Working out with Elena!

When you work as hard as Elena, one would be surprised that this is actually the offseason for her. From the moment she receives the first drill from her Strength & Conditioning Coach Ann, to the cool down & stretching at the end, her intensity level never changes. Every workout is a chance to become greater.

Tuesday's three hour workout focused on her entire body so in preparation for that Ann spent some time warming her body up in preparation for some serious lifting. Having a dynamic warm up ensures that Elena won’t be susceptible to injury come the 2014 season. The strength exercises such as squats, cleans and mountain climbers work to help build a stronger foundation for her 6’5 frame to stand on. Elena and her workout group (Sky Assistant Coach Christie Sides & other Basketball Operations staff) undertake a circuit of these exercises in the weight room before finishing with a burnout exercise. That days burnout exercise was one lap of the track – lunging, and did we mention they were wearing weight vests.

The second half of Elena’s workout was spent on agility training and basketball drills. These drills were the kind designed to keep the Rookie of the Year on her toes, where she only stops for a brief second to catch her breath and then it’s back to the starting line. With her chest weight vest on Elena ran classic basketball drills like shuffles and lunges but with variations. Some shuffles focused on being able to quickly change direction and keeping the body low for both defensive and offensive purposes. From full court to half court Elena ran, backpedaled, and jumped as if it were a game time scenario.

Elena then closed out her workout with shooting drills and ball handling. She took jumpers from different points, practicing taking a shot with a defender barreling down and also worked on her inside game with a coach adding some extra defensive pressure and pushing her around in what would definitely be called a foul in the WNBA, all with the aim to become an even stronger force on the court.

With Elena choosing to stay state side during the offseason and some of her teammate’s overseas playing basketball for different leagues the expectation for her to stay both active and competitive is actualized in her workouts. Every day she chooses to replace her offseason with countless hours of activities and drills instead of vacation days. Elena has her eyes on the prize – and after watching her workout her goal of getting a Championship for the Sky seems to be that much closer.