Welcome back to Overseas With A Carry On!
I hope everyone has had a blessed week. Things have been a bit up and down as far as hoops goes this side of the pond. Our starting shooting guard was sidelined for the rest of the season with what is believed to be a separated shoulder; he will be undergoing surgery later this week. Our reserve stretch power forward has been out just over 2 weeks with a calf injury. Luckily, we were able to pick up a replacement veteran wing to help us for the remainder of the season. He has provided a spark for us, not only on the court but with his leadership and experience as well.
On the brighter side of things,we are currently tied for 5th in the 18 team division. We are pretty much a lock for the playoffs but that is not where our mindset is. The higher seeded teams receive home court advantage throughout the playoffs so as a group, we have to keep fighting to rise in the standings and not only be happy with a post season birth. The number 1 overall seed gets an automatic birth to move up out of the division which means they get a by for the entire playoff series. In other words, they head home early and that leaves the playoff picture to be decided between the 2-9 seeds.
As the NCAA basketball regular season comes to an end, it is exciting to watch the conference tournaments begin and seniors play their last home games in front of family, friends and faculty. I can remember my senior night game at the University of Oregon. We took on the Utah Utes who were not one of the strongest teams in the Pac-12 that year. We got off to a scorching 34-4 lead in the first half - it was unreal! Fast forward to the second half, head coach Dana Altman called my play and well, I remember like it was yesterday, this happened...
Perhaps one of my best personal memories as an Oregon Duck. Speaking of those Ducks, they defeated #3 ranked Arizona last night on their senior night. Not to be outdone, my alma mater, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs won the Conference-USA title last week! Their ticket to the 'Big Dance' has been punched. I'm quite proud of what they have built down there in Ruston, LA.
On the subject of post season, we stand at 19-14 with 11 regular season games. The 44 game schedule is an increase from last years' 35 game schedule in the league. Personally, it's a huge increase from the 26 game schedule from my days in Spain. Our final match will be on the road on May 2nd. There will be approximately a week before the best-of-3 playoffs series' begin. Our preseason training began way back on August 1st and for a successful team, you can find yourself playing well into the months of May or June depending on which country/league you play in. That's a 10 long months of training, travel, practice and games; taking care of your body means so much more now than it ever did before!
My 5 Personal Injury Precautionary Actions
1. STRETCH - We all probably stretch before practice which is obviously important but many of us skip stretching AFTER activity. Muscles have just been exercised and as important as it is for you to "warm up", it is just equally important for you to stretch and "cool down." Stay limber!
2. LIFT - Lifting weights keeps your body toned, under some sort of strain and continually has your muscles repairing themselves. Without lifting, your muscles become softened or weakened. Your ability to take hits or minor injuries become reduced due the inactivity of your muscles working.
3. DRINK WATER - This goes without saying, flushing your body of toxins, waste and staying hydrated all have their benefits. Drinking water will not directly avoid injuries, it will only improve your body in functioning properly which in turn may reduce the chances of you getting hurt.
4. REST - We all know the body repairs itself during sleep. Enough said!
5. PREHAB - Rather than rehab after you've sustained an injury, develop strength and mobility in key areas in your body that are weak. You know your body better than anyone else. Determine what little tweaks your body needs and start building durability today.
As we near the end of the regular season, remaining focused mentally will prove to be more useful than any physical attribute. This is where good teams separate themselves from the mediocre group. To all my fellow athletes going through the grind of the season, push through and stay healthy!
Until next time my fellow readers, thank you for reading! Please subscribe, share, tweet, etc. The goal is reach as many readers nationally and globally. Thank you for all of your support thus far.