Friday, January 29, 2021

That's it. Empty nesters for the next four months

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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Sunday morning

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Friday, January 22, 2021

Porch nap for @saturn_gets_a_home

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Tracking Volleyball Stats on Paper

When I started coaching, other people were responsible for stats. Either a kid, a parent, or a head coach I worked with that liked doing it themselves.

When I became a head coach, stats became something I had to do. I tried a few ways with other coaches, with varying degrees of success. Eventually I got a good assistant, but they didn't want to do stats. I decided to try to tackle this myself, and do less coaching and more watching. 

This is the process that worked well for me, and I've been able to teach a kid or parent to do this in a few minutes if I have someone else that will do it. I'll explain the process, and then some reasoning.

The Process

I've had 9 kids on a team over a few years, so this has worked out well for me. I think it works up to 12. Your mileage may vary, and I note that as I get older, making small marks on paper is challenging.

In Excel I build a sheet that divides paper into a few sections of graphs. These are essentially "T"s for each kid. I put 9 on a page, but I have gotten 12 if needed, going 4 across. My sheet looks like the image below. I am only showing the first 2 rows, but there's a third below.

I put each kid's name in a box, and I tend to order things as they are on the court. I put OHs on the left, MHs in the center and the L in the bottom middle. My RH/S go on the right. If I have subs, I'd likely put them on the far right, and then hope muscle memory reminds me of where they are located. 

I often use a new sheet for each match, but at times I'll do a second match on the same sheet. I can usually use a second line for each stat to differentiate sets.

The grid is divided into four sections, clockwise from the upper left I have "Serve" , "Serve receive", "Digs", and "Attacks". While I record data in these in a similar fashion, each is slightly different.


  • Attempts - I, or vertical line
  • Ace - A
  • Error (ball not in play, service error, etc.) - E
  • end of service round - comma

This gets me something like these examples:

  • |||, - 3 attempts,  we get the sideout twice before losing a point.
  • |A||E,E - first service round with serve in, then ace, then two serves in (4 points) and an error. Second service round, just an error (bad serve)

When a girl goes back to serve, I make the vertical line and keep the pencil or my finger on  that spot. That lets me know I've marked the serve. If it's an A or E, I just add to the line to turn it into the letter.

 Serve Receive 

  • 0, 1, 2, 3 - pass rating

This is the simplest item. When someone passes a serve, I rate it as a 0, 1, 2, or 3. Everyone has their own style here, but once reason I like doing the stats is the consistency for SR (serve receive).

  • 0 - shank, or a bad pass that isn't really playable.
  • 1- a pass that the setter barely gets up, with one option. Or someone else sets
  • 2 - the setter makes minimal movement, and can easily set 2 front row hitters
  • 3 - all three front row hitters, the back row, and time to decide.
  • | - dig
  • E - dig error
For digs, I record someone was able to get an attack ball up and make it playable or not. You may use your own judgment on what's playable.

  • | - attack attempt, ball kept in play by opponent
  • K - kill
  • E - attack error (long, in net, touch net, etc.)

I try to avoid using the attempt for bumps over, especially with bad sets. If it's a kill on bump, I sometimes mark this as a K with an underline. For tips, I usually mark as a K with a line across the top. This is mostly for between set/match quick review. Are kids swinging?\


  • B (under attack section) - ball blocked back to attacking side
  • B circled - ball blocked back for point
 We don't see a lot of block stats, so I've just captured these. I haven't worried about block errors, but if I cared, I'd likely use "BE". I like capturing block backs because the kids are proud.

Generating Stats

Usually after a tournament, I go get some dinner. It's a good way to decompress from the day, and often I have a coach with me. We can talk about the day, re-live some highlights (or lowlights) and compile stats. While an iPad and app does this automatically, I find this isn't too hard or time consuming to do manually.

Here's my process. I put the sheets that correspond to a match together, and I'll do a match at a time. I go through each athelete's stats, writing down the totals. Usually I can mentally add up the values across 2-3 sheets and get them down on one sheet. I'll go through the process for each quadrant, but I typically do all 4 stats for each kid before moving to the next.

  • Count every entry (|, A, E) total these up.
  • Count all aces, total up
  • Count all errors, total up
This gives me something like 10 / 3 / 1 - 10 attempts, 3 of which were aces. 1 error. The service percentage here is 90% ( (10-1)/10)

Serve Receive
  • Add up all the numbers, this is attempts
  • Add up the sum of the numbers, this is the total for calculating percentage.
  • Add up the zero passes. A good metric to keep.

For this entry (3,2,2,1,0,3,1), I would have this line under the athlete: 7 / 12 / 1. The percentage is 12/7, which is a 1.7 pass rating. They shanked 1 of 7 passes. Not too bad for the level I coach.

This is easy. Add up the | entries and add up the E entries. I report these are straight sums.


I add up all items here, just as in serve. These are all the attempts. Next, I add up kills. Next, errors. This gives me three numbers again. 

As an example, if I had ||K||E||K, I'd have 9 / 2 / 1. Nine swings at a set, 2 kills, 1 error. The calculation for hitting is (2-1)/9. Kills-errors, divided by attempts. This is a 0.111 hitting percentage. Not great, but positive.

Usually I just write a B and then give the attempts and scoring blocks.

Data Entry

Once I have all the raw numbers, I type them into a spreadsheet. I keep a stat one around for each team, and I have a sample attached to this post. Each stat gets a sheet, so I have serve on 1, serve receive on a second, etc. I use a separate line for each day/opponent/kid. As an example, here's a serve example:

I can type the date, event, and opponent once and then copy paste down. I usually can copy paste the roster down, using 0s for kids that don't play. The right column, percentage, is calculated, so data entry is typing in a number, right arrow, a second, right arrow, the third, then down to the next kid. It's pretty fast, and I can do 9 kids x 4 opponents in the time it takes to get a drink and a salad eaten.
I can then repeat this for each of the five areas. If a coach is there, one can read and one type. This goes quickly.

Stats for Athletes and Parents
I add a new worksheet for each event. Typically I put this at the start of the Excel workbook, and move the last event to a spot after my 5 stat categories. I then copy the format from one of the other sheets. The layout looks like this:

Since I keep the kids' names in the same order, I can usually build a formula that adds up the 3-4 lines for each kid from the other sheet. For example, for Mary, her serve stats might be in the Serve worksheet in rows 120, 129, 138. This formula would be =+Serve!E120+Serve!E129+Serve!E138. I can just type "+" and then pick the three columns for her serve attempts. I can then copy this formula across to the next two cells (aces and errors) and the formula adjusts the column letter. 
If I always have the same girls, I can copy this down to fill out the stats for all girls. If someone doesn't have stats, rather than leaving a divide by zero error, I usually add a DNP (or DNS for did not serve) and erase the formulas.

This builds a summary sheet that coaches can look at, and still find details for stats across girls. Parents and girls can easily look at this.

Parent Questions

I typically don't take parent questions on stats. I tell them they should ask their daughter. If the athletes don't know the answer, they can ask me. This is as much about educating athletes as parents.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday morning

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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Start of another Saturday

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Friday, January 15, 2021

Mommy baby chill

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Gonna move a bunch of these today

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Monday, January 11, 2021

Reminding Myself about Life Under Covid-19 - Day 306


It's a new year, and the weight of COVID-19 still presses me down. For the first time in a long time, COVID-19 hasn't been the most impactful thing in my life for a week. That's both good and bad, more bad, though, since COVID-19 continues to impact all aspects of my life.

Last week I started to watch the counting of the electoral votes. A non-event during most Presidential elections. In fact, I'm not sure I would have known the date or process before this year. In any case, I watched the votes for Alabama and Alaska, and then the protest against Arizona. The reps filed out of the chamber and I went to the gym.

While working out, I saw the protests getting heated, and eventually people break into the Capital building. I went a had a slice of pizza, watching criminals ransacking the building. I was somewhat shocked, and maybe more so that the owner of the pizza place was loudly defending them as not doing anything wrong, not causing any trouble. This was before we knew the scope of the damage, but I doubt his view has changed.

Since then, the talk of impeachment, of arrests and prosecution of the insurrectionists, the pressure in various reps to resign or condemn the actions. Some have, but continue to push the narrative of a bad election. I watched the speeches, or some of them, after Congress reconvened that night. While I appreciated hearing from many reps, I was also disappointed into others that continued to press forward with their complaint. I disagree that the session was the place to do this.

In any case, it appears there may be a second set of articles of impeachment coming, and it continues to dominate the news, even as various people are arrested.

Maybe even more crazy is the banning of our President from Twitter, Facebook, et al. It certainly has made for quieter news cycles in many ways. I was surprised to see that Parler, an alternative social network, was dropped from AWS over the weekend. As of now, I think they are struggling to find a large vendor to host them over the controversy.

I have lots of thoughts and opinions, but this is more about life during this time. We had a quiet Christmas. Kyle came home, and we mostly were here with family for a few days, without much of any sort of activities. We took a break from volleyball and things were quiet.

Tia and I did go to Keystone over New Years, which was weird. We didn't ski, hiked a bit, and relaxed. Takeout from a few places, and then with some of them being able to open under the Colorado 5-star program, we waited an hour to get a table in breakfast place and eat with a waitress. That was a highlight of our trip.

Since then, we've returned to more places opening and restrictions relaxing. Jan 4 allowed lots of changes. The gym now takes 25 for many yoga classes, spread into 2 rooms, or 17 in one, so it's easier to get in and get some exercise. I've appreciate that, though it's still hard to wear a mask. I'm not used to it, though I've given up on complaining.

I hurt my back last week, which was weird, and painful. While struggling to walk, and unsure of what to do, I had a miserable night. Tia found me a chiro Fri am, but it took work. I don't know that it would have been easier without COVID, but I know so many places have reduced hours, spread out appointments, etc., that I did worry about getting in as she called around. To me, one of the major crisis of the whole pandemic is that other non-COVID issues are more problematic. In any case, I was amazed that he fixed me in a day, and I was back to normal by Sunday.

Volleyball started back up, with the whole team after Christmas. We actually practiced with everyone on Jan 3, even though we were supposed to wait until Jan 4. This past weekend (Jan 9) we went back to competition. A higher level, we got beat pretty good, but we were back in a gym, parents got to watch (still 1/athlete) and life felt slightly normal. Coaches went to have a drink afterwards up in Johnstown, and Tia and I even stopped at Casa Mariachi on the way home and got a table.

I'm going skiing tomorrow with a friend. He asked me last week and I agreed. Then we realized we needed reservations, so he started the process at Copper and then we were on the phone, him getting me a buddy pass there. The whole "plan in advance" isn't something I like, but I guess that's where we are. I've gotten used to it for yoga, so I can do this. I hope it ends sometime this year.

I do have some hope. Most people I interact with think the vaccine rollout, while slow, will help smooth things out over time. We'll find a way to start having a more normal life, more in person work, school, etc. by the fall. I hope so, and I do think it's a possibility. I can even see live events potentially in the Sept/Oct/Nov time frame.

Work continues on about the same, though there is a little more aim for thriving rather than coping (or surviving as the CEO noted). I think that's good, though my job certainly looks like it won't change for quite some time. Life will continue to be remote and in my first floor office.

The interesting thing is that my world seems to have shrunk even more, and with more stability. Work every day here, go to the gym 3-4x/week, which is fine. We likely will coach through the summer with 1 or 2 practices a week. We'll get to a few restaurants, and probably do more camping this summer with horses. It's a slower pace, but that's not bad. In fact, it's comforting in some ways as I aim to handle more projects around here.

BMW X5 E70 Rear Hatch Won't Lock

I have a 2012 BMW X5 (E70) and the rear hatch wasn't latching. I loaded the rear, lowered the hatch and started driving. I noticed that the light was on inside as I was driving. When I got home, I found that the hatch wouldn't close or latch. It would open (from the inside button, rear button, or fob), but when it closed, it would get close and the release. Slamming it didn't help.

I looked at some of the posts on BimmerFest and elsewhere, and tried a few things. I pulled fuse 121 from the rear (behind rear tail light), but it didn't work.

At this time, I started looking closer and noticed that one of the bolts holding the u-bolt in the lower rear hatch was loose. The bolt was there, but as I grabbed the u-bolt, it moved. I'm pointing to it in the image below. The u-bolt would be where the second knuckle of my index finger is, and I'm pointing at 1 of the 2 bolts that are here.

I could wiggle the u-bolt at least 1/4" and maybe 1/2". I suspect that the upper hatch tried to grab the bolt and attach, but couldn't, so it opened again.

I looked at a parts diagram to see how this worked. I could see there appear to be only two bolts, despite the fact that there are actually 4 openings, and there mechanism under the ubolt has a few pieces

I tried to screw the bolts down. One grabbed and tightened. One would not catch, so I had to take things apart. I started by loosening all the screws on the lower hatch. These are on top when this is open. They are behind the flap that folds down on top of the lower hatch. You can see these below. These need a Phillips screwdriver.

Just a note, you need to hold the flap up (it's just visible at the top of the image below.

Once this is loose, you need to prey it loose from the lower hatch. The side closest to the hinge will pop out with a little prying around that edge.

The side furthest from the hinge actually wraps above and around to the back of the hatch. There is a plastic part that is on the outside. In the image below, I'm pointing at part of the seam. This has tabs near the lower (if closed) edge of the two plastic parts. I managed to carefully pry these and pop them loose from the inside.

Once you have this piece off (it's about 4ft long, about a foot wide), then you will see some of the wiring, and another plastic piece that covers the u-bolt. The u-bolt has a plastic cup that covers it, and from this side (when the hatch is open), it sticks out.

There are 5 Torx bolts holding this down. I am not sure of the size, but they were one of the larger Torx screwdrivers I have. They've likely been in this car for 8 years, and never moved, so they were stiff and hard to remove. Once out, I could lift this panel and see the mechanism below.

What I found is that there is a metal assembly that holds the locking mechanism, and a black spacer that centers this. The u-bolt attaches to this. If I get the spacer to fit correctly inside the mechanism, I can press the entire assembly up to the hatch and my bolt will then reach the threads inside. I had to fuss with this for a few minutes to get it aligned and then have the spacer slip inside the assembly before I could get this correctly put together.  There are wires to the assembly, so I was working bent over with the ensure section only slightly lifted off the lower tailgate.

Once I did this, I hand tightened the bolts to hold things, and then found a wrench to snug them up tightly. I have no idea of the torque, but I made them fairly tight with a small adjustable wrench.

I assembled back the inner plate with the Torx screws, ensuring the wiring was placed below. Then I snapped the outer plastic back on and tightened 2 screws. I tested the hatch and it worked perfectly. I finished adding in the other 3 screws and tested again. Working hatch.

This took me about 20 minutes of fussing with panels and looking at the diagram and parts. It's not hard, but if you have latching issues, double check the bolts are tight and the u-bolt doesn't move.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Early Sunday morning yoga

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Monday, January 4, 2021

New tool is coming along

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