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Stephanie Wheeler Blog - Training

July 01, 2008, 1:29 p.m. (ET)

So far this summer, our basketball team has been together once for about a two and a half week period.  We had two competitions at the end of May and early June.  These competitions were a real test for our team to see what we need to work on and what we are doing well.  We had about a week training camp before the first tournament to practice together.  All 12 women on the team are from all over the country, so we are responsible for doing individual training (cardio, shooting, ball handling, chair skills) while we are apart from the team and then when we are at training camps, we work on coming together as a team and our team game. 

We ended up winning both of our competitions and learned so much about ourselves as a team.  We learned that even though we were victorious, we still have so much more to work on.  We know that the rest of the world isn't taking a day off so neither can we. 

The Paralympics are an entirely different monster than any tournament we have played in and we know that anything can happen. So right now, we are all in our respective homes training and working on our individual skills so that when we get together again as a team, we will be even better than we were a month ago.  Basically, when I am training alone, I like to do 3 to 4 days a week of cardio, whether it is pushing a certain mileage in my basketball chair or using a machine in combination with doing chair skills. 

Chair skills are basically workouts that make you better at moving your chair and make you and your chair more like one unit.  It is pretty hard to be an effective player on the court if you are fighting your chair or if you can't really move your chair.  This is especially important for me because I am a smaller player and a lot of my game centers around my quickness and my ability to move my chair.  Along with the cardio, I do lots of individual skills and drills that revolve around shooting, ball handling and my one-on-one skills.  And then lastly, I usually try to get 3 days of lifting in per week as well just to maintain my strength level.  I will be in individual training mode until our next training camp, which is in about 2 weeks.  So until then.....


Stephanie Wheeler is a freelance contributor for teamusa.org. This blog was not subject to the approval of the United States Olympic Committee or any National Governing Bodies.