Applesauce

Why applesauce, you ask?

Because I’m sitting here eating some and well, it’s tasty.

I’m pretty worn out right now. Long days of work and practice was pretty hard last night. Which, aside from making me tired right now, was *really* good for us. We open our season Saturday against the Minnesota Valkyries. Needless to say, it won’t be an easy game.

2 p.m. kickoff if you’re in the area.

Based on our coach’s plans last night, I will be playing inside center. I have not truly played inside center since college. And then I would clarify that and say that I have never *truly* played inside center ever. Granted, I know what I am supposed to do and I’ll be fine … but it’s not where I would put myself if given the choice.

Perhaps everyone sees something I am not seeing … perhaps it is something far less like that we don’t have many options. Thankfully, Goose was keeping an eye on me and she understands the mechanics of the plays better than all of us, so that helped a lot. We all just need to get used to playing together.

So, yeah. At least my tackling is better. I’ve been working on it. And by this, I mean mainly in my head. I really think parts of the game like tackling are more mental than physical. You screw up or miss tackles because in your mind you are hesitating or fearful of something (getting hurt, screwing up, not wanting to make a mistake). When all you really need to do is make the decision and commit to it.

Part of this is that I now – after 11 years of playing – have realized that I have pretty much tackled the gamut of players. Big, little, slow, speedy, mean, crazy, crazy and mean … so now, I’m just playing against myself. If I screw up a tackle now, it’s because I defeated myself mentally before I ever had the chance to tackle my opponent.

So, yeah, where did this all come from? I’m not sure. Nerves at the start of the season maybe. Wishing I could take a nap right now.

I need to get in way better shape too. Inside Center … *sigh*. *SIGH*

But you gotta do what you gotta do, you know? No sense in worrying about it. Coach likes me in the combination he’s envisioning in our backline. So, there you go.

What else is up? Had a good weekend. All weekends should be three days, especially for rugby players.

Saturday, I drove down to Waukesha and helped coach the Wisconsin U-19 Selects. Our girls played Vernon and Brookfield and won both games. (Clair O. – If you were hooking for Brookfield, nice game. If not, then there must be more than one Clair for Brookfield and I missed you. Next time.). Again, I am just amazed at some of the young talent on our team. And some of the big hits these girls were laying out. I was pretty amazed.

I also always find it interesting when I spend time with the U-19s that there seems to be a bubble around these teams. Most of my players have never seen a senior women’s team play and a lot of have never seen men’s games, so they are not used to elements of the game that I consider very basic. Things like if a ball carrier is tackled and throws up a pop pass for their support running through. Or just the sheer strength and audio of a senior men’s scrum coming together (you know, the big boom of 16 forwards coming together? I love that sound).

And I like spending time with the players because they are all so smart and fun, in addition to being great players. I learn so much each time I get to help coach.

Anyway, I got back to Madison and Tim and I went out for a while to meet some of his teammates, then on Sunday, we bummed around my apartment all day relaxing, eating and playing Super MarioWorld on my 14-year-old Super Nintendo. We also hit up the local restaurant festival, Taste of Madison and had some thai food and ice cream. Way too much time playing Super MarioWorld again later and lots of swearing at Mario and Luigi. Sunday night was a birthday outing, and then Monday followed Sunday’s suit and a rainy day lightened up later and we played some small ball at a local miniature golf course. Tim beat me by just five strokes.

I think I have some raw, natural untapped golf talent by the way. Obviously, only in putting around obstacles, but it is there, oh yes, it is there.

And now, here it is Wednesday all ready. Where does the time go?

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