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2017-09-01 10:00:00 CET

Sax on the Beach: That’s all he wrote

Read Ben Saxton's final blog of the season in the wake of Hamburg Finals

Ben blocks at the net during the quarterfinal at the Hamburg Finals against Lucena/DalhausserBen blocks at the net during the quarterfinal at the Hamburg Finals against Lucena/Dalhausser

The 2017 Swatch Major Series is officially over. The World Tour Finals have crowned their Champions. Our bed sheets are still forever covered in sand, but that part of the sport will probably never end. The best 12 teams from this most recent season battled it out, and the favorites (current Olympic and World Champions Ludwig/Walkenhorst from Germany and number 1 seeded Dalhausser/Lucena from USA) came out ahead of the rest. The biggest prize winnings in beach volleyball have been assigned, but there’s still a small amount of money that hasn’t been issued: My two cents.

Seeing as this was the last event of the Swatch Major Series for this year, that also means this is my final blog. So what can I write about? Have I said thank you to everyone yet? I have? Well then let’s talk about what happens now. Some players will head to their respective domestic tours or indoor contracts, but the rest of us will shift gears into post-season mode. After another year of successes, failures, amazing plays and costly errors, the start of the post-season is time for recovery and re-evaluation.

At the end of a season, I’m not sure you could find a single athlete who is completely injury free. When you’re constantly stressing your joints and muscles with the explosive movements required of beach volleyball, dealing with the resulting wear and tear just becomes a part of the game. Since we usually travel from one event to the next, there’s not really much time to completely solve any of the bothersome nagging injuries, even with the help of the usually excellent medical staff provided by the Swatch Major Series (thanks again, by the way). Since there are no substitutions in beach volleyball, we make do with what our bodies can handle any given week.

Only after the final point of the season gets scored do we get the chance to really care for our various ailments and give our bodies a chance to rest. As my athletic therapist likes to tell me, athletes are the performance vehicle of the human species, and even a Ferrari needs to get its regular tune ups. Now is that time. With the help of our health practitioners and strength coaches, we’ll work out all the little aches and pains, and strengthen our weaknesses to head into the coming pre-season healthier and stronger than ever.

 

Another season in the books. Finally get some time back home in #Vancouver for the off-season. @wecobevo @infinitcanada @oakley @saxxunderwear

236 Likes, 13 Comments - Ben Saxton (@bensaxton13) on Instagram: "Another season in the books. Finally get some time back home in #Vancouver for the off-season...."

 

And let’s not forget about the mind. No, I’m not talking about having to recover from all the times my opponents hit the ball off my face. I’m referring to taking a little time to mentally recharge. It can be pretty draining with all the travelling and constantly strategizing for matches and taking all that time away from loved ones. By the end of a season, the brain can get a little burnt out, regardless of how much someone loves the sport. Everyone has their own techniques to keep the gears between the ears turning: yoga, meditation, watching movies, playing board games, reconnecting with loved ones, discovering new hobbies, etc. They’re all effective as long as you feel good about yourself as you do it.

Then once all the healing has been done, the planning starts anew, and just like that we’re onto the 2018 season. It’s time to look back at the previous year and find what went well or not, and what changes need to be made in which order. This small window of re-evaluation shortly after the end of a season can make a huge impact on the future years. A player can come to the realization that their core philosophy has now changed completely from the year before, and it will forever affect the way that they go about the rest of their career. Maybe it’s time for me to hang up my jersey and take up blogging full time! Ok, there might not have been that big of a brain shift.

Though I will say, it has been interesting for me to put my thoughts into words and spew them forth for this 2017 edition of the Swatch Major Series. Whether anyone has enjoyed reading it or not, it’s been my pleasure to share and be a part of this season in my own special way. Now excuse me while I recover. Brain tired. Too much words. See you next season, Sax out!

Cheers,

Ben

Ben and Chaim in action during the World Championship where the pair finished fifthBen and Chaim in action during the World Championship where the pair finished fifth

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