March 10, 2008
BUENOS AIRES - We woke up and enjoyed a nice breakfast of croissants and fruit to get fueled up for our first training session with an Argentinean field hockey coach. We headed to the athletic club where we trained with Santiago, a two-time Olympian and recently retired professional player who is now a professional coach. We worked on our receptions, small games and shooting. From there we headed out for lunch at a local park where we ravenously attacked a buffet of bread, cheese and ham.
Finally we got to shop on Florida Street near our hotel, where we bought Argentinean soccer jerseys, polo jerseys, specialty chocolates and other items for ourselves and friends and family not lucky enough to be with us. We had our pre-game dinner and headed off to our first international field hockey match of the trip. After a very brief warm-up we jumped onto the field and played a fun, free, open game that -- although it ended in a zero-zero tie -- elevated our game and revealed our potential for success in the upcoming 2008 season.
Post-game was a team social with the Argentinean team with pizza and soda, where thankfully most of the players knew some English. We learned about the day-to-day life and culture of Argentinean hockey players our age in Buenos Aires, such as their post-Saturday game ritual of dancing on the turf into the early hours of the morning. After a few good laughs we headed home after a full day of hockey and got to catch up on some sleep.