BLAKE Dietrick can relate to the old adage that what doesn't hurt you makes you stronger.
The new Bendigo Bank Spirit import admits she has taken some time to find her feet at her new basketball home.
Not that it's really been that long at all - the American has only been here just shy of three weeks.
A combination of jet lag and the requirements of learning not only a new offence, but a whole new style of basketball, has contributed to a few teething problems for the former Princeton standout and WNBA point guard.
But with a pair of pre-season hit-outs against Dandenong under her belt, there's confidence that Dietrick is now hitting her straps, in much the same way the team is ahead of Saturday night’s season opener.
"It took me quite a while to get comfortable running the triangle, but I feel I have found my place, whether it' distributing it (the ball), scoring," she said.
"So I am really excited to get to the first game and prove that we've gotten better from our pre-season games.
"I think we've already seen massive improvement this week, so the game Saturday will be very different to what the box score has shown in pre-season."
Dietrick, who is coming off WNBA free agent stints with the Seattle Storm and San Antonio Stars, said the differences between the US league and WNBL were conspicuous.
"(The WNBL) is really fast, there's a lot less ball-screen action, which the American game has really focused on these last five years or so," she said.
"It' s a lot of transition play and a lot of strong and fast athletes.
"Whereas in America there is a wider range of athleticism and lack of athleticism.”
Reflecting on her new teammates, Dietrick felt the Spirit had the potential to contend strongly for a championship.
"What makes this team special is everyone is working 100 per cent for a team - there are no egos," she said.
"Nobody is worried about getting 'their' points, we are all focused on what we can do to win and that's it."