At the end of our last game, there was talk of the team practicing three times a week. I was thrilled when Cate confirmed the news on Tuesday night, explaining the details simply:
“Mondays we will practice shooting, Tuesdays defensive and offensive plays, and Wednesdays will be for playing full court.”
After a brief talk, we began doing defensive drills, the area where Cate felt we lacked in our last game.
“We aren’t defending aggressively,” she repeated to the group. I listened and tried absorb all the inspiration she was dispelling that night:
“Bajen el culo!” “Lower your butts!”
“Concentrense!…se distraen por un segundo y ahi es donde pierden la pelota.”
“Concentrate!…some of you get distracted for a moment and that is when you lose the ball.”
“No se dejen vencer tan facilmente!” “Don’t give in so easily!”
“Manos arriba cuando defienden. Si no, acumulan muchas faltas.”
“Hands up during defense. If you keep them down, you will pick up multiple fouls.”
During that practice, part of the team was suffering from flu symptoms and part of them had decided to stay at home. I was included in the sick group, with a sore throat and drippy nose. However, I was happy to have gone to practice; Cate’s talent as a coach was evident to me as she expressed her own feelings on our last game:
“We get nervous. Games are unique situations. There are many different levels of energies and continuous distractions. We must learn to focus. This takes time to master.”
Her energy and wisdom really came through to me that night.