Tuesday, November 18, 2003
The Hayden High School girls basketball team is learning to minimize mistakes.
Missed layups and dropped passes on their third day of practice Monday meant running sprints. The more misses and drops, the more they ran.
This is all part of first-year head coach Jaime Adams' plan to instill toughness into her players and condition the girls into better shape.
Several of the Lady Tigers have sought an edge for this year's season by attending optional open gym times for lifting weights and pickup games. Adams began mandatory, two-hour practices Thursday.
In these past few days, Adams has focused the practices around conditioning by having the girls run two miles per day and practice endurance weight training -- lifting with lighter weights quickly to keep the heart rate up and get muscles used to rigorous activity. Also, the girls have participated in a demanding circuit training course, involving jump roping, medicine-ball throwing and line sprints.
All of this is designed to improve footwork and speed, necessary elements to the game of basketball, Adams said. Other elements of practice have included defensive, rebounding and shooting drills.
"The goal is for them to learn to get after the ball at all costs," Adams said. "They have to learn to go after those loose balls and rebounds. They have to go up strong for rebounds and they have to be tough defensively.
"They're very coachable, so they've adjusted to me well so far. They've really been working their butts off."
The critical area for improvement is man-to-man defense. From watching film of last year's games, Adams said she saw the girls team playing a lot of zone defense. Adams said she thinks this team will be able to play more aggressively in man-to-man defense.
Adams said defense will be key to the team's success.
Adams said the girls have decent court awareness and passing skills, though some need to practice shooting.
This year's team of 21 girls includes three seniors and eight juniors. Five of those girls played varsity last year.