Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Week in the Life - Day 2

As promised, I'm following up with Saturday, so here goes.....

Approximately 6:00 a.m. - wake up, have my coffee (you'll see this entry a LOT, as it's the way I start EVERY day - the only variable is the time I get up) Have breakfast, get packed (a full duffle bag of about every possible option for warm clothing - you can never prepare too much for the possibility of cold weather), and finish getting ready to go.

7:45 a.m. - leave the house a little early because we discovered a broken bat yesterday so I need to make a quick stop at our local sporting goods store to get a replacement bat.

8:05 a.m. - arrive on campus to get the bus loaded - but wait! NO BUS!!! You've got to be kidding me! We just confirmed this yesterday - Coach Baker calls the emergency number for the bus company and we're told the bus is at Hwy 53 and Hwy 29 - still 20 minutes away, and we're scheduled to LEAVE at 8:30. I'm NOT happy - we soon find out the driver was told to be here at 8:45 - NO, that is supposed to be NEXT Saturday, not THIS Saturday.

At this point it is raining and some doubt about whether or not we'll be able to play creeps into everyone's minds, but the players know better than to ask me because for one, Oshkosh is 3 1/2 hours away, so just because it's raining here, doesn't mean it's raining there; and two, regardless of the weather, we are always preparing "as if."

The players wait inside the McPhee Center with their bags and the equipment, as I keep my displeasure with the bus situation under control.

8:40 a.m. - the bus finally arrives and the players move to the bus with all their gear faster than they typically run from home to 1st - they know we were supposed to be on the road 10 minutes ago and they joke that we'll need to implement our "flat tire" pregame warmup. Our "flat tire" warmup, as we've named it, is an abbreviated version of our pregame warmup - it is designed (and we have practiced it) so in the event something happens that is out of our control on the way to a road game (like a flat tire), we don't go into panic mode thinking we'll never play well because we didn't get a full warmup.

8:45 a.m. - we are pulling out of the parking lot - the bus driver knew he was late, and we loaded that bus with reckless abandon - hence, only 5 minutes of time has passed since the bus arrived and we are pulling out.

We experienced some heavy mist for a good part of the ride to Oshkosh, but were confident that we were going to get the games in. During the ride, the coaches discuss strategy and our opponent while the players typically sleep, watch a movie, some do homework, and eventually they all eat - we take food with us so they can have a sandwich or whatever else they need/want while we're on the bus. Doing it this way saves us money, and we're able to keep our players in class more because we don't have to leave an hour early just so we can stop and eat along the way. (By the way, today's movie choice - Pirates of the Carribean)

12:00 p.m. - we arrive in Oshkosh at the softball field right on time - the trip is pretty quick on Hwy 29 to Wausau, 39 south to Stevens Point, then Hwy 10 over to the Fox Valley area. All 4 lane - just the way I like it. They players prefer that type of trip as well, as opposed to the Decorah, Iowa, trip, which resulted in more car sickness than I've ever experienced before on a single trip!

Pregame warmup as usual - but everyone had wet socks due to all the rain they had received the night before - oh well, they'd get wet eventually anyway.

2:00 p.m. - game time - we pull off a double header sweep at Oshkosh - always a very difficult feat to win on the road there.

6:00 p.m. - the bus pulls out from the stadium, minus a few players who have elected to ride home with their parents to spend Easter with their families tomorrow. The players and staff who remain on the bus make a stop at Culver's for some food on the go. The ride home will be enjoyable because everyone feels good about what we accomplished today - plus we all know we have an entire day off from work and classes tomorrow - life is good.

Movie choice on the bus ride home - Enchanted - which we receive bonus singing from Emily Muller and Ashley Meinen - I couldn't even hear the actual movie because they were bellowing in my ears. By the way, the players all CHOSE to sit at the front of the bus on the ride home. They will never admit it, but they really do LOVE their coaches and just wanted to spend quality time with us on the way home. :)

Second movie option - The Incredibles. I really wanted to watch this movie, but there was so much chatter going on I couldn't hear it, so I finally put in my earphones and watched a video podcast.

10:00 p.m. - arrive back in Eau Claire - exhausted, but happy. Load the food bins in the Pilot, haul the equipment to the storage room, load the dirty uniforms into a big bag to take home.

10:45 p.m. - arrive at home - put one load of uniforms in the washing machine. Have to do laundry at home tonight because the equipment/laundry room won't be open to do the unis before we play again on Monday.

11:30 p.m. - or approximately that time - after a little unwinding with a bit of TV, the eyes won't stay open anymore, so it's off to dreamland.

Easter Sunday up tomorrow. See you then!

Coach H.

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