USA Field Hockey

MNT Indoor athlete provides a behind the scenes look at the Pan Am Cup

April 12, 2014, 12:08 p.m. (ET)
U.S. Men's Indoor athlete Will Holt reports live from the 2014 Pan Am Cup

4/10/14 - A fairly stock standard day. A smorgasbord of stretches, video analysis, food, briefings and banter dominate the day. And yes the banter is exceptional...and yes the food is not. All this 'stuff' before the bus departs is what I call team admin, it's what your body needs to get done in order to compete. It's the Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde, the Jimmy MacElroy to Chaz Michael Michaels, the method to the madness. But all that stops when we set foot on the game bus. The mellow hockey scholars start to up their heartbeats. Passion begins to replace indifference, instinct replaces thought. We all hit our pre-game rituals: some play cards, some snooze. Some require raising up, others calming down. Each to his own. Naturally the pre-match ritual continues right up until push back, climaxing at the roller coaster moment when our national anthem hits the drop and our hearts skip a beat. By now our eyes are a little red, our veins are pulsing and our chests are heaving. In 90 minutes we've transitioned from studious athletes to conditioned animals. A far cry from the yobs who staggered into breakfast. Sadly the day didn't go our way. Both the men's and women's teams lost to the Canadians but it wasn't all bad. Dinner was served at the field and it was worth it! Just when we thought we'd retire to watch the USA Women's Team we were serenaded by some lovely Uruguayan ladies who kindly painted our faces with my favorite color- red, white and blue. That's all for today with a little insight into our game preparation.

Kind regards, 

Will
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