Five Athletes and What They Wish They Knew Before Going Overseas

Becky Pavan-684

Becky Paven

  • First I wish I had known how difficult and in my situation impossible a long distance relationship would be.
  • Second I wish I had better prepared myself for spending my first Christmas alone.
  • Lastly I wish I had leaned how to drive stick before arriving in Germany. Try to navigate European streets while also being unsure of my driving skills was extremely difficult.



Devereaux Peters

  • I wish I had done more research on the city that I’m in and Russia in general. Overall in my experience here Russians are extremely racist, so there were some incidents I went through that probably could’ve been avoided if I had known that before I came here.



Brook Billings

  • The world was a different place when I started going overseas. My first season was in 2002 fresh out of college, but fortunately I played in Austria with 6 or 7 other Americans and Hugh McCutheon as our coach.  This was a time where email was still pretty fresh and downloading music was hot of the blocks.  Downloading movies was almost unheard of.  My college coach, Pat Powers, was always on me to get into reading.  He was right.  I spent many a nights losing my self in books.  I wish I had more knoweldge of the professional circuit growing up and knowing the big names from around the leagues.  I didn’t start learning about players outside the USA until I started playing with the USA team. Could have been humbled a lot earlier in my career and taken bits and pieces from different players to learn and grow from.



Lauren Schoenherr

  • European winters are slightly colder than SoCal winters, flip flops just won’t cut it. (I guess I knew this going in – I just wish that I wasn’t as stubborn back then.)
  • You can really get just about anything you need wherever you are (even peanut butter), you just have to explore a bit. I could have saved myself a lot of needless packing (and my family a lot of money on care packages).
  • The US is huge. Saying “In the US, we do it like this…” isn’t really fair because there are so many regional differences and sub-cultures across the country, which I actually think is pretty cool. It’s better to say, “At home in (wherever you are from, i.e., city, state), we do it like this…”.  (This will save you from eating your words.) The same goes for Europeans. They do not like to be defined by just their country alone; they will make sure to explain that their city/village is completely different than the next, even if it is just a few kilometers away. Oh, and even if you learn the language, you may not be able to understand those living in that neighboring city…



Bailey Hunter

  • I wish I knew better how to navigate around a city. We are so dependent on technology to get us from point A to point B that when the ability to rely on technology is stripped from us we panic-I sure did. I wish I knew how to drive a manual car, it really is a skill everyone should know- plus Europeans give you more credit if you can drive stick. Finally I wish I knew how to live in solitude better. I certainly learned how to in Slovakia, but only after I was forced to adapt. As an American who played a sport in college I found myself naturally gravitating to others, scared to be alone all the time. Being alone sometimes is the only time I feel myself these days. I’ve become stronger mentally because of it.

2 Responses to “Five Athletes and What They Wish They Knew Before Going Overseas”

  1. Sarah

    I won’t tell you anything new, but it’s just the same with everything in life.
    You’d think experience showes us anything, but alas.
    Hate all you want but the world is changing, and we have no control over it.
    E.g., imagine Obama had enough balls to put Russian bear to his place, but it seems like it’s never happening, welcome world war.
    A profound post, thanks!


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