STK’s emotional roller coaster at WCA ’13

I felt a lot of promise for us leading up to WCA 2013. We managed to recover from our misstep at the start of the year, closing out the PPL series with 3 consecutive wins, a 7man win and a big international win mid-year at the second leg of the PALs (and $6k prize money if I need to remind you, omg).
In retrospect now though, there were some chinks in the armour. I’d developed a consciousness of who was better than others on the team. Whether my opinions/inferences were valid doesn’t matter because this kind of thinking is totally destructive in paintball. I lost sight of building the team and saw it more as a finished product entitled to do some winning. Some of our players improved more than others this year. I think I lost a bit of humility this time and for the first time I felt frustrated that I had to perceive some players as less capable on the team. I could have been more coaxing and nurturing. But rather I enjoyed playing strong at training. In previous years I’ve felt that if I’m consistently playing well at training, something is wrong. Usually the team is so good that it’s hard to be good week in week out.
But these are just my musings and perhaps not even relevant. Maybe we could have won WCA even with my new-found attitude. Actually, we went through WCA pretty standard. Finished the prelims 4-2, a normal kind of position for us to go forward on.¬†On Saturday, we played a game against Beeswaxers and lost, only to come back 15 minutes later in our first top 8 game and win 4-0 against them. I felt good about that, but it wasn’t a team effort. We played the same 5 guys the whole way through. I’d softened to the “starting five” approach, which I now think was perhaps a mistake.
Following this, we had to play Infernal and then Datis. Infernal beat us 2-4. Datis beat us 1-4. I wish I could say we lost outright, but WE WERE PLAGUED BY PENALTIES. The majority of the time, I feel the reffing is great at PALs events. But there were some outright weird calls going on. Like, I got a bounce off my head, pointed to my head to the ref right next to me, and he just instantly pulls a penalty? I wasn’t even hit in the first place, and second, I didn’t even shoot/move/do anything after I got the bounce on me other than ask for paint check. Of the 11 points we played against Datis and Infernal, only in 3 points we didn’t get a penalty. Something was really wrong with the reffing because I seriously hope we are not stupid enough to legitimately get that many penalties.
Regardless, this sent us onto the quarter finals to play Datis. We had about 0 confidence at this point. It felt like we couldn’t even blink without getting a penalty. Stiffla even sat himself and didn’t even play a point because he felt like he couldn’t get into the game without getting a penalty. And that was it. We went down 1-4 to Datis and missed out on a top 4 finish at WCA for the first time. I feel disappointed. And I did feel bitter. But I think some good can come from it like it did at Thailand at the beginning of the year. If satisfaction is the death of desire, then this is about the farthest point from being satisfied that we can be. I can also say now that the evidence is insurmountable that STK doesn’t win on individual players being good. We win when we are a team.
If I want more from players I’m just going to tell them rather than scoring them against each other in my head. I’m going to be totally transparent in my thinking and go back to the “family” mindset. That’s my off-season goal anyway. Having no hierarchy has got us this far and slipping from that has given us nothing.
Click here to see STK in action at WCA! –>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJgKfCTZLzs

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

« Older Entries Newer Entries »