Baby steps

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Hopefully, everything would go on as planned as far as our
performance on the court is concerned.

__________

I’m having a light moment with my teammates like Cha Cruz, Mylene Paat, Jaja Santiago and Maika Ortiz during our free day at the Tomomien Okayama in Okayama City, Japan.

OKAYAMA CITY — We have already wrapped up our first week of training here and I’m proud to say that we are improving.

Sure, we may not yet be at par with Japan, South Korea, China and other volleyball superpowers, but it’s already obvious that we are getting there — slowly but surely.

In our first week of training, coach Akiyoshi Kawamoto took the pain of correcting our bad habits and attitude inside the court.

We tackled more on the defensive side and coach Kawamoto corrected our form in blocking, digging and defensive formation.

Adjusting to the Japanese style of play is not really easy since we have a very limited time and we can’t absorb everything in just few training sessions.

But we’re all trying our very best to catch up, especially in new blocking technique that he taught.

As a middle blocker, this is a major challenge for me.

I am observing and trying my very best to learn everything by heart and mind, knowing that we would need this in the Asian Games and the Asian Cup.

Of course, Coach Kawamoto is also giving us pointers on offense.

He always says that we should widen our vision so we can identify the holes in our opponent’s defensive formation.

More than the X’s and O’s, I’m glad that our chemistry is now improving.

We all know that we all came from various schools and some of us used to play against each other in college.

I am lucky because I have my former La Salle teammates like Kim (Fajardo), Aby (Marano), Kianna (Dy), Majoy (Baron) and Cha (Cruz), but I still need to double my effort because we’re already in the national team and we have to do our best to expedite our jelling process.

But it’s not really that hard to adjust since all of us our communicating very well and adjusting to the situation of the ball.

Although there are times when we’re trying to guess the movement and tendencies of each other, we’re still glad that we’re here to solve them and identify our other weaknesses.
I think from a scale of 1 to 10, we’re already around 6.5 to 7.

Yes, our individual skills and power are already there, but I think we have to polish our defensive formation and convert it into scoring opportunities.

But our mindset to improve is there because from here, we will go to Jakarta for the Asian Games right away.

We don’t have the luxury of time to correct it so we might as well work hard to improve it here.

As soon as we land in Manila, we only have few hours to fix our luggage then fly to Jakarta the next morning.

I miss my family, especially my dog (LOL!). Of course, I’m away from them so I really miss them so much. Good thing that we already have phone and video calls, so communicating with them is no longer a major problem.

Hopefully, everything would go on as planned as far as our performance on the court is concerned. Our coach, Coach Shaq (Delos Santos), keeps on reminding us that we shouldn’t be contented and keep our hunger for victory so we would continue to improve.

I’m not saying that all of these developments would automatically lead us to a gold medal in the Asian Games.

But I’m glad that there’s already some progress.

These are baby steps in Philippine volleyball.

Let’s all be patient.

We will get there sooner than expected.

What are your thoughts?

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