Moving an indoor hockey team around is not just a matter of getting the players and coaching staff to the right destination. There is a huge amount of baggage to take care of. Goalie bags are huge; every player has a stick bag; two week tours require a lot of clothes; and almost everyone has digital toys with them- computers, cell-phones and I-Pads.
Saturday was a travel day from Berlin to Poznan, after a relaxing couple of hours at a spa/health club. That meant getting the bags from the hotel to the health club and on to the railway station. The pile on the station platform was huge. Getting it all on the express train when it pulled in was a real challenge. Three Goalie bags ended up piled next to the toilet and the corridor was an obstacle course.
Arriving in Poznan, we lugged all the bags downstairs and then back up another set of stairs to the exit. A twenty seater bus was waiting for us. That seems fine for 16 people, but is really small when you consider our mound of luggage. We decided not to leave anyone behind for a second run and crammed the bus to the ceiling. Feeling pretty good about this team building exercise, we were then a little disappointed that the driver was unable to start the engine. Ten of our team, the ones who could actually move from under the pile of luggage, jumped off the bus and started pushing to try to jump start the engine. No luck, despite a heroic 200 meter push. A strength training session had not been on the day’s plan, but sometimes you improvise!
Under ten minutes later, a 40 seat coach arrived and we moved all the luggage over and set out for our hotel. One more move of the luggage got us to the hotel lobby. We were the first team to arrive at the hotel, but it was “not possible” to get all our rooms on the same floor. Explanations were in short supply, but “not possible” seemed to be a well practiced phrase.
After getting all the luggage to our rooms, we ate a good dinner and headed to bed. Tomorrow, Sunday, is a recovery day with a light practice late in the day.
The USA indoor team on tour is Kevin Segeren, Jason Wellings, Christoph Winter, Rob Schilling, Tim Krauss, Moritz Runzi, Pat Harris, Steve Mann, Sean Harris, Steve Danielson, Shawn Hindy and Pat Cota. Nigel Traverso is the manager, Brian Brata is the athletic trainer, Marijn Petermeijer is the video analyst/coaching assistant and Peter Jones is the Head Coach. Also assisting the team in Poznan is Goalie Coach Heiko Milz.
The USA Indoor program is grateful to the USFHA, USFHF and the US Men’s Field Hockey Foundation for supporting its Indoor World Cup preparations and participation and to Asics for outfitting the team.