This morning, I had breakfast at the same time as usual, 7am. Robert “Bo” Hedges showed up with assistant coaches Jamie Peers and Darrell Nordell. Is the Breakfast Club back? We’ll just have to see.
We had a early short practice today at 9:15 to 10:30. We just worked and perfected our 2-men games. I was paired up with Bo and we really did well offensively and defensively which happened to be very useful later in the day when we faced Great-Britain.
We dint have much time between practice and our second game that was held at 1pm. We had to come back to the hotel, have lunch at 11pm and be back at the gym for noon for the coaches game-plan and before we know it. Time to play and my stomach is really not doing well for a reason but I have to ignore it.
We had a good start versus Great-Britain and seemed at the time that we were controlling the tempo and pace of the game. The starters were Bo, Joey, Jazzy, Abdi and myself with Bo and I playing on the same side offensvely and defensively and we were doing really well. Great Britain was really physical but playing as a team and helping each other made it really to counter their physicality. After only 4 minutes of the start of the game, I was taken out by one of the British players in transition where I fell out hard out of my chair and broke on of my axels on my chair. I was forced out of the game due to not being able to fix my chair in time. I made a mistake packing, I brought the wrong bag with the wrong extra ales in it. Bear lended me a axle and I was back in the game to finish the last minute of the quarter. We finished the quarter leading and its in the second quarter that little stuff started to happen. Little by little, we started having little mental lapses. Talking back to the refs, getting negative, not crossing in transition, and more little things. We were just going cack to our past bad habits. It was not the bad in this quarter, but it was starting. We were behind at half by 7 points. In the 3rd quarter we were able to keep up ith the British a little better losing that quarter by only 2. We were then trailing by 9. Nothing to panic about. The good thing so far far was that we kept them at only 40 points at the end of the 3rd, a team that we usually scores more on us, which means that defensively we were doing a good job. The problem is that offensively, we were out of sync. Then the 4th quarter was a disaster. They brought their lead to 20. Actually, I should say, we gave them the lead to 20. All the little negatve things that started in the 2nd quarter justkept growing and before we knew it, we were getting out-pushed, blaming the refs, playing individually, and I could go on. The game finished in the British favor.
Now the thing is, we know what we have to do. We need to get refocused and we have to remember that this is still a preparation game. It’s better that it happens now then before the real games start. The most important right now is to keep the team’S spirit and heads up. So we have to put this game behind us, take the good, and learn from the adjustements that we can do if it happens again. We need to refine our mental skills. I can’t wait for our Team’s sport psychologist Judy Goss to join us later this week. She will be a great help as she always is. The thing is, at this level of wheelchair basketball, when the World Championships starts on the 8th of July, any team could win it. At this Level, all teams are strong, fast and physically fit. The difference between winning and losing is the team that will be mentally ready.
We had another night off so Bo, Tyler and I went back to the mall. There was more people around this time. We took a couple of pictures, saw a white, blond girl giving a outside concert in Victoria Square signing and dancing indian music. The was a guy debating a crowd on the Bible and the koran. And ome breakdancers practicing their moves. We stopped at a little coffee place, had a salad and some coffee. While we were in the shopping center, my stomach was acting up on me and I was feeling really bad. I even had a bad nose-bleed earlier while I took my shower after the game. Anyways, I went back to the hotel and by 7pm, I was asleep.
Little Update: Mikael and Tyler, at lunch time, started their conversation again on pasta and protein. Joey Johnson and Chris Laserra each looked on the internet for nutritionnal value and 1 cup of white pasta actually has 8.1 grams of protein. Mik was right all along and he insisted, that I mention it in my blog. Sorry Tyler.