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The USA 7s team discovered something this trip to London: get on the plane early.

The normal MO for the Eagles has been to drive from Chula Vista to Los Angeles, which means a couple of hours in a bus and then, because they want to be early, a long wait at LAX for their plane.

This time, the team boarded a flight from San Diego, and connected to their flight for London in Los Angeles. The players loved it. Less lugging their bags around; less time waiting and cramped in a bus; and less time in security as San Diego International is smaller and therefore provides a quicker run through the X-ray machines.

The upshot was that the team hit the ground running in London.

“Our first practice off the plane is usually our worst,” said USA Head Coach Al Caravelli. “This time the guys were dialed in from the start.”

That might be related to the easier flight, but it’s also related to the attitude of the players.

“I’m pretty excited about this team,” the coach added. “They were focused, even with the jet lag and everything. I was very impressed.”

Notes: The flight from Los Angeles to London is in fact the shortest (5,400 miles) flight the 7s Eagles take on an HSBC Sevens World Series leg. Their other three flights are to Dubai (8,300 miles), South Africa (10,300 miles), and Wellington (6,714 miles).