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From the sidlelines

THE 2011 GEE-GEES’ season has come to an end. While it is sad that a whole sports year has passed in what seemed like the blink of an eye, it also brings new opportunities for these teams come the new year. Athletes and coaches now have a little bit of time to relax, take a look at how they have been doing throughout the year, and work to improve before the 2012 season begins.

I hope they rise to the challenge, because my Christmas wishlist includes beating Carleton at the Capital Hoops Classic, bringing the hockey teams to the playoffs, and for the women’s volleyball team to make the Canadian Interuniversity Sports final four.

I know, it’s a hefty wish list. In order to help out a bit—because I’m not one to talk the talk and not walk the walk—I thought I would provide a few of my observations on the Gees.

We are a revival team

Have you noticed that the Gees like to build momentum throughout a game? They will start out way below their potential, fumbling and falling, usually allowing the opposing team to gather some points and get ahead. As the game progresses, the Gees tend to come out of their slump and quite literally kick ass. After halftime, man—they are ready to win. It’s strange actually. It works for us, and we end up winning a majority of those “comeback” games, but imagine what we could do if we started off our play as we tend to in the second half? We would be unstoppable.


Fouls and penalties bring us down

We are known for having an aggressive and determined athletic program, but sometimes that gets us into trouble. Have you ever counted the number of fouls or penalties the Gees take in a game? It is remarkably high. Giving an advantage like a power play or a free kick or throw gives the opposing team the opportunity to gain on a Gees’ lead. There must be a way for us to play aggressively without sacrificing the win.


Lack of turnout

No, I’m not talking about the teams. If you attend sports games on a regular basis, you must have noticed the correlation between wins and high attendance records. Athletes feed on cheering crowds and the spirit provides energy and motivation for a win. For example, the basketball home openers had an unusually large crowd, and it was the first time the teams won a game this season. I’m not saying the fans were the reason they won—they were also playing brilliantly—but a cheering squad does help. A large crowd tells the team the school cares whether they win or lose.

Confidence and spirit

The Garnet and Grey have a ridiculous amount of confidence and spirit. They genuinely love to play their respective sports. They smile on the court, congratulate other players on the ice, and encourage each other when someone makes a mistake.  Our athletes are team players in the most basic sense of the term—ask one of them how they feel they played personally and they make reference to at least three other people on the team. Regardless of how good the opposing team is, our Gees are always confident they can pull together a win for the U of O—and that is something to be admired.

Happy holidays Gee-Gees, and I hope the New Year brings good things to all.

 Katherine DeClerq

(613) 562-5931