This Week’s Schedule
This week was the definition of hectic. It was our first road trip, and traveling is a very different experience than having home games. First, we had to make sure we were packed and ready to go for our trips to Western Kentucky and Oregon State. Its also our responsibility to communicate with our professors about missing class. I missed a finance test on Tuesday that I had to make-up on Thursday, which meant plenty of studying on the plane. It also definitely takes your body longer to recover when you’re sitting on a flight for hours at a time, so by the end of the week, everyone was exhausted.
Life on the Road
There’s nothing more hectic than a post-practice locker room when you’re heading on a road trip.
There are duffle bags and suitcases everywhere, managers reminding you not to forget stuff, and everyone is rushing to make it to the bus on time.
There are a plenty of similarities between traveling with Stanford and Notre Dame, but the biggest difference I’ve found is that Notre Dame charters flights for away games. At Stanford we usually flew commercial (unless it was the NCAA tournament).
There’s one similarity that I’ve heard echoed by dozens of college athletes: “hotel life”. Hotel life means lots of good food, bonding time with your teammates, and a comfortable bed to lay in between film, shoot around, and meals.
Our first road game was against Western Kentucky, and as soon as we got to the hotel, there was dinner in a conference room that’s been reserved for us. This is when we get to sit down and just kick it. It’s a fun time to laugh and joke with the each other. Our conversation mostly revolved around the different Thanksgiving traditions we all have. There were plenty of oohs and aahs about mom’s turkey, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato casserole.
But underneath our lighthearted conversation, I could sense a bit of sad nostalgia. Thanksgiving is one of the holiday’s that college basketball players rarely spend at home. In the past, I’ve gone to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Hawaii, and Florida. This year, we’ll be back at Florida in what should be some pretty challenging match-ups for us. So while I’m looking forward to those games (and warmer weather), I know I’ll be a bit sad about missing Thanksgiving with my family.
Taking Care of Our Bodies
When we’re on the road, taking care of our bodies is a huge focus (probably even more so than when we’re at home).
After dinner, we watch film, once that’s done, its recovery time. We have a team stretch with our strength coach, Sweeney. Her first name’s Kaitlin but no one calls her that. We stretch for about 15 minutes, making sure that we’re not too tight from hopping on the flight right after practice. After that, we break up into groups and use the Normatec (the thing Lebron is using in the picture below).
I like the Normatec for two reasons:
1. The compression is super strong and feels like a massage. Plus, your legs feel super fresh after.
2. Its an alternative to the ice-bath and I HATE being cold. (stay tuned for how I deal with this Indiana winter)
After that, I went back downstairs to watch individual film with my position coach, Niele, and talk about what the team’s focus should be for tomorrow (life of a point guard).
After that, we had our night snack, Chick-fil-a strips (there’s always so much food on the road) and then we’re free to do whatever until curfew at 11. Considering that I’m an old fifth-year, its only 10:30 and I’m already tired, so I’m calling it a night!
Has your team had any road trips this season? Let me know what they were like in the comments below!