Russel Kesson

Scotland U16 Men Head Coach

Pre FIBA Camp - August 2014 & 2016

"..Further to the conversation we had at the Marina in Barcelona, this is the first chance I have had to put some feedback together for you since we left L'Hospitalet. I spoke with the coaches and with Andrew and Tommy so we could put some feedback together for you. I have split it into sections for you.


Hotel - The hotel accommodation was excellent and better than we could have hoped for. We are accustomed to staying in lower budget hotels (our hotel in Macedonia was appalling!) The hotel in L'Hospitalet far outweighed our expectations. The use of the meeting room was vital for our training and preparation before heading to tournament. Thank you for sorting the use of this for us. The hotel was in an excellent location in relation to the training/ games venue.


Transport - Although this may seem a simple thing, the transport provided during the duration of our trip was excellent. It was great having a good quality bus that was always available when we needed it and it is important to not have to wait on these to turn up. The bus being there whenever we finished training/ games/ the meal in Barcelona, helped to make our trip go smoothly.


Gym - The gym was excellent and fulfilled all our training requirements. It was very useful being able to keep the doors shut to increase the heat in the gym as we ended up playing in temperatures around 35-41 C in Macedonia with no air conditioning. Having full access to Ice and water also important to us in our preparation.


Swimming pool - Thank you for arranging for us to have access to the local pool. The players very much appreciated the opportunity to relax after training sessions. We were not able to us the pool at our hotel in Macedonia as it was very unsafe, but we managed two sessions at a different hotel for some hydrotherapy. Having access to the pool in L'Hospitalet was an important part of our recovery phase. Thanks also to the pool manager for making us all feel very welcome when we were there.


Meal in Barcelona - This was a great experience for the players. It is important that players get the opportunity to experience local culture and cuisine when they travel. It is also nice to have fellowship during meal times and helps to produce a stronger off-court bond between the players. The restaurant we attended was an excellent choice. Thank you for arranging this for us. It was a good way to finish that part of trip and allow us to move on to the next stage.


Games - The standard of opposition was appropriate for our preparations for the Euro's given the speed and intensity of the opposition that we encountered. The only real difference we faced in the Euro's was a lot of zone defense which also surprised us as to how much zone was played. We also came up against some very tall and physically imposing players while at the Euro's that we had no way of replicating this in our preparation games. We were very glad to have played the three preparation games while we were in Spain and may even have benefited from playing one or two more games while there to enable us to gain more game experience.That is something we will consider for the future. However, the opportunity to train in the morning and play later in the day was important as this mimicked our daily routine at the Euro's. If anything we should maybe have tried to have one of our training sessions in Spain earlier in the day as most of our training times while we were away were before 7.30 am!! Overall we were very happy with the games we had, and the support shown to us by the local people that came to watch the games. A huge thank you also to L'Hospitalet Basketball Club for accommodating us with training times and fixtures while we were in Spain.


General - It is important for the coaches to get some leisure time while away with the squad, and for us that meant Padel in Spain and Table Tennis in Macedonia! (Jero and I are still undefeated in both!!) Thank you for organizing the Padel for us as an extra. Thank you also for helping us get access to a Laundry facility. We ended up having to hand-wash our playing/ training kit and all our other laundry while we were at Macedonia. Although not a major issue it is a simple thing that makes a difference to programme that we run for the players. Thanks also for arranging free time for us in Barcelona including the photo opportunities at La Sagrada Familia. Again it is important to us as coaches that our players experience local culture and the opportunity for the boys to have some down time in Barcelona was important.


Overall we were delighted with what you prepared for us in our pre-tournament camp. Both Jose Antonio and yourself were first class in how you worked with us and we felt that nothing we asked of you was too much. It is important to be able to establish relationships like this in sport. Given the first class service we were given by your company we would recommend BarceL'Hona Sports Events to anyone else that was looking for a similar experience. I would like to extend a huge thank you to you and Jose Antonio for making our stay in Spain a very positive experience.."


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