Field Hockey in Europe: Day 4

Thursday, August 8, 2013

More from the Muhlenberg field hockey summer trip to Europe – junior Meghan Gill reports.

rotterdam Day 4
The day started out with a late-morning team run. It was nice to finally sleep in and no longer feel jet lagged. Before leaving Den Haag we had time for some quick shopping. Most of us looked at clothes while others enjoyed an ice cream.

As the weather turned from overcast to rain, we traveled to Kinderdijk, where the windmills are located. The windmills are used to produce energy and allow for the rising sea level in Holland to be contained. We quickly made our way through the 19 iconic windmills with rain jackets and umbrellas, stopping briefly to snap some photos of the truly beautiful structures.

Next, we traveled to Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands. We stopped for a training session with Peter, an Australian coach, at Hockey Club Rotterdam, one of the largest hockey clubs in Holland with a total of seven AstroTurf fields. Peter would often jokingly repeat words with an imitated “American” accent, and the pronunciation of “water” was brought up numerous times.

During training we warmed up with a Dutch warmup consisting of three oval-shaped laps and various stretches. We went over a new shot that many of us enjoyed, a hard sweep which forces the ball into the air.

dinner After our session we sat down at the hockey club for a traditional Dutch meal. The meal consisted of meatballs, potatoes, cooked vegetables and salad. The meatball was the size of four American meatballs. I was informed that it was best to eat with mustard, although I didn’t try this. Some girls did and thought it was delicious.

Finally, we went to watch a friendly game between the Netherlands and England U-21 men’s teams. The game was amazing – the skill level of the athletes was incredible to watch and learn from! With leftover excitement from the game we headed back to Den Haag for a final night in our hotel before we take in Germany.

And now for some feedback from the Mules on their favorite part of the day:
Gabi Smith: I enjoyed watching the match between the Netherlands and England. The game demonstrated the talent of both teams and allowed me to see the ball-handling skills and the passing of the men’s team. I am happy we were able to watch this game because it was also a great learning experience and will only benefit our team.

u21 game Mariah Alston: My favorite part of the day was the training session with the Australian coach! This session allowed the team to work on skills we are not necessarily familiar with, such as reverse sweeps, bumps over wood planks, “chops” and many more. It’s always great learning from a foreigner because we can both teach each other new things.

Erin Cummings: The windmills. It was cold and rainy but it was great to see such iconic Dutch structures.

Next on the itinerary: Utretcht and Dusseldorf