I have been in preparation mode for the last couple of weeks after my introduction to an athlete’s schedule with the weekend training camp and exhibition game. The team’s full training camp starts this coming week for two weeks and then the regular practice schedule begins.
First I realized I needed the right gear for daily training and practices. Sports bras, tube socks, t-shirts and basketball shorts. Unless I want to do laundry more than once a week I needed 5-6 of everything. I have now amassed a collection of basketball shorts and other gear in gray, blue, black and white…even for practice the team members dress in gear that fits with our Ryerson Rams colours.
I have stepped up my workout schedule including cardio sessions at my local gym on the elliptical trainer, weight training with my trainer at the Ryerson Athletic Centre and the most challenging for me, a run/walk training program called Couch to 5K. I am trying to focus on balancing increasing my activity and the intensity of the activity with listening to my sore knees and feet. I want to be able to push through the fatigue and discomfort but I also obviously don’t want to hurt myself.
Yesterday I bought a portable basketball “system” for the driveway at home so that I can practice shooting a basketball through a hoop.
As I have started putting all the team meetings, workouts and practices in my schedule I am a little overwhelmed by the commitment that I have made. I think as I share this experience with others they will be amazed by the time commitment and sacrifices that our athletes make to play at a high level. One of the things I most want to learn from my teammates is why? What is their motivation for giving up so much and working so hard? Is it a love of the game? Is it a desire to excel at something they are good at? Is it about commitment to team? Why do they do this? I hope to do my first interview with a player this week and start posting profiles of these dedicated and talented young women. Can’t wait to get to know them individually.
What I have learned is that no matter how talented and capable they are at playing their sport – they and the coaches are always working to make them better. There is no rest. There is no complacency. There is no “good enough”.
I am starting at a very different place based on physical fitness, wellness, age, and skill but I also need to embrace a no rest, no complacency, never good enough approach to my efforts to get better.
To get more fit.
To run farther without stopping to walk.
To lift more weight and do more reps.
To get stronger.
So here is the schedule for the team activities for this week (I will also try to continue working with my trainer a couple of mornings and continue with my learn to run program). Included in this schedule is an expectation that all athletes will volunteer on Sunday to help new students move into residence. This is a great way to encourage residence students to come out to games and support the athletes who helped welcome them to Ryerson.