Hello Rapids Nation!
It has been a couple of days since the last post. John has disappeared to play some cards with some of the lads, so this will be a solo expedition.
We have been having two sessions per day (with the exception of Saturday, which we had the afternoon off). The sessions are short and sharp. Almost all are broken into two groups and the groups switch halfway. Saturdays morning session was a rotation of hard fitness, boxing (more on that later) and techniques. A very solid day of work.
We had a good training this morning with one group playing 7v7 and the other doing injury prevention stations. Then this afternoon we battled Jacksonville University. To be fair they brought a lot of energy to the table and put out a decent performance. We won 3-0 with goals from Colin, Greg Dalby and Kwame Sarkodie. Thus, another good training session that had us finishing on top.
John has now entered the room and is grabbing his wallet...never a good sign when you're playing cards.
As I mentioned above we have had a boxing coach with us during preseason. His name is Tony and he is a legend! Tony is not a very tall man but is full of energy and a heck of a boxer/trainer. He is from England (he reminded me of being straight out of the movie "Snatch"). Apparently a lot of the big time clubs in England are using boxing as supplemental training and fitness. The sessions usually have us with gloves on and doing different combos on others (we hit their gloves and not their face).
There is also a lot of core work, push ups and fitness for the body involved. As we have become more advance things would get a little more intense. For example, while we are in the plank positions (on your elbows and toes with a straight back) Tony will walk around and kick you in the core to make sure your keeping it tight! Also while we are working or throwing 100 straight punches he will yell "ONLY ONE SHOT AT THE TITLE" or "EYE OF THE TIGER" or "WORLD CHAMPIONS".
All of which the lads eat it up and bang out the exercise even harder. He is a great guy and everyone is a fan of Tony. I feel like after three weeks with him that I am ready to step in the ring. Manny Pacquiao does not have anything on me! Google him if you don't know who he is.
One cool thing we did as a team last was go to a boxing match put on by Don King. It was HBO fight night and we got tickets. It was awesome to see boxing in person. The highlight of the night was when a fill in boxer squared off against a 20 year old destroyer. Let me paint you a picture of the fill in: he was 39, looked like Mehdi's uncle (he had a fro like Mehdi), had no muscle definition and looked like he might have been picked out of the crowd. So as you can imagine he got beat. At one point he almost fell out of the ring. Needless to say he did not win the fight. All in all the event was great and we owe a big thanks to Tony and the staff for the tickets!
What else? Well, I can give you a look at what certain players like to do in their free time. For example, The German (Conor Casey) enjoys watching "House" with his headphones on. Burpo and Matt Pickens brew their own coffee and have deep talks while in their room alone. For myself, I have found a game on addictinggames.com called Age of War that is phenomenal. Jordan Harvey refuses to play. These kids from UCLA are always being very "California" and apparently video games are not "California." However, I have converted a good portion of the team to it. Then we have Nick who of course loves Facebook.
Well that is about all I got right now. Stephen is a little tired and needs to watch Chauncey dominate the All-Star game!
I will be back soon to deliver another super sweet post!