Last year, in the face of growing competition, the Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team decided to supplement its workout with something new: CrossFit.
“Conditioning’s not the most fun thing, so we thought that they might like [CrossFit] better. It gives a bit more variety and it can be geared toward endurance sports,” assistant coach Danielle Foley said.
CrossFit was created in 2000 as an all-inclusive, full-body workout that mixes high-intensity cardio with strength training to optimize fitness results. Founder Greg Glassman writes that he “developed [CrossFit] to enhance an individuals’ competency at all physical tasks.” The results it elicits persuaded the women’s coaching staff to incorporate it into their training routine.
“[We know] that women’s basketball has a tendency in the past [to] say, ‘We don’t wanna get big and buff, we just like to get strong.’ CrossFit seems to speak to that a bit more [than traditional workouts],” head coach T.J. Hardeman said.
This workout regimen gave the team a whole body workout that was entertaining, well liked and beneficial in producing top-shape players with the ability to outhustle most of the competition they play.
“[CrossFit]’s different than just standing and lifting weights or just straight running. It combines a lot of different movements, which is what basketball is. It’s more realistic to a basketball game, or things you have to do in a basketball game,” Foley said.
Junior forward Allison Greene, a player who transferred from Division I school Portland State this year, applauds the results that CrossFit has produced.
“I think CrossFit has been great for our whole team. Just helping us get in shape … I don’t feel as winded when I play,” Greene said. “I think it’s not just a fatigue thing, but it’s a mental thing.”
Foley was one of the coaches who pieced together this workout program. She implemented her CrossFit workouts and helped adjust it to the needs of her team.
The Cougars are making noticeable gains this year. Last year around this time, their record was 7-3 in conference; now, it is 9-1.
“As much as anything else, it just brought a competitive nature,” Hardeman said. “I definitely think we will continue to do it.”