We are beginning our 6th week of practices here at Mizzou Arena, and what better way to have started off the week than by winning our first exhibition game against Southwest Baptist last Tuesday!
I saw a lot of familiar faces out in the crowd, and it just felt really good to know that basketball season is finally back.
Before I talk about the game, I wanted to let you guys in on our game day routine.
First we have a shoot around generally five hours before tipoff. The girls enter with a song playlist to get them pumped up. The court is usually already set up for the game, and I like that because I feel it aids to our game day focus. After some shooting drills, the team reviews offenses and defenses as well as go over the scouting report for the opposing team.
My favorite part is what comes after, the pre-game meal! I like to hear the girls talk about what positives they are shooting for in each particular game. When they are almost done eating Coach Porter comes in to speak to them, usually providing a devotional. On Tuesday he talked to them about having a strong foundation. He used a tri-pod as an example which I can actually relate to with filming practices. I thought that was funny, but he said if one leg of the tri-pod isn't standing, the tri-pod cannot fulfill its purpose, which is true. It was a good way to reflect on our own lives knowing that with a proper foundation, we too would be able to fulfill our purpose. The girls end on a prayer and everyone comes back later to prepare for the game. We are able to take the floor one hour before tipoff.
I arrive an hour and a half before to setup, and take care of some of my manager duties.
Alex, one of our other managers and myself, are helping two of our new managers transition into the program. They are freshmen who will take our place upon graduation. Their names are Katie and Rachel.
On Tuesday I arrived earlier to assist them in our typical game day routine. I cannot believe after four years that was the last first game I will ever help set up for! But the main reason I am sharing this with you all is because I noticed after going over the process step by step with them, there really is a lot that goes into making these game days possible.
Watching event staff, media relations, game day operations, coaches, players, referees, trainers, fans, Tiger Paws, and everyone else, I could not help but to feel so much appreciation. The game day atmosphere is really a special thing. The next time you find yourself at a game be sure to send out a few extra thank you's to anyone lending a helping hand!
You can read the recap of our 79-53 win over Southwest Baptist on mutigers.com, but be sure to make it out to Mizzou Arena TOMORROW when we take on Quincy Illinois at 7p.m.!
Until then Tiger Fans,