Leigh's big present for Christmas was a new lens for her camera. It is a "fast" lens, so-called because it can operate at wider apertures and give faster shutter speeds. We chose this to allow her to take indoor sports photos, where dimly lit gymnasiums (gymnasia?) make it difficult to capture action shots without blurring the subjects. The weekend after Christmas gave a couple opportunities to test out the new lens, as Carmen had an indoor soccer game and Sarai had a basketball game. The pictures turned out well, although the soccer photos are a little muted due to the glare of shooting through the plexiglass.
One thing Carmen likes about indoor soccer is playing physical off of the boards. Number 13 on the opposing team was a head shorter than Carmen, but her speed and aggression made up for her size. Here Carmen keeps the ball away from #13, but they end up a bit entangled.
Carmen is not shy about communicating to her teammates during the game, telling them to get back to cover her spot when she goes for the ball, or move up to be in a better spot to receive a pass. Her screeches are heard if she's on the field or the bench. Here she directs traffic before taking a free kick.
Finally, a couple action photos. I love the flying ponytail.
Sarai's basketball team has been clicking the last couple games. They still need to work on reducing turnovers, but they've been making shots and playing good defense. They've been establishing leads, which has allowed the younger players to get more playing time.
Sarai has a good layup and does a nice job not rushing the shot when she has time. She had several baskets off fast breaks or long passes. Below, a layup from the left, a shot from under the hoop, and layup from the right:
She also made a jump shot from the elbow and got points from the free-throw line. One of her goals for the season was to do better at free throws, after missing several during the first two games of the season. This game, she made three of her first four attempts, which was a big confidence boost. I think she ended up 4 of 7 from the line. Here she is lining up to take her shots, while Michelle catches her breath during the break in the action.
I enjoy watching Sarai play defense, particularly man-to-man. She is very good at applying what she has learned and executing their plays as designed. In man-to-man defense, she denies the shot and applies strong pressure. Here she is putting her hips into boxing out.
And lastly, more ponytail action on the press-break.