It's Monday. The day dawned rainy and damp, as seems to be the trend here. It was cool, in the 50's. I was woken from a very sound sleep by the phone. It was the coach, telling me breakfast has been moved a half hour earlier. I almost said to him, "Are you f*$% kidding me?" but I didn't. (Sorry Andrew). The sleep deprivation had caught up. BTW, I am now all screwed up as it's 11 pm and I should be asleep!
So I stumbled into the bathroom to bathe and then wake the boy and nag him to prepare for the day. We stumbled into breakfast half awake at 8 am. We left to head to training about 9:15. About a 15 min walk from the hotel, the boys have a private 2 hour training every morning on a turf field in the shadow of the famous Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona. They are training with a couple of coaches that run a camp, not with their own coaches. I think they are learning as much as the kids, which is a fantastic opportunity for all of them. The boys went through drills and some teaching of skills and principles of the game the way it's played in Barcelona. The kids got a lot of fantastic instruction and the chance to apply it immediately with definite improvement in their skill in a short time. Amazing. By the end of the 2 hours they were exhausted, heads spinning from all they had learned and had to process. It was fascinating to watch.
Then, a walk back to the hotel for a quick tub for the boy and a change of clothes and then to a quick lunch. Pasta! From there, we went back to Camp Nou for the "Camp Nou Experience". An opportunity to tour the museum and see the history of the club, the (many, many, many) cups they've won, information on some of the greatest players to ever play the game and videos of their greatest moments. The chance to see the away team's locker room, the press box, access to different areas of the stadium, to see the chapel and to walk the route the FC Barca team walks when they take the field (with the Barca anthem playing for effect) was really cool. They got to see the bench (crazy first class style seats with cup holders in a rain shelter!) and stand at field level. They were not allowed on the field but the ability to stand that close was a huge thing to some of them. The tour ended in the gift shop, of course. Where we spent entirely too much time but surprisingly not a crazy amount of money. Just a few small souvenirs.
From there we headed back to the hotel. Dinner (ugh, I may not make many more dinners here...) and then down time. Precious, much needed, down time. Aside from a little foosball and a quick trip across the street to the grocery for some sports drink, we had a nice low key evening. A chance for the boy to call his dad and for me to have a decent conversation with my husband and send a few emails. Oh, and write this post! :-)
Now, I must get some shut eye. Another early wake up call and more training for the boys. Their first game is tomorrow night. Against a Barcelona youth team. Their toughest game, ever. Wish them luck. These kids are probably the best in the world. Win or lose, they will learn so much.
It really hasn't sunk in yet. How lucky they are to be here. How fortunate they were to be given this opportunity. How much they still need to learn and put into the game to get where they want to be. To figure out where it is that they want to be. They don't get it. They just can't grasp what it means and why it's such an amazing opportunity. I wonder if they will by the end of the week.
It will be interesting to see the progression of this week alone!