He had fantasized on more than a few occasions during the past year with the possibility of being promoted to LF Endesa to meet again there with his sister Elena, but Natalia Rodríguez’s return to La Paterna last Saturday brought with it a host of emotions that was lacking. the most important factor in the equation, the presence of the smallest of the family.
PABLO ROMERO / COMMUNICATION AREA FEB
The flight of Baxi Ferrol was preparing to land in the Canary Islands and, among its passengers, Natalia Rodriguez She was about to face one of the most difficult landings of her career, the one that was about to bring home one of the players with the greatest projection in the category.
A return that in normal conditions should have been synonymous with joy but that, on this occasion, generated a knot in the stomach of the Canarian escort. And it is that, when he returned to his Agüimes native to reunite with his family, he had to prepare for the most difficult yet, trying to defeat that club from which he had always defended his colors.
Quite a challenge that he faced from the most absolute professionalism and, in turn, with the pain that knowing his sister Elena, his other half, was not going to be on the other side of the track as they had fantasized between them on many occasions throughout the past year.
The reason: his departure to a NCAA American from which she closely followed Natalia’s return to a track where she had to score the most difficult 7 points of her career.
Because for the Rodríguez sisters, professionalism will always be above the emotional …
Natalia Rodríguez: “Teamwork is the only way to get results”
With her mind already set on the next meeting of her team, but with the sweet residue of the visit home still in memory, the escort Natalia Rodríguez tells us how the most passionate 48 hours of the season were for her. A return home that brought with it mixed feelings.
Back home, the first match against your club of a lifetime, reunion with family and friends … What a weekend!
“Besides the truth … Many sensations came together, on the one hand, the joy that comes from being able to return to your land and feeling again that you are close to yours, but on the other, there was a little bittersweet feeling for having to be to the other side. I went back to training on my usual court and against my lifelong team, but I did it from the other side … When in recent years I had to face players like Leonor Rodríguez or Leticia Romero I always thought about how strange something must be so for them, but now I can say that I know what it is to live in the first person ”.
How, then, do you do to contain your emotions?
“Mentalizing you. The phrase that I repeated the most in the previous days was that it was all very strange, but once you get on the plane, get there and start the morning shooting session … Everything is put aside. You put your feelings aside, you put on your overalls and you are as professional as possible because a very important victory for your team is at stake ”.
And between training and training … Is there time to enjoy home?
“Don’t believe it… When the game coincided with a holiday bridge, almost all of my friends were caught out. Also, when traveling on a weekday, my family could not get close to the hotel because their free hours coincided with my workouts. So she played host for the team, with some beach and sun rays to take advantage of the free time. Then I was lucky enough to have many people supporting us in the game: family, some friends from Ferrol who took the plane and spent the “weekend” of mini vacations… That, together with the victory and a dinner in my town with my parents, it made the after-game really good. I was able to sleep at home, rush Sunday with my family, go back to the beach … ”.
Although I imagine that the most emotional reunion must have been the one that did not take place. The one that was going to take you to face your sister Elena who has set her course for the NCAA this year …
“Yes, that is the one that I would have liked the most because we had talked about it many times last year… Also, when I entered the pavilion I could see it in many of the photos that they have hanging there and that made everything a little more emotional. I would have liked to have her there, but I don’t know if she was on the rival bench, because then everything would have been much weirder. It would have cost me to fight her for victory. ”
Surely, despite the distance, it was not very far …
“Yes, I could feel her very close. We always talk before each game to wish each other luck and I know that on the bus on the way to Boston he was watching the game through CanalFEB. But, although we could not see each other, the most important thing for me is that she is happy, is enjoying the experience a lot and goes all day without stopping. And those details are worth gold… ””.
Let’s talk about your Baxi Ferrol because maintaining the block that achieved the promotion seems to be already giving the first results. How are you seeing the team?
“Yes, we are happy with the start, but it is a mixture of everything. There is no doubt that maintaining the block of players makes everything a little easier, but it should also be noted that the incorporations have adapted very well to the style of play that Lino demands of us. It is not easy to achieve something like this so quickly, but the key is that the team is very willing to work. We know that this is the way to compensate for things that we could not achieve due to height or budget ”.
On a personal level, you look very fierce and eager on the track. Were you so looking forward to this return to LF Endesa?
“This year is my first season as a 100% professional player. I have finished my degree and all that time at the university, I have finished the practices, I have left the early mornings behind … All that makes me have more time to rest, that I am fresher in training, that I can do all the work that the student does. team and that, therefore, can also be much more united and integrated. I also wanted to enjoy the return to the top flight with a team that has given me many possibilities, so I couldn’t miss it. I wanted to enjoy this year and try to help giving my best ”.
The question is … how far can this teamwork take Baxi Ferrol?
“We know that LF Endesa will be very competitive this season and that it is a League in which there are always surprises on every match day. With this in mind, our great initial success would be to keep us able to stay in the category as we know how much it costs to come back. But as a team we always dream a lot… Right now we are content to know that the important thing is that we are working well and being able to find the prize of the victories. We want there to be many more, so we will continue to fight ”.
Season statistics – Natalia Rodríguez:
Played games: 4
Fouls received: 2.5
Sports career – Natalia Rodríguez:
Training categories: CB Canary Islands
2013/15: Spar Gran Canaria (Cadet)
2015/17: Spar Gran Canaria (Junior and LF Endesa)
2017/19: Baxi Ferrol (LF Endesa)
2019/21: Baxi Ferrol (Women’s League 2)
2021/22: Baxi Ferrol (LF Endesa)
International career – Natalia Rodríguez:
2014: Bronze medal – European U16F (Debrecen – Hungary)
2016: Sixth place – U17 World Cup (Zaragoza – Spain)
2017: Sixth place – European U18F (Sopron – Hungary)
2019: Fifth place – European U20F (Klatovy – Czech Republic)