Practice Notes: End of First Week

Welcome to practice notes: a continuous feature during the season that will showcase observations from Shock practice, so everything that you don’t see on television. It may not be your traditional practice or game recap story but it will be quick hitting, informative and provide readers with an insider perspective on Shock practice and the shaping of the roster. Training camp opened this past Sunday, April 25.

For the first week, the team is doing two-a-days, morning and night, before they move onto one practice a day leading up to tip-off. Observations from the last three days:

- Alexis Hornbuckle has been consistently wearing the yellow headband in practice. I think it’s a sign of things getting a little more serious as training camp continues.
- Marion Jones curls up her shorts higher than anyone else on the team. They end up looking like track shorts.
- A lot more joking around and clowning before and after practice as the players get comfortable with each other both on and off the court. The rookies washing the veterans’ cars certainly helped.
- “This is mine. You can’t take it.” said Coach Richardson, pointing to the paint, teaching Plenette Pierson how to protect her territory on the offensive end.
- No clear first and/or second unit is emerging. Coach Richardson is constantly mixing up his roster.
- "We are running on everything. Free throws made, free throws missed, we are running on everything." - Coach Richardson
- The morning workouts a lot more conditioning and running with a focus on ball movement and defense. The evenings are set aside for teaching specific plays and sets. Full-court in the morning, half-court in the evening.
- Five-on-Five drills are definitely getting more intense as the week goes on – more clutching, grabbing, jockeying for positions and grabbing rebounds

When scrimmage was about to start on Friday, Richardson announced: "This is war."
- The team had a moment of silence after evening practice on Thursday.
- "If you are scared to shoot, you can't play." - Coach Richardson
- Shanna Crossley collapsed on the floor after Thursday evening’s practice. Exhausted.
- When asked about calling fouls in practice: “They don’t need to be calling no fouls. What are fouls for? Fouls are for my nephew whose 10-years-old and he’s this big,” said Assistant Coach Tammy Bagby, putting her hand close to the ground to emphasize how small her nephew is.
- Friday was the first day the coaching staff called fouls in practice and players shot free throws.
- Coaching staff split the guards, bigs and small forwards for the first time in training camp on Thursday. Guards: Crossley, Hornbuckle, Lacy, Robinson and Jones. Bigs: Ward, Sanni, Thompson, Frieson, Thomas, Braxton and Pierson.
- Thursday evening was the first time the team did shooting drills … nine practices in.
- Coach Richardson shouts “Layup” every time Shanna Crossley takes a three because her trey is so money.
- Nothing makes coach angrier than a player holding the ball. Ball gotta move. Ball also don't lie.
- This week’s newcomers: Kara Braxton and Christi Thomas. Gone are: Brittany Gilliam, Danielle Green, Moniquee Alexander and Kim Sitzmann.
- “From the conditioning standpoint, there are a few ladies who just got here and I don’t think they are in the shape as the other ones are but eventually we will all get on the same page,” said Richardson.