Today is my third morning in Germany and for the first time in about a week, I slept for more than three hours at a stretch. It was 23 hours and 45 minutes between leaving my driveway in Reno, Nevada and getting to Tettnang, Germany; my home for the next few months. Yesterday, was my first practice with the Razorbacks and when I haven’t been overcoming jetlag, I’ve had a few opportunities to explore my surroundings.
A few early impressions of Germany and the Ravenburg Razorbacks.
–Germans wear a lot of dark clothes… It’s cold here and everyone is walking around in black coats. My green jacket sticks out like ’80’s neon though it’s pretty subdued.
–I went to dinner the first night with the coaches, a nice “American” food menu with lots of hamburgers. Too late, I noticed everyone else using knives and forks to eat everything… Pizza, burgers, fries. everything…. Thankfully everyone was too polite to mention my savagery, but I’m sure they noticed.
–Most Razorbacks players are in their mid to late 20’s, several in their 30s. Few Germans BEGAN playing football before their 20s. Some of our coaches played 20 years. Retiring from the field in their 40s. This is exactly opposite as the US, where most players hang up the pads after high school and will create some interesting coaching challenges.
–I did not coach very well yesterday. By nature, I’m not a very excitable guy, but I’m much more so on the practice field. I speak loudly, sharply and quickly… probably good form when coaching US high school kids, but its confusing for the Germans. While their English is much better than my German, (almost non-existent) its a second language for them and some had trouble following my direction. Tomorrow, I will attempt to slow down and make sure they understand before moving on.
Tomorrow, we practice again, then Saturday and Sunday we host a camp with another team. I’ll write in a few days and let everyone know how the camp went.