Welcome! I’m Thomas…

SQL University Hoops First Practice

SQL University Hoops First Practice

Good afternoon everyone, glad you could make it for our first session of the year. For those that don’t already know me, I am Coach LaRock and today we start practice sessions. Now, since SQL U was recently founded, we won’t be playing varsity until we spend some time at the club level. That means I don’t have to worry about any roster limits right now and we have the luxury of letting as many people participate as they want. That will change once we start competing for real, but for now we can skip the worrying about making it through tryouts.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea here. I expect you have come here to work. To play hard. To practice hard. This is not going to be an easy squad to be a part of. I will make things difficult for you. And at the end you will be the better for it all. So, let’s get started. We’ll start with some layups, get two lines going from half court and make sure you use your left hand from the left side. If you can’t use your left then I’ll tie your right arm to your body until you figure out how to use your left. After layups we’ll go through some light shooting drills, elbow and baseline jumpers, then some ballhandling drills. Again, remember to use your left hands when you can.

After that we will get into our 3-2 continuous fast break drill and finish with some wind sprints. Don’t bother saving your energy for the sprints, if I think you are walking through anything then we will just stop the drills and start running. Ready? LET’S GO! Move it!


Go take a backup of a database. I don’t care which one, just get one done. What’s that? You want to use SSMS? Look, at the end of the game I just want to scoreboard to say we have one more point than the other team. Just get the job done. Use SSMS, or use some T-SQL. Just find a database, take a backup, and then make sure the backup is in the location you specified. This is a lay up drill, not time to be thinking about making things more complicated.

And there is no excuse for missing a layup. Layups are all about concentration and focus. You miss layups because you get complacent or distracted. And yes, there is also no excuse for not having database backups, or even knowing how to take a database backup.


Let’s start with some elbow jumpers. If anyone here is thinking about going pro then I will tell you that scouts won’t bother with you unless you are making 70% of your elbow jumpers. So start making them now. Come off a screen down low, either hard or on a curl, and pop it from each elbow. We’ll work on the dribble-drive later in the season.

Put your databases into FULL recovery mode. Now take a backup of your transaction logs. Get used to taking backups of your transaction logs. I don’t want to look down my bench and wonder if you are going to get those transaction log backups done when I put you on the floor.

Now, let’s do some baseline jumpers. Some people think these are harder than most other shots because there is nothing behind the hoop for you to see. Well, if you are looking at something behind the hoop then you are not looking at the rim, which is where your eyes should be anyway. Focus on the rim and let it fly. Once you get in a rhythm they will fall easily. Same with differential backups. Get in the rhythm and get those done on a regular basis.


Not bad so far, but we need to learn how to put the ball on the floor. Backups are only a part of what we need to accomplish, the other part is a database restore. So, let’s get started.

Take those backups you were doing during lay ups and shooting and start restoring them to a different (non-production) server. And make certain you restore some fulls, differentials, transaction logs, and combinations of them as well. In other words, get used to performing restores from more than just one type of backup file. Just like dribbling where you need to learn to use your weak hand, you need to learn how to perform different types of restores.

What? You want to use SSMS again? Like I told you before, it does not matter to me how you are getting it done right now, I just need you to show me that you can get it done. Use SSMS or T-SQL, but get it done.

Fast Break

Let’s put it all together now. We’ll do our fast break drill. We’ll need to make lay ups, hit some shots from the elbows and baseline, and dribble.

Find a development instance that you can have some “alone time” with and do your best to restore the master database. Yeah, that’s right, I told you to restore master. Yeah, I know it is not easy, that’s the point. If you want to earn some playing time, then you had better be familiar with how to restore master. No, it is not something you will need to do every day, or even every week, month, or year. But when the time comes that you need to do it, you had better be familiar with how it is done.

I can’t afford to have you on the floor and throw the ball away on a 3-1 fast break. It’s that simple. Those two points could cost us the game.


OK everyone, get on the line. We’ll do a few sprints and then get some water.

Learn how to automate your backups. You want them to run without having to kick them off manually, right? I suggest you learn how to roll your own but if you are just getting started as a DBA then learn to love a Maintenance Plan for your backups. Once you get them up and running, we can look into ways to get you to run faster.

Huddle Up

OK, I’ve seen enough to pick out my starting five for our first scrimmage against MS Access Community College. The Jets will be tough, but I know that we should be able to hold our own with these five:

Now, let’s work on some individual defensive skills and then we will put in a couple of offensive sets. I’ll keep it as simple as possible, we will probably go with a double down motion and maybe even use a flex. I want to make sure you all understand your options in each against man or a zone. But none of that matters unless we defend and rebound, so let’s get started on that.

Everybody on the baseline, we got some work to do.

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  • Robert Miller

    As always, nicely done. Good build-up and direction. Guidance which is clear and not hand-holding.

    I like the “This is important, go figure out how to do it” items and I wish someone had done this when I was starting.

  • Wow! Very good. A little winded here but I’m not in shape like the rest of you I’m sure.

  • nice…gotta work on my fast break a bit though…

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  • newbie

    ‘start restoring them to a different (non-production) server’…I only have one server…how do I set up a non-production server??

    • Thomas LaRock

      In that case, you should take care to not overwrite any production data and to perform the restore during off-peak hours.

  • Kashif

    I am late but glad I am here. Good one!