First off, I want to thank Momma Coyne for sending me over some delicious Pumpkin Spiced Coffee from Dunkin Donuts.
She sent me several bags of the coffee as she knows it’s my favorite coffee in the world and one of the things I love most about Fall. Now, I did have a couple bags of this last year while I was in Ireland. However, in Ireland they don’t have the change of seasons like they do in the States, like New York, for example. Fall is a great time of the year in New York. Temperatures get slightly cooler but you still have your warm days. The leaves change color. Football is on. Your first time wearing sweats and a hoodie and its just perfect. Well, here in Toulouse, they have a change of sesasons just like in New York. (Here they call it a Canadian fall…psh…I call it a New York fall.) And Friday, when the coffee arrived, was the first day that the weather was actually a little bit chilly. Up until now it had been 70’s and 80’s almost every day (20’s and 30’s for those of you on Celsius). But Friday it was a cool, Fall day. The sun was out but there was a nice breeze and the weather was about 60-65 degrees. It was literally the perfect, Fall day for some pumpkin spiced coffee. I almost went through an entire bag in one day. Good start to the weekend.
Saturday I had a game with my U15 boys. We had lost the previous week to a very talented team by 9 points. As Philippe can tell you, I was not happy after the game. It wasn’t that I was upset with the boys, I was upset with myself as a coach. I felt that I had not prepared the boys well enough for the game and that I should have done things differently in our trainings during the week. In other words, I felt guilty for them losing the game. This Saturday we played a team that wasn’t nearly as good as the previous week, but still, the boys played much better and did a lot of things better than the previous week. They played with more patience and executed plays significantly better than the week before. We won the game handily and I was happy to be able to get everyone in the game with some decent playing time. Here is a video using the MONTAJ APP of the game. (Stay tuned for another post about MONTAJ).
*Note- at the end of the MONTAJ, you will hear the huddle end with “Un, deux, trois, ENSEMBLE” so you can refer back to my post about that and maybe now understand how much it sounds like “Awesome.”
Before our game, the St.-O U18 team won their game and before that the U13 boys won too! So far it was a great day for the club.
Because my game was later in the day AND the fact that I was assisting Vince in coaching our women’s second team in their game at night, I did not travel with my team as a player (granted I still cannot play). They played approximately 100km away and traveled with only 8 guys. From what I heard they grinded out a tough game, playing great defense and won 59-53. I was thrilled for them.
Now for the women’s second team game. They lost two weeks ago when I was there and then won last week by about 50 when I wasn’t there. Coming into this game I was hoping I wouldn’t be bad luck! Anyway, they played extremely well, winning the game by about 40 – primarily fueled by their intensity on defense which forced the other team to make A LOT of turnovers that we were able to effectively convert into baskets. Well done ladies. St.-O undefeated on the day!
I want to share one thing that I find funny. Quite often when you look at the bench during a training or a game this is what you see
Perrier. Always Perrier. Now that’s French. NOWHERE in the States do you see people drinking Perrier during a game. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and I have no problem with it. However, it makes me laugh because I think about the scene in Good Will Hunting when Professor Gerald Lambeau goes to visit Robin Williams in his local pub for lunch. Robin Williams asks if he wants a beer to which Professor Lambeau says to the bartender “No, I’ll just take a Perrier,” at which point Robin Williams turns to the bartender and goes “That’s French for “club soda.” Too funny. At least I think so. I tried finding a clip of that scene on Youtube to no avail.
On to Sunday. Our women’s first team, the Pre-National squad, had a game two hours away in Laloubere, a small town also located in the Midi-Pyrenees region in the south of France. The team is coached by Laure Savasta, former player for the French national team, as well as the first French woman to play in the WNBA. She played college ball at the University of Washington and then in the WNBA for the Sacramento Monarchs. So, needless to say her team was very good. Our girls, a bit shorthanded, with only 8 players, played a very tough game. They played a tough first half with great defense and excellent rebounding. We were trailing by 7 at the half. Then, the second half, Laloubere proved too much for us to handle and we lost the game. I was proud of the effort put forth by the girls and look forward to our next matchup with this team, where we will hopefully be at full strength.
As we pulled up to the gym, Philippe said that this gym would be a bit like Hoosiers. He wasn’t kidding. It was a very old, small, dimly lit gym. It did have a Hoosiers feel to it, especially with the crowd they had at the game. In this small town, this basketball game was clearly the biggest thing going on that Sunday. I was able to appreciate the good turnout and tremendous support from the local community as so many people packed into the gym to watch their team. Not to mention, the people were extremely friendly as a few of them struck up conversations with me, in very good English, after the game when they found out I was American.
All in all, not a bad weekend. AND THE JETS WON!!!! Tied for first place. That’s what I’m talking about. I’ll refrain from discussing the Yankees, what happened to Derek Jeter, and the rest of the team’s poor performance at the plate. Hopefully they can bounce back in Detroit!