From my experience in the US I can say it has been one of the best things that could have happened in my career, because of the different gameplay with the Americans in relation to European or Spanish. It has also been an awesome experience regarding my social and personal life, because I have met many people from elsewhere with different opinions and customs and that always enriches you as a person. BIWPA helped me to organize and arrange accommodations during my time in the US. I was living with a family of a fellow water polo team in which I played and I think I was very lucky to live with that family for their hospitality and kindness to welcome home a person who they did not know and treated me as a member of their family.
There are some differences in water polo in the US compared to water polo practiced in Spain, so I think my stay there helped me to grow at a sporting level thanks to the advice and technical coaching points that advise you on how they prefer you to play and eventually there comes a time when you get used to the gameplay there. During my stay in the US I was able to play at several tournaments and qualifying rounds (in a month and a half I played about 40 games), that helped me to get more experience as an athlete.
Also the time I was there helped me improve my English, especially oral expression, since I only lived with people who speak English I struggled to communicate with others. After a couple of weeks, I could understand my teammates and the coach when they spoke to me quickly and colloquially.
It was the best trip of my life so far, because I was able to visit and enjoy one of the most amazing cities in the world such as San Francisco and cities and neighborhoods around, like Berkeley.
Finally, as to my opinion and experience of JO’s, it is the most important tournament for clubs in the United States, if you were to put a score out of ten, no doubt would be a ten for the organization, because there was many teams to play in the pools in Los Angeles, where the tournament was held, and the coordination of each category by level and age. During the tournament I played approximately eight games, and although we all wanted to win, matches were raced but where they were always fair games. The opposing team was considered a rival, but never an enemy and after the game the team players together chanted the name of the opposing team and when we greeted each other after the game, we always said “well played” regardless of whether we won or lost . In short, I think it’s a very impressive category for a tournament, the number of teams involved, the level of play and sportsmanship of the participants.