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Josh Rogers

Josh Rogers writes

Posted Wednesday, February 10th 2021

Blog » Things I've learned from playing in a Pandemic

The 2020/21 season was never going to be a straightforward one, and the first few months have already contained enough ups and downs to last a lifetime.

We’re looking forward to the day we can welcome the fans back to WISE, but in the meantime, I hope these blog posts will give a little look into what’s going on behind closed doors.

Here are my four takeaways from playing during the pandemic so far:


We really miss the fans

There are a few things about playing a season during a pandemic that have now become second nature - like temperature scans, regular testing, and wearing masks on the bench.

Playing behind closed doors, however, has taken some more getting used to. Ultimately you just can’t beat the electricity of playing in front of the fans, and I think players and coaches on both sides are missing it.

Some teams have been playing music into the arena, but obviously, it’s just not the same. It is nostalgic though - pumping loud music into an otherwise dead arena to try and generate a bit of atmosphere reminds me of a pre-Covid Plymouth Raiders away game.  


Trash-Talk is a bit more polite

I’m not one to trash-talk personally. I tried it early in my career but it just sounded a bit weird and let’s face it, it wasn’t scaring anyone.

However, as an outside observer, I've noticed that the trash talk has generally been toned down a little this season. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of it, and the competition is no less fierce. But I think a lot of the stuff that players would say to each other in the heat of a game just becomes a bit awkward when you’re in an empty sports hall and everyone can hear you.


Know who to trust! 😂

Plenty of long-distance away games has meant a lot of time on the team bus, and thus a lot of time playing UNO.

They say you don’t truly know someone until you’ve travelled with them, and this season has taught me everything I need to know about Eric Lockett.

Has he won the majority of games? Yes

Has he been hiding cards, restarting games, purposefully messing up scores, and making up rules on the fly? Also Yes.

I’ll let you make your own judgements about that.


Plenty of changes

With Josh (Wilcher) out for the first six weeks, and then devastating season-ending injuries for Liam (Davis) and Zach (Copeland), it’s been a hectic start to the season.

When bringing in new players mid-way through the season, it always takes some time to get the level of understanding and team chemistry to where you want it to be. Luckily all three new guys (Ben, Teddy, and Justin) are extremely experienced which has helped this transition a lot. 

We’ve got all the pieces to put together a great season and we’re good enough to beat anyone in the league. It’s now just up to us to go out there and perform.


Final Thoughts

We’ve had our fair share of adversity on court so far this season, but there have also been some real positives, and we’re definitely heading in the right direction.

And if there’s anything we learned in 2020, it’s to focus on controlling what we can control… And don’t play UNO with Eric.


About the Contributor

Written by Josh Rogers - Born in Bristol, Josh came through the ranks at the Flyers and graduated from the SGS Basketball Academy, making his senior debut in September 2011 at the age of 17 in NBL Division One.

He went on to sign a full athletic scholarship with Carson-Newman in NCAA Division two, before signing his first professional contract with Hapoel Beer Sheva in Isreal’s second tier.

Rogers returned home in 2019 and now plays for the Flyers alongside his role as a Community Basketball Coach at the Bristol Sport Foundation.

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