The Six Month Summer: Day 2
Today was my first day of training. It was more of a camp, with participants of all ages attending; the youngest one was a girl who looked about 6, while the oldest appeared to be a man in my group near his late 20’s or early 30’s. If you play hockey or know anything about turf fields, I suggest you skip the next paragraph.
The turf was sand based. For those who don’t know much about field hockey, in America, kids who play for their high school teams often play on the school’s grass fields, unless they have a game and are fortunate enough that a dominating male sport hasn’t claimed the turf for that day, then they will play on the football turf for the match. Kids who play in club teams, becoming as young as 6 in more recent years and as old as 18, can have their own facilities or rent facilities, and prefer to play on turf. The most preferred turf is water based, nationally and internationally. This is the type that prior to practice or matches, water cannons shoot off to wet the surface, or staff pull out hoses and do it manually for the same effect. In America, there are only grass, football turf, and water based turfs. Internationally, they have sand based turfs as well. It looks the same as a water based turf, only a layer of sand is ingrained in the surface. If you train continuously in one spot, the sand begins to rise to the surface and you can see where you’ve been playing. And yes, sand gets everywhere.
There are only two water based turfs in Rosario, and neither of them are the fields we practice on. Like everybody else I prefer water, but I can’t complain. I’d be happy to trade trainings on water turf in exchange for being able to learn to speak the language faster. On the bright side, I am a bit of a comedian when I do speak, because most of the things I can say are nothing short of sounding primal. Most of the time I can make people laugh, and if I laugh with them, they can’t really be laughing at me – so I feel a bit more in the right place. Hearing other people laugh makes me laugh, and I intend to hear every laugh I can in Argentina as I do in the states.
The training itself was about three hours long with multiple types of drills, including active in cage as well as mental training in which you had to respond to colors and numbers being called out while doing certain skills. It was different than anything I’ve ever done in the states, and it was especially hard for me as some people tried to help me by speaking a bit in English, while everything else was in Spanish, and I ended up hearing in Spanish and translating to English and back to Spanish again. The help is always appreciated, but I know everything I hear has to be in Spanish if I’m going to learn, and with only two months until I go home, I have a lot to learn real fast. The video below is a feature on the program that ran the camp that day, and if you watch it you’ll be able to see a bit of what I did that day and hear the coaches explain… all in Spanish, of course.
A closing note:
SPF 15 is not enough for even a three hour training with breaks in the shade on a cloudy Argentina day. My face looks a bit like the inside of a rare-cooked steak.
And yes, the steak here is amazing.