Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Road to Rio: An Inside Look at Daily Training

(April 14, 2016)

Across the globe, thousands of athletes are preparing for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, what may be the most significant competition of their careers. Among these athletes are the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Sitting Teams, who are diligently fine-tuning their training, implementing new offensive systems, and mentally preparing for a tournament four years in the making.

Based at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma, the U.S. Sitting Teams dedicate their mornings from 7-9 a.m. every Monday through Friday to training. About 20 athletes, including Monique Burkland from the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team, currently reside and train full time in Edmond. Burkland, who joined the Sitting National Team roster in 2010, has an impressive track record, having won a silver medal at the 2012 Paralympics in London and the 2014 World Championships in Elblag, Poland. Most recently, she excelled in the World ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup in March, with 45 kills, 11 blocks, and nine aces.

Now, Burkland is offering fans an exclusive glimpse into the daily lives of herself and her teammates as they prepare for the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.

Daily Training Routine

The sitting teams start their days early to accommodate as many athletes as possible. Despite their rigorous training schedule, many athletes also find time for other commitments such as attending classes at the University of Central Oklahoma, working, or taking care of their families. In-resident athletes are allowed only one missed practice each month, highlighting the team’s dedication and commitment.

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Most days, Burkland and her teammates enjoy smooth commutes to the University of Central Oklahoma, arriving at the recreational facility where they have access to six sitting courts. During their daily training sessions, the teams utilize two courts to practice and refine their skills.

After practice, the athletes head to the weight room for additional strength and conditioning. The U.S. Sitting Teams understand that physical preparation is crucial to their performance on the court.

Life Off the Court

Despite being professional athletes, the members of the Sitting Team still engage in everyday tasks such as pumping their own gas and doing laundry. Many of the athletes are provided housing by the University of Central Oklahoma, where they live either alone, with roommates, or with their significant others or spouses. Burkland, in addition to her commitment to the U.S. Sitting Team, works at Dick’s Sporting Goods as part of the Team USA Contender’s Program. On her days off, she enjoys activities like playing video games while waiting for the laundry to be done.

The day concludes with dinner and an early bedtime of 9 p.m. for Burkland and her teammates. This routine ensures they are well-rested and energized to tackle the challenges of the upcoming day.

FAQs

Q: How do the U.S. Sitting Teams balance their training with other commitments?

A: The U.S. Sitting Teams understand the importance of balancing their training with other commitments. Despite their demanding schedule, many athletes attend classes, work, or take care of their families. In-resident athletes are allowed only one missed practice each month to reinforce their dedication.

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Q: What facilities do the U.S. Sitting Teams utilize for their training?

A: The U.S. Sitting Teams are based at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, which provides them with access to six sitting courts at their recreational facility. During their training sessions, the teams use two courts to practice and refine their skills.

Q: What do the athletes do when they are not training?

A: When they are not training, many of the Sitting Team athletes reside in housing provided by the University of Central Oklahoma. They engage in everyday activities such as doing laundry, cleaning, and relaxing. Some athletes also have part-time jobs, like Monique Burkland, who works at Dick’s Sporting Goods as part of the Team USA Contender’s Program.

Summary

The U.S. Men’s and Women’s Sitting Teams are dedicated to their training and preparation for the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics. They train diligently at the University of Central Oklahoma, utilizing the facilities and resources available to them. Despite their demanding schedule, the athletes strive to maintain a healthy work-life balance and engage in everyday tasks. Their commitment to their sport and their unwavering dedication are evident in their pursuit of excellence on and off the court. Stay tuned for more updates on their journey to the Paralympics!

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