Preseason: Take 5

Currently in McDonalds again as my wifi is really making the Netflix and blogging life difficult! Side note: this picture was taken 2 and a half hours after practice in a gym with no AC, so be kind with your judgements. I wrote this yesterday:
 
Moi! It has been an awesome two days as practices have finally started here in Finland! (and the stories just keep getting better)
 
So, Monday the team met at 15 (which is 3 as I checked on multiple internet websites.. I was a little nervous), and we had a team meeting with the new coaches, Bruno and Luca, who are both from Italy. This was one of the most entertaining/confusing team meetings I have ever been in. Bruno, the head coach, starts off the meeting by saying that his English is not that great (but his italian is great). It is “mas important” that we communicate with him if we do not “comprenti” what is going on. Luca speaks good English, so he is constantly translating if we need him too, but he is more of a quieter person, so sometimes you have to focus really hard to get the two or three words in English that will help you in the current drill. In this meeting Bruno is explaining to us that the first week and a half will only be technical training to get everyone on the same page with his standard, but he did not say any of that in English. He is just talking, looking at us, and will say “you understand?” All of the girls look around at each other, and we are trying so hard not to laugh because we never seem to understand.
 
Then, after the meeting we head to the gym to get started. Here, everything is different for me: the warm up, the lingo, everything, but I always am one of the last to go and have to really focus (if you have ever coached or played with me, my attention span has never been the longest or greatest) on what is about to happen. Everyone is expecting to get a ball and a partner, warm up, and then do some drills putting all the skills together, but that was not the case. Bruno tells everyone to get a ball and go to the wall. For the past 2 days, all we have done is wall work and ball control. If you don’t know the volleyball lingo, setting against a wall is like holding an object above your head for almost 2 hours. We alternate that with passing against the wall, which is like holding a half squat and hitting the ball in the same place on the wall for the next practice. A funny side note, this sounds horrible for the shoulder muscles (my traps are growing, boys!), and I can attest to that, but what is so sore is my jaw. I guess when I set against the wall, I completely forget to relax my face muscles and lock my jaw out. I am sure it looks sexy.

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