I was recruited by Michelle Ng and Without Limits to write about my experiences in my final season of College Ultimate. 2011 has many possibilities...let's see how they pan out. E-mail me (robyn-fennig@uiowa.edu)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Preparing for the Season Ahead: Lifting

**POST EDIT: Katie Johnson in Skyd Magazine. This girl is my inspriation

Saucy has been hitting the weights since November. We've been working in phases. We expected everyone to have been working hard all winter long. From the throngs of e-mails about lifting, working out, etc. I've seen flooding my inbox as I'm in Muskego, I'd say it's happening on a large scale.

Team accountability is helping me with my personal accountability. It's definitely helping me stay on par. I'm making some noticeable gains since surgery in November. It's hard to take it slow and realize that this is a long-term process, no matter how many surgeries I have had, or how much experience I have had with strength training.

This team has a unique approach. Everyone holds everyone accountable. Holy crap. It is not something that is dictated from the top down. Saucy has a very "bottom-up" approach. Yes, our head coach (Mike Lun) holds us accountable, but he has such success because every Saucy is committed to making team (and program) as strong as possible. Improving individual skills, fitness, strength, explosiveness, and power are the fundamentals we want to build our team on.

Twice a week, we have team lifting sessions in the Old Rec building. These sessions concentrate primarily on power/explosive lifts for lower body, like squats, dead lifts, RDLs, etc., mixed with plyos. Many girls do independent upper-body workouts outside of these sessions, more tailored to our individual goals and expectations. It was exciting to talk to Mike and have him say that he sees noticeable differences in the explosiveness of individual players. From what I understand, this is the first time Saucy has done a mandatory team lifting program. The team is already reaping the rewards.

When we return, we will add conditioning workouts to the mix. Much of the work will be done on the indoor track, but it sucks that I'm not ready to participate in them. I could get down about it, but I'll be hitting up the pool at least twice a week to be focusing on low-impact training for a few months during the cold Iowa winter.

So as I prepare to head back to Iowa City next weekend, I'm still lifting. I may still be able to sky Katie Johnson, but it wouldn't hurt if I had a vertical like hers....see picture to the left. That would be her showcasing her 28 inch vertical at college nationals last year. This is my motivation for training. I know I can get myself in better shape. But even more, I know that my team benefits from me and the rest of my individual teammates working hard. I'm excited to go back to Iowa City and keep going.

 If you're new to lifting/training for ultimate. Check out these links. I find them especially helpful.

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