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Inside Reading: The final stretch

With the season winding down, results have become paramount as we race for the playoffs.  Every game has become more important than the last, but thanks to an interesting week of training, we have been more than prepared.

The beginning of the week began with a nice surprise.  Because Coach Brendan Burke had to travel with the Union for the week, we were afforded the opportunity to train with some of the Union first team players.  Union academy coach Jim Curtin, who I had known from his time as a volunteer assistant at Villanova, led the three sessions.  The first day, we got to train at PPL Park, and it was incredible.  We were given actual Union practice gear to train in, the session was sharp and intense (after everyone put their phones and away and stopped taking pictures), and the pristine grass was a far cry from the Albright College turf we were used to.  The second and third day we trained at the Union practice facility at a park in Chester.  While not the same as PPL Park itself, the facility was beautifully maintained and training with Jim Curtin and Union first-teamers more than made up for it. It certainly paid off as we defeated the Westchester Flames 5-1 over the weekend.

We now face a crucial final stretch.  To finish the season we have a brutal schedule of three games in five day.  Wednesday night we play the Jersey Express, a must-win game if we want to give ourselves a definite chance of finishing second ahead of them. On Friday night we play the first place Ocean City Nor’easters, a game that, depending on results, could decide who finishes in first place.  Then Sunday we play the Central Jersey Spartans.  If we end up finishing first, we would get a first round buy for the playoffs.  If we finish second, we would then have our first playoff game on Tuesday, furthering the exhausting stretch of matches.

As a team and individually, it is critically important for us to mentally and physically prepare ourselves for the rest of the season.  At our age and level, playing four games with only one day of rest between each is incredibly exhausting.  So, it becomes extremely important as a player to take care of your body and mind in this period.  This means, drinking plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated, refueling yourself with the right kinds of foods, making sure you are stretching properly to avoid injury, and keeping your mind focused and sharp to counteract your physical wear.  If we can do this, there is no doubt that we will get through the stretch with four wins.

On a different note, our lifestyle at home has not progressed much since the beginning of the season.  In fact, I would say it has probably regressed.  If we were living like cavemen before, we are now living like cavemen without any tools.  Our precious supply of plastic silverware ran out sometime last week, but instead of going out and buying more, we made the more Darwinistic decision of adapting.  Our only metal knife has become a one-pronged fork, old pizzas boxes have turned into large plates, and our pot has transformed into a cereal bowl with a ladle acting as a spoon.

The most frightening regression has been in my television choices.  Earlier, I had stuck to interesting, quality programs such as those found on the Discovery Channel, the Food Network, and occasionally the History Channel.  Recently, however, I have found myself glued to A&E watching Storage Wars.  I cannot explain what I find so addictive about watching obnoxious people narcissistically outbid each other for old storage units, but I am unable to turn it off once I start watching.

One Comment

  1. Good luck; hope you make the play-offs and make it a memorable season!!

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