Jayne Appel goes through game day
Traveling is a major part of the professional basketball player lifestyle. We learn the tricks of the trade to make it as easy as possible and rack up frequent-flier miles as if that were our job. We have to learn to eat right on the road (a task that is very difficult to accomplish), get our sleep in and be able to remember our hotel room number. Trust me, it gets very hard to remember that when you are constantly changing hotels!
Life on the road isn't as dismal as it may sound, though it can be a challenge at first. I really like sticking to a schedule on game day so that I'm prepared and nothing out of the ordinary happens, catching me off guard. Both teams tend to have a shootaround in the morning between 10 and 12, each getting an hour on the court. During this time, we go over our game plan one more time, get shots up, stretch and run through our offense. We also shoot a half-court shot at the end of shootaround, and whoever puts the ball in the hoop wins a collective pot of money. (So far, Danielle Robinson is cleaning up, winning the most money pots.)
After shootaround, we shower and find somewhere to eat our pregame meal. I always look for something that is light but also filling. Knowing that I won't be able to eat another meal until seven hours later is always in the back of my mind. I tend to go for some pasta with chicken in it. This way, I am getting my protein in and getting the carbohydrates I need for the game.
After eating, some people like to nap, but I usually just hang out and read or watch TV. I've never been a big napper, so I don't want to try to change it now. We head to the gym almost two hours before the game, get dressed and begin our individual warm-ups. Coach comes into the locker room 30 minutes before game time, and we go through some final touch-up plans for the game and then head for our team warm-ups. After that, it's game time!
The nice part about traveling is being able to go out and try different restaurants in each city after the game. I have been very fortunate to have friends or family in almost every city that there is a WNBA team, giving me an inside scoop on where to eat and what hidden gems each city holds. I really enjoy traveling -- yes, it can get a little tired eating every meal out, but having the opportunity to play in front of different family and friends is something I really enjoy.