fly. The first game was good, why not? Let the boys have the confidence boost. I also unknowingly underestimated our next opponent. Their will to win. Now, from the perspective of “The Art of War”, I didn’t prepare for the War properly. I let my troops loose and it resulted of lost Focus and Discipline. If we were in the order, it would’ve been much closer game. Team was strong, but we could’ve done better for sure with more Focus and better Discipline.

The second thing is that Team lacked ‘Fierceness in Combat’. We lost it in fear. We lost it because Leadership (that’s me) failed.

“There must be no hesitancy in using any method to bring about the complete and utter destruction of the enemy. It is the only way to ensure victory of a lasting nature.

Fierceness is a natural state when troops see the wisdom of their leader. Correct tactics are required to ensure that any approach to the enemy will be consistent with victory. It is the perceptive warlord who prepares for any eventuality and accepts victory with a glad heart.” /The Art of War (S.F. Kaufman interpretation)

Now, this is the thing. Steady hand. Not just from the players, but also from the Coach. My hand today wasn’t steady. I lacked the knowledge and the wisdom to turn things around. I hadn’t planned for the particular eventuality which the game took. Leader had no answer when nothing we had learned worked and players lost courage. We hesitated to answer the opponents for too long. They over ruled us with their confidence and willingness to dominate. Once some of the players recovered and find the flame of fighting inside them, it was already too late. Enemy had grown too strong already.

The Future.

“If you want to walk in fields of green, you have to be willing to dig in the dirt.” /Unknown

We trained before. With a structure. Now it is time to re-structure and work harder. Today was about waking up – game must be taken at least one level higher as it was. You don’t continue as you did before and get better results. You embrace the defeat, find the solution and keep working harder, better and smarter. This is what awaits the BC Hellenen U16-2. Growth in mind and body.

Coach Valts


Just a tool. Or is it?

“Put down your phone, look at the skyline.” /M. Diaz

A true reminder. Everything happens in there – communication with family, friends and colleagues. E-Mails, WhatsApps, Facebooks, Instas. Games, texts, books and articles. Everything you can imagine. This is something I lived through once. A book I recently read reminded me of that. Well, that and my good friend and colleague Diaz. It’s not in there! Easy to forget! Not going back – the way is forward. It’s a change of direction if you may.

It’s just a tool! Made to connect us easier, communicate faster, get things done more efficiently. Be damned, it seems sometimes like this advancement in technology makes us more busy instead! Online 24/7, always rolling. Where is that extra free time?

Human nature needs brakes. Discipline. Otherwise it takes on everything World has to give. This is how I get lost. How many other get lost. Awakening – look at the skyline. Lost my roots with the self-consciousness. Being. This moment, observing things and writing about them. Creating. Not some bullshit creation – creating from observations. That’s what Murphy did when he wrote all those Laws and others wrote as well, all those Scholars, Masters, Scientists, Artists and Writers. They observed and to observe one must gain knowledge and be in the actual moment. Then create.

Put it down. Hit the brakes. Oh, yes. You’ll find the true meaning of things. Go to the most busiest place in middle of the day. Sit there for a hour and observe. Write it down. No phone, no online, nothing. Got it? Good! Now don’t sleep, carry it for whole day and go outside in the night and sit somewhere near Mother Nature. Find a lake, river, a tree will do! Now sit there for an hour and observe the night. Write it down. No phone, no online, nothing.

Go home. Look at what you wrote. Is the night really more peaceful than the day?

This is how this began. This is how this must continue. Stories of the Night.




Ir dienas, kad padoties ir aizliegts. /M. Zvīdriņš

Grāmata. Pasaka. Stāsts. Dzīve.

Es neizdzīvoju visu haipu par un ap. Tomēr dzīve man tika devusi norādes, lai kaut uz nelielu brīdi, bet dzirdētu daļu no šī stāsta dzīvē. Parunātos pāris minūtes. Uzdotu jautājumu, kuru vairs neatceros. Protams, neatceros arī atbildi. Tas bija pirms grāmatas. Tagad manā īpašumā ir 498. grāmata no 1. metiena 1000 eksemplāriem. Daļēji pilnais stāsts. Pasaka.

Ziedonis kādreiz teica – kad Jūs izlasāt, tad tie vairs nav mani vārdi. Tie ir jūsu vārdi, jūsu uztvere un sapratne. Tas ko es ar to domāju vairs nav svarīgi.

Paldies, Mārtiņ, par vārdiem.

Tad nu…

Šī ir pasaka par Mākoņkilometru tirgotāju. Visiem tiem, kuri ir aizmirsuši kā ir jāsapņo. Visiem tiem skilleriem, kuri ir aizmirsuši, ka dzīve dāvā daudz vairāk nekā entās stundas monotoni veicot vienu un to pašu darbību vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un… vēlreiz. (Ja vien, tas netiek veikts kāda, hmm, interesantāka mērķa vārdā.) Tiem, kuri vēlas zināt, kas ir neatlaidība. Dzīvībai bīstama neatlaidība. Tiem, kurus aizrauj patiesi stāsti, drūmi stāsti un stāsti ar beigām. Stāsti ar pieturām. Tiem, kuriem nepietiek spēka. Tiem, kuriem pietiek spēka. Piedzīvojumu meklētājiem. Tiem, kuri dzīvo pēc kodeksa. Tiem, kuri ir zaudējuši. Tiem, kuri ir zuduši paši. Tiem, kuri ir atradušies.

Ha! Līdz vārda izlasīšanai grāmatā, es nezināju, kura spēle bija pakļāvusi Mārtiņu tik traki, ka no tās bija grūti tikt vaļā. Izlasot nosaukumu es sapratu. Tā ir to gadu, iespējams, populārākā MMO. Es arī biju tās varā, iespējams ilgāk, nekā pašam patiktu atzīt. Tā arī ir spēle, kas ir mainījusi dzīves uztveri un dzīvi ik vienam tās rubas spēlmanim, kuru es pazīstu. Iespējams, tieši tur pavadītās stundas iedzen ko tādu… kas paliek.

Grāmata ir interesants notikumu virknējums. Interesanti ir tas, ka interesantākās grāmatas, ko savā dzīvē esmu lasījis, ir tikušas rakstītas līdzīgi. Notikumi mētājas no viena uz otru, līdz saplūst vienotā stāstā un top skaidrs, ka katra mazākā nianse bija tur, kur tai bija jābūt. Sākums liekas neloģisks, beigas ģeniālas. Sākums ir lēns, bet jo vairāk lapu cilvēks pāršķir, jo ātrāks un aizraujošāks kļūst stāts. Tas ievelk sevī. Liek just līdzi.

Mans paziņa man deva padomu – pirms tu lasi grāmatu, uzzini ko vairāk par autoru. Tas var mainīt domas. Tās bija veiksmīgas sakritības, kas man atļāva paskatīties uz autoru un dzirdēt viņa balsi pirms grāmatas. Vērtību izpratni. Improvizācijas dotumus. Dzīves uztveri. Attieksmi. Stāju. Es nezinu, kam Mārtiņš rakstīja šo grāmatu. Es tikai zinu, ka pirmajā lapā ir vieta, kur uzrakstīt novēlējumu ik vienam eksemplāra īpašniekam. Šī nav grāmata visiem. Šī ir grāmata tam tūkstotim, kuri autoru jau ir iepazinuši.

Turklāt es nespētu sabojāt grāmatas lasītprieku ar spoileri, ja teiktu, ka grāmatas beigas ir grāmatas sākums. To sapratīs tikai tie, kuri izlasīs darbu no vāka līdz vākam. Meistarīgi, Mārtiņ, meistarīgi.

Ir jāiet!



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