Saturday, March 22, 2008

You Don't Walk This Yo-Yo

Today is the first full day of training camp, and often that means it's time for the infamous Yo-Yo fitness test. It is a bit more complicated than this explanation, but for for the layman: it's when the players basically run back and forth between two lines until they pretty much collapse. Today the team did the test in three groups in some of the hottest temperatures anyone can remember for the Yo-Yo. It was in the low 80s, and on the artificial turf at The HDC, probably much hotter than that. The team, as always, busted through it and most players achieved their goals. As always the players were there rooting each other on and helping them make, sometimes running along side their teammates to urge and pull them along. On a related note, we found out that one time when Abby Wambach was in college at the University of Florida, the team was doing a fitness drill that involved backpedaling part of the way. Every player needed to finish across the line in the prescribed time, or the entire team would have to run again. Apparently, one player just couldn't get the back-peddle down, so Wambach literally picked her up, threw her over her shoulder and carried her across the line. That didn't happen today, but almost. There is another training this afternoon where the players will get to kick soccer balls and then tomorrow morning is off for Easter. So, Happy Easter everyone!

We're Baaaaack...

For all those with WNT Blog withdrawals, you can now rest easy. Although, we're not going Blog hard until the team hits Mexico at the end of the month for Olympic qualifying, but we'll try to put up a few posts here and there while the team is in training camp in Los Angeles. So, here's the update. There are 26 players who started training camp yesterday in Los Angeles at The Home Depot Center. U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage will choose 20 to go to Mexico and try to secure one of two CONCACAF berths to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Training started last night and it will be a busy 10 days before the USA leaves for Ciudad Juarez on March 31. Besides training almost every day with a few weight lifting sessions thrown in, there will also be some TV commercial shoots and photo shoots and more than a few interviews. Seems people have realized that the Olympics are less than five months away. But first...the USA must navigate Olympic qualifying and these training sessions will help Sundhage and her staff fine-tune the squad for the most important competition of the year so far.