As the Women’s Basketball Team prepares for the upcoming season coach Shirley Egner has been getting creative with ways to whip her team into shape.
For the first five weeks of the semester she has had her athletes training with ROTC every Monday for 5:45am workouts.
“It was our wellness class but we reached out to ROTC to train with them and leave our team in their hands. It was good to have them hear different voices, have them have different expectations but still have an opportunity to be mentally and physically challenged,” Egner said.
With a 19 week long season, Egner does not want her athletes to get worn out by spending all thepre-season training time in the gym. Instead, she tried to incorporate as much cross training as possible.
“Coach Egner saw some of our work outs last spring and thought they were intense enough and good enough,” said First Sgt. Chris Smith.
Egner said that her student athletes had been looking for a change and that ROTC’s training provided a more regimented environment.
“This brings them outside of their comfort zone a little bit and introduces them to military exercise,” said First Sgt. Chad Nimmer. “You can’t go your own pace or your variation, you have to do exactly what everyone else is doing.”
ROTC holds physical training for their cadets three times a week, although the basketball team only trained with them once a week. The workouts involved intense cardio, core work, and upper body conditioning.
“I never went to one work out,” Enger said. “I didn’t want our kids to feel like I was there checking up on them. They went, they were on their own and they were responsible to do whatever.”
This is the first time ROTC has regularly worked out with another department but Enger said she is planning to speak with ROTC about making this a yearly training event.
In addition to the weekly workouts, the basketball team also joined ROTC at Fort McCoy for their annual Joint Field Training Exercise. This day is spent paintballing, repelling and completing obstacle courses.
“I think that was a really good day for them,” Egner said. “Every one of our kids enjoyed the experience.
It helped them get over some fears and helped them trust each other and support each other, which is obviously what we want for our kids. We are very grateful that they allowed us to train with them and be able to do that day with them.”
The basketball team has now started their regular practice, which means they are done training with ROTC for the season. They are having their first home game on Nov. 15.
“Our kids were super excited about doing this,” Egner said. “I think they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I can’t speak on behalf of Sergeant Nimmer but I think that we might have been a good addition to their cadets.”