Captain Ben Ray's Baltic Amadeus Trophy blog

The England Programmes U17 Water Polo boys’ team recently finished fourth at the Amadeus Baltic Trophy in Lithuania. Read an extract from captain Ben Ray’s blog for AquaZone magazine below …

Match Time

Our first game against Lodz on Thursday went perfectly. We stuck to our game plan and came out looking the better side, winning 10-5.

We had two matches on the Friday, against Finland and Moldova. We’d been watching Finland the previous day as they got heavily beaten by Moldova and we as a team had high expectations for ourselves.

We won narrowly 8-7 but neither I nor the team were happy with our performance. We had gone into the game complacent and we learned our lesson from that.

We knew the Moldova game was going to by far the hardest in the group stage as they were physically huge. We worked hard from the start but unfortunately couldn’t finish our chances so lost the game.

Our post-match routine would be to get in the warm-up pool and do at least 10 lengths swimming down. Then we would spend 10-15 minutes stretching down to ensure our muscles would be ready for the next game.

Another post-game ritual we would have was to watch over the previous game and look at the positives and negatives. This, in my opinion, was a crucial factor as to why we progressed as a team over the week.