Sophomore Mollie Pathman is traveling to La Manga, Spain with the U-20 U.S. Women's National Team. She is going to be providing a blog during the trip so Blue Devil soccer fans can follow the team on this special trip.
Hello Blue Devil Fans,
The primary focus of today was to get us to adjust fully to the time zone. They let us sleep in and go to breakfast at 10:00 a.m. Then around 11:00 a.m., they took us for a walk to get ‘bright light exposure’ so our bodies could adjust to the time. We walked around the market place, which was like a huge flea market. They were selling all different things such as clothes, shoes, food and jewelry. Most of the stuff was knock off designer, for example there was “Ray Berrys” that looked exactly like “Ray Bands.”
It was cool to get to interact with the Spanish people and to see part of Spain. A lot of people would come up to us and point to our national team crest and ask who we were. I got to use some of my Spanish 14 and talk with them. In the four years that I have traveled to Spain with U.S. soccer this was the first time that were able to leave the hotel and got an opportunity interact with other people. It was a unique and memorable experience.
It was raining and cold for our afternoon training but we made the most of it. The rest of the bags did not arrive until after practice so we had to borrow some equipment from another team. In training we did a lot of technical passing and shooting. We also worked on full field attacking patterns to goal. It was a good practice for us to get our touches back after the long flight and also get some ideas of ways to penetrate though the defenses of other teams. At the end of practice we did some strength training with our strength and fitness coach.
Directly following practice we had dinner. The food is actually pretty good. I like plain foods and they always have bread, pasta and chicken for lunch and dinner so I am content. They also have more traditional meats and sides that others enjoy (I am too picky to try them).
After dinner we had a team meeting where we came up with our team mantra for camp (something that embodies our main goals for the trip). Ours were focused on us coming together as a team and succeeding together. The mantra is personal to the team so for now I am going to keep it within the team. In the meeting we also had a lecture about “grit.” Coach April Heinrichs talked about how grit can be the deciding factor for those who become experts in their specific field, or in our case make the full national team.
Currently we are trying to stay up for the Super Bowl but there is no way we are going to make it. I guess we will find out in the morning…