Time is something you can never see, you can never alter, and you can never stop. Let that sit for a minute. So, what can you do with this invisible force that dictates our lives? Well, you can live it I suppose. After a three-week vacation living it all over Europe, I came back to reality, back to this small university town surrounded by miles of greenery and sheep. With the start of term- the final term of my first year- it’s painful to think how quick time has passed since I was actively avoiding fresher’s events, cooking at crazy hours to avoid scary new flatmates and circumventing all the welcome stands lined with smiling student faces that terrified me to the core. It’s funny how things work out though. I now work behind the bar supplying the alcohol at said fresher’s events (the only thing getting people through), take over the kitchen in my new house and am actively terrifying other students with my smiling face.

Throwing myself in at the deep end was the most liberating thing I did, and now it was our turn, as the Barons, to provide that opportunity for others. Yes, you got it, it’s TEAM TRIAL TERM! *mini celebration with a little added boogie*. The excitement is real, we opened our doors on Tuesday evening to the old, the new and the ones that just don’t leave! A new key card entry system to the gym necessitated more stringent timing, which as you can guess, didn’t go entirely to plan. You see, timing makes an appearance everywhere, and it turns out these guys just don’t understand the concept. If any of you read this, 8PM TUESDAY. 8PM. 8PM.

Once we all got settled, two more turned up… ahah just kidding (but that did actually happen). Nahh, once we got settled, Coach outlined the intention for the session, explaining that he was going to go a little easier than last term as Ed still hasn’t recover from the shuttle run-burpee ordeal. Personally, I think it adds character- and is minorly amusing from the side line, only minorly though.

You can’t help but size up the newcomers. How will the lighting fall on them? Will they fit in my lens? Do they have the physique and bone structure to win photography competitions? I mean this is definitely what was going through everyone’s mind, right? Oh and some other stuff to do with position, ball handling, shooting range and agility, but those were only afterthoughts.

After some wobbly stretches, a few lay up drills, some shooting and a little showing off, we were ready to enter a ‘scrimmage’. This is my new term for the week. Scrimmage. Spelt with two m’s and meaning ‘a practice- not an official game’, try telling them that. The new faces held their own, whilst the Barons helped amend form and explain plays, which was so humbling to watch. Although Coach Wayne’s teaching tactics may have been a little intense when a newbie took his elbow to the face during a screen and had to go to the bathroom to dislodge his teeth from his tongue… I suppose it’s practice for one of Chim’s blocks in the future. We just warm up differently I guess.

On the photography side of things, it took me a while to warm up too, my settings were off, my angles were poor and that damn players don’t stop to let you practice. Once my faculties had been successfully regained, the importance of a zoom lens became so blaringly obvious I could have tripped over the warning. You see, I’m stuck in between a rock and a corner in the sports hall (man, my puns just keep getting better). In order to get the close-up profiles I crave in life, I have to literally stick the camera right next to the player, a little intrusive doesn’t even come close. Perhaps it’s the adrenaline junky inside, but I love blocking myself into a corner knowing that the possibility the ball will fly out and five 190lb guys will surely be following in a tangled mess is very real. My fate will be sealed, and I’ll have to live out the rest of my days as Flat Stanley. THAT SHOT THOUGH.

Oh, did I mention that zoom lenses cost upwards of £1,000? That renders the previous paragraph completely irrelevant. Student budget = never gonna happen.

Anyway, as practice entered the final 15 minutes, I took a seat to watch the remainder of the scrimmagery unfold and flick through the night’s snaps. Coach Wayne took a seat next to me and Coach Karl next to him, we talked over the night’s success and began picking out our line-up for the next season of Barons; “his shot is clean… his form needs tweaking but he has potential… he’s tall” bet you can’t guess who said what 😉 At the end of it all, I took a minute as always and just looked around, this is greatness in the making. We are about to form the new Barons, about to get to learn their quirks, about to add to our family… that’s if Coach doesn’t scare them off or send them to A&E.

Next Tuesday couldn’t come quick enough.

Tune in next time for some more musings and my quest to reach Committee Presidency! (I think I’ve officially gone insane).

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