Second-Year Forward Linda Fröhlich files the first installment of her monthly off-season column

Fro Checking In

Hello there fans,

It has been a while since I last wrote, but the Las Vegas Sun and I agreed on a monthly column from now till the beginning of next year’s WNBA season. Thus we can stay in touch even during my American offseason, which is great.

I have arrived safely in Rovereto, Italy, and I’m on my way to start a new round of basketball. After taking three weeks off, it is definitely a challenge to get back into game shape. You should have seen me: I arrived last Friday and we had a two-day tournament starting the next day. All I could yell was: "Oxygen tent PLEASE!" That’s the price I had to pay, though, for taking a little vacation. But believe me -- it was worth it, especially because I was able to rest my mind. At this point I really need my mind, because I have to make sure that I have a healthy balance between going hard and smart in the near future, so that my feet (my inflamed Achilles) can continue to heal properly.

Today was my first real day, and it went pretty well -- still don’t know how I’ll be feeling tomorrow though (Smile). I condition and strength train for more than two hours in the morning, followed by two hours at night with the team on the court. I am so excited, because this year our new strength and conditioning coach is Antonella Bellutti. She is great -- pretty close to my excellent coach at UNLV, Annette Hill. Antonella has won two Olympic gold medals in bicycling, so she really knows what she is doing, because she has been there.

Besides that, everything is the same: I live in the same place as last year, have the same teammates, the same coach, I drive the same car, and play in the same gym. So this year my arrival has been smoother compared to last year’s. I wish I could say that my Italian speaking is as advanced as it should be, but I’m going to have to pass on that one.

I’m truly willing to learn, but it has been hard. And it is because everyone over here adjusts to the languages that I speak to speed up conversations. So I either end up speaking German or English. That doesn’t really help me. When I came to the States five years ago nobody spoke German with me, so I was forced to learn English quickly. That made my life a lot harder at that particular moment, but look at me now -- just kidding -- but yes, for the long run it has definitely been good for me.

When I walked home from practice tonight -- it is a 10-minute walk from our "palazzetro" to my "casa" -- I was thinking of something. I want to give you a chance to e-mail me some questions you have about Italy, basketball, or anything that you might want to know about my life. I will answer the questions in future columns. What do you think? I think it sounds GREAT! So let’s hurry -- run to the computer and e-mail me on my Website.

I look forward to hearing your questions.

God bless.
Ciao,
Linda #31.

Linda Fröhlich, a former All-American at UNLV, just finished her second season with the New York Liberty. She writes a column the first Thursday of the month in the Las Vegas Sun. Check out what Linda’s up to by logging onto her Web site at www.lindafrohlich.com