The 2003-04 women's basketball season is just weeks away, but many of the athletes on the women's hoops team have been working hard to make this upcoming year a good one. Many members of the team volunteered during the summer in a new strength and conditioning program.
The program was completed by holding what will become an annual event, the Cougar Challenge. The challenge consists of a half-mile swim, a 5K run and a 10-mile bike ride. The team's strength and conditioning coach Corey Anderson along with BYU assistant coach Alli Bills created the program. The players also had to pull Coach Bill's blue Saturn 25 yards and teammate Ashleigh Chamberlain's truck 25 yards.
Junior guard Kali Taylor proved her strength and condition by being the first to the finish line. "It was a great way to measure the strength and conditioning that we worked so hard on all summer," said Taylor. "Now it'll be a tradition and it will be interesting to see if our times improve next year."
The Cougar Challenge also consisted of a series of tests that included sprints, running and weightlifting. Danielle Cheesman proved to be the best conditioned post player, while Kali Taylor took top scoring honors for the guards and guard Melissa Brown had the best overall score in every event for the players.
Bills and Anderson worked hard to develop a nutrition, strength, and fitness program for the players that wanted to participate. Coach Bills attributed much of the success of the conditioning of the team to the hard work of the players over the summer and to strength and conditioning coach Anderson. "Corey is an important part of our staff. He really pushes the girls and now they're seeing the results," commented Bills.
The coaches and players hope that the hard work of the summer will pay off in the form of wins and solid play this season. BYU starts practices on Oct. 18 and the team's home opener is on Nov. 29 against TCU.