Terri Mitchell's USA Basketball Experience -- Entry 5
July 24, 2008
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Where do I start? It's been awhile since I sent my last blog. I am at the mercy of finding internet "hot spots" where we are staying. The cafeteria was working the first day, but has been out ever since. I just found this other spot where I could connect with all of you - in a hallway outside a practice gym. The things we do to stay connected with the rest of the world! First thing I did was check the Brewer's score. Another victory over the Cards! Great job Brew Crew! I can't wait to catch them in action when I return!
Alright, let's back up to our arrival on Monday. Arriving in Buenos Aires was smooth. We had no problems with the flight, getting our bags and getting into the country, so the trip started off well. But we ran into a little snag with transportation to our accommodations. We had a bit of a wait due to a miscommunication about where we were arriving. It actually worked out fine as players bought phone cards to call home, and I of course found some cold caffeine to start my day off. The weather that greeted us was cold and damp. It had been raining, and remember, it is winter here so that's to be expected. We finally arrived CENARD, where we are staying. It is the high performance training center of Argentina.
The one thing that struck me right away is that we do everything so fast in the states. We expect to get to places quickly, check into our accommodations quickly, and of course, get our food fast! That is not the case here. You tend to wait, and wait a lot. Patience is a virtue, which is great for our players (and me!). Slowing down is a good thing! When you are forced to wait you end up talking and conversations can be very rich times of sharing. I want to take back with me the value of relationships over fast results. We could all slow down a little in our lives and enjoy the people around us more.
I am sure everyone is wondering about our accommodations. Well, they are dorms...enough said. You try to get the best night sleep possible and focus on the things you can control. I was talking to our players about perspective. Your perspective can make or break any experience. In any situation in life you can find things to upset you, as well as things to celebrate and enjoy. Your perspective will dictate so much in your life. For instance I choose to look at this awesome opportunity to represent our country and realize how much I have to be thankful for. Perspective, it can put a pep in your step when you choose to celebrate!
Adjusting to Argentinean eating habits and times is also an adventure. Breakfast is very sparse, corn flakes, toast and juice, so for the big breakfast eaters it is definitely a change. I am fortunate to not be one of those people, so I do just fine. Lunch is 12-2 p.m., and then they have a snack from 4-6 p.m. - the time most of us are thinking about dinner. Dinner time is from 8-10 p.m. It's hard for me to have food that late, however the players have no problem eating any time of the day. They remind me of my own team and how hungry they are all the time. I know it's because they all are working so hard, right Marquette? (I know the players are reading this, so I want to take a quick time out and say hello, tell them I miss them and encourage them to keep getting after it this summer)!
Let's talk hoops, finally! We already have one game under our belts. We played Venezuela in the first game yesterday at 3 p.m., and won 112-49. By the way, in case you were wondering, we are two hours ahead of you. Our players were much quicker and stronger. It was good to finally play, we needed to test ourselves against someone else. It reminds me of early November when you have had enough of practice and you can hardly wait to play. That was our team. They had enough of practice and wanted to see what they could do against someone else. Well, we did quite a bit. We had some great moments, and some things we definitely need to improve upon. No matter the score, there is always room for improvement! Today we play Canada and we know they will be a much tougher opponent. They are physical and can shoot the ball. They will pack it in on defense, so our shooters need to be ready to knock down jumpers. Although, we can't just settle for all jumpers. We will have to get the ball inside to test their sagging man-to-man defense. As far as us defending, we need to stay alert because they are a very patient team and will use the whole shot clock if needed to get the best shot off. How's that for a scouting report based on seeing them last night? Hopefully I will have good news to report after we play.
That's all from here. Can you believe I am in South America? The time is flying by now that we are playing games. Hopefully the internet "hot spots" will continue to cooperate and I will be able to report back a few more times.
Going for Gold, Terri