Having properly settled into our quarters in the Ritsumeikan house, there were no surprises when the game day schedule posted to the coach’s door started off with an 8:30 breakfast at our friendly neighborhood cafeteria. While the early wake up calls and the soggy scrambled eggs have become a bit drôle, the bacon remains delicious and the vibrant cafeteria atmosphere wakes us up in the morning
We spent the rest of the morning in our rooms, relaxing and putting the finishing touches on our weekly food logs. We are required to track our nutrient and caloric intake to make sure we are getting all the sustenance we need to compete at an international level. This process comes more naturally to some of us than others, fortunately our resident computer whiz kid Alex Grassi whipped up an excel spreadsheet and preloaded it with tones of nutritional information. This is helping us all with our performances and fueling our bodies for International Hockey which takes more than the average 3 meals a day.
After a quick jog and stretch at high noon, we had another appointment with the cafeteria to refill the food stores, and we started preparing for our 6:30 game against Canada. The topic conversation at lunch remained lighthearted with much of the team contemplating what they would or wouldn’t do for a billion dollars….
The real pregame preparation began at 3:00 pm with intense heart rate spikes, followed by heavy snacks to fuel the body before the game. In our pregame meeting we concentrated on a concise list of controllable factors like communication, substitution, positioning and repositioning. We were all a little shocked after our first game loss on Sunday, but today was a different story. We were well prepared, all on the same page tactically and we just knew there was a job to do and we wanted to do it.
The rest is history 3-0 victory v Canada.
Check out or game footage and tournament standings at http://www2.teamusa.org/USA-Field-Hockey/EVENTS/2012/July/14/U21-Mens-3-Nation-Invitational.aspx
Liam Walsh and Sean Cicchi