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Sabra Wrice’s Tips for a Successful Season Overseas

Agree to disagree…

1. Pack your favorite foods. I don’t care if you did research and you found that they sell your favorite food in the country you are going to play in, it probably won’t taste the same… There is a reason America has the highest obesity rate.

2. You can’t hang with Europeans when it comes to partying. First off, beer in America is 2 parts water, 1 part alcohol and a lot of bars serve beer on tap in plastic cups. In Europe, you get you a real beer served in a real pint glass. You will be on the floor in less than a hour if you’re not prepared.

3. Try not to get injured. It won’t be the same. You got hurt in America they took you to your trainer, the trainer assessed the injury and depending, took you to a hospital/doctor right away for an X-Ray or MRI. The longest you probably had to wait was a week. Some teams may have direct access to treatment. Some may not. Just be careful and be smart.

4. Bring an extra suitcase. You’re gonna shop. Europeans are so much more trendier than Americans. And the clothes somehow fit better (in my opinion). Although if you are born with long arms you will still have issues with long sleeve shirts/hoodies… 🙁

5. Don’t act like a princess. Yea, I’ll say it. Us American basketball players are spoiled. We work hard, don’t get me wrong, but we get sweat suits and track suits and new shorts and book bags, bras, socks, new shoes, travel bags, per diem, sports psychologist, nutritionist, trainers, strength coaches, water bottles… I could keep going. I’m not saying your team won’t have some of that stuff, I’m not saying they will, I’m just saying be prepared that you may just get a bus pass and a map of your city upon arrival.

6. Get a smartphone, have it unlocked. Some teams give you a cell some teams don’t. Sometimes you buy your own. However phones and whatnot only work to call Europe (specifically your country) and will cost you lots to call home. Get a smartphone (not a blackberry yo that is soooo 2010) and make sure its unlocked. Benefits? Free wifi calls, facetime, tango, whatsapp, iMessage, skype… It’s just way easier.

7. Don’t talk to strangers. Everyone saw the film Taken right? Done.

8. Familiarize yourself with twitter facebook instagram if you haven’t already. Somedays that will be your only entertainment. Seriously. When you are on a team with an age range from like 16-40 (thats a stretch), you may not see a lot of team activities. This isn’t college were you’re stuck with your teammates every day. Most of your teammates will have work, school, families or in my case all three! You can go out and meet new people obviously but please refer to #7.

9. Get a hobby. Netflix gets boring real quick. I love films. I’m studying to be a director and writer. But somedays films are boring. And sleep isn’t a hobby that gets boring too. You will be playing basketball that is a given, but now is the time to start prepping yourself for life after basketball even though that may be a few years away. Find something to do. Take online classes, learn to knit, blog, make a reading list. Learn to do something with your spare time. You will thank me for this tip.

10. Learn the language of the country you are in…Really, take a short cut. Memorize a full paragraph from a book or magazine in the country you are in. Why? Because when you get home and everyone says “oh do you speak German/French…etc?” You can burst out with that whole paragraph and impress them. And every once in a while you can pick and choose which lines to recite without them really knowing what is going on. They will be excited, you’ll be “fluent” in another language and feel accomplished. “Warning: plan may backfire around people who are actually fluent in the language so be careful, no when to say no.”

I am in England and yes, they speak English so… I’m fluent. I am working on my Barnsley accent though…

Happy Easter ya’ll. Enjoy your day off!

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