Representing my country was one of the greatest honors that I’ve ever had. Playing on the USA National Floorball Team at the Riga Cup in Riga, Latvia, I knew that I had to help bring education of the game back to The United States. That is why Floorball Guru exists.
Upon my selection to the USA National Floorball Team, I was quite emotional, excited for such a different opportunity.
At 32, I was one of the older players on the team, but that didn’t deter me from making sure I was ready to go. I had about 65 days from selection to be in Riga for team camp and the tournament. I didn’t know it at the time but the entire experience would be life changing.
The biggest challenge for me was ensuring that I would be in top physical shape to compete at that level. I am fortunate enough to have a coworker who is a Division I National Champion Sprinter from the University of Tennessee. I was nervous about the preparation for the tournament and wondered if I had what it took. After the first day of training I realized that the physical wasn’t as important as the mental. In pushing through the pain I completed my first day of training. I could barely move, everything in me hurt and I was exhausted. Yet, I knew at that time I would be able to get through the training. Speed and movement off the ball was one of our main focuses. We spent a lot of time doing various agility drills and strength training, which greatly improved my speed on the court. Initially we started training three days a week doing a mix of cardio and strength training and after two weeks moved to training five days a week. We continued training five days a week until I left for Riga. By the time I left I was ready physically and mentally.
I’ve done some traveling before, but traveling half way across the world was a new experience. Once I met with the team and we began our training sessions it hit me at what I was doing. The speed and skills of the players was very high, especially in comparison to the competition I was playing back at home. It took a little bit to get comfortable but I eventually got there. I couldn’t have been more excited when we were given our National Team jerseys. The experience was a proud one for me and for the other players on the team.
What I’ve brought home from that tournament was an increased desire to replicate that back home. In Riga there were teams of all ages and genders from all over. That represented everything that I envision happening in the US.