Thursday, September 30, 2010

Final pre-season preparation

This week has been pretty busy once again. I am trying to make the most of the time I have here in the Netherlands because I know it will go by a lot faster than I think!!

Saturday morning I spent the day in Den Haag with a teammate doing a little shopping. I have been really wanting to go shopping and get into the Dutch and European fashion! I got a few things, including a rain coat for all the rainy days! What I really wanted to find was a nice leather jacket. Everyone here seems to have one and wears it all the time! I found a few I liked, but wasn't sold on anything, so I'll have to keep my eye out for that one.

Saturday afternoon I found myself at the club for the presentations of the first teams of HGC (men's and women's). Every year once the team has been announced, they publicly present the team at the club for all the members to see. The coach gets up on stage, calls us up, and sometimes tells a little story about the team. It's nice to have so much support from the club and it's members. Also, they present the blauwboek (Blue Book) which is like a yearbook for the previous year. It has the pictures and rosters of the teams at HGC as well as a few articles and things about HGC, it's sponsors, and players. It was a pretty fun event.

Saturday evening, I had a great dinner at my teammate Inge's house. Her mother is taking a cooking class, so she invited a few of us over to try out the dishes. It was delicious!! Always nice to get a home cooked meal and for my teammate to open up her home to us!

After all the excitement of Saturday, Sunday was game day. We had our final practice match before the season starts against Pinoke, which is located in Amsterdam. Following a long weeks worth of practice working on tactics: mostly our movement when outletting and our press, we were ready to put it into a game situation. The first half looked really good and I was impressed to see how well we had learned and adjusted that week. Unfortunately, the scoreboard didn't reflect our level of play. It was still just 1-1 at half. I'm not quite sure what happened in the second half, as we became a bit frantic and had a lot of unforced turnovers. We ended up losing the game 3-1.

Although this is not the way we wanted to leave off leading up to our first game of the season, this week's practices have been very positive. We have shown that we are capable of playing well, individually and collectively. As long as we can maintain our focus for a full 70 minutes, we should not only be able to compete with every team in the league, but should do quite well. We know that the games count now, and you can tell that everyone has stepped it up a notch at practice. I have a good feeling about this weekend, even though we play one of the top sides in Laren.

Check back next week for an update!

No comments: