Windsor Lancers

Friday, July 15, 2011

Final Preparations on US Soil; Coach Rizzotti and USA Basketball Head to Chile

Well, this morning we have our last practice here in the US. We've made quite a bit of progress this week and I feel positive about the direction our team is going. We've worked a lot this week on our defense in the half court and transition. Everyone is coming from different coaches and different philosophies and I appreciate the players working hard to buy into how I teach defense. I do think it will pay dividends down in Chile if there is ever a game where we struggle to score consistently.

We've put in some transition sets and well as half court sets this week and worked on patience and execution. But most of the points our staff has tried to get across were more about the intangibles. We've been pushing the kids to learn to go harder and find a way to be successful outside their comfort zone. We've asked them to learn to focus mentally when their bodies are tired. And we've asked them to respond better to adversity. Our goal last night was to rid ourselves of bad body language and energy draining responses to mistakes. I really felt like the kids made a great effort in those areas and consequently we played our best game against the guys.

The team heads out to Chile tomorrow afternoon, but I need to make a little detour back to Connecticut so I can attend my brother, Tommy's, wedding tomorrow! I am very excited to see my family, especially my two little boys and also see my brother, who has always been my biggest fan, get married. We are happy to be welcoming Marcia into our family.

We'll have a few practices and exhibition scrimmages against Russia and Australia once we get to Chile. There is still a lot of work to get done and I expect we'll continue to improve throughout the tournament as well. It will be nice to be together as a team and I think our team bonding and chemistry building will rise to a whole new level once we realize how everyone in Chile will be rooting against us! Go USA!

I promise to keep you posted throughout the whole thing so stay tuned!!

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