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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Teamwork, U.S. Army style



THE LADY CARDS MASTER THE OBSTACLE TRAINING COURSE AT
FORT KNOX. THEY FARED MUCH BETTER THAN THE SGT. HULKA
TROOPS IN THE MOVIE "STRIPES".

THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:

-WE READ YOUR MAIL

-WATSON WEIGHS IN ON CONDITIONING

It's a slow day for UofL women's sports...with no activities or games planned. So let's take a look at the mailbox and see what you are saying:

Danny L. (Winchester, KY) writes:

"Cardinal Couple. Thanks for the daily updates on UofL women's sports.
I really appreciate Jenny's report on her practice experience and I hope she
has a lot more articles planned for you on her unique and heartfelt observations

You write...we respond
on UofL women's basketball. Can't wait to see Sara Hammond on the court. Watched her play at Rockcastle County for several years and she is a good one! Did Jenny notice if any of the Cards were nursing injuries? Thanks!"

Thanks for writing, Danny. WE agree, Sara has the potential to make quite a mark at UofL and we're glad she made the choice to become a Lady Card. No real injuries to report at this time on any of the Lady Cards...Tia is a bit sore in the hip, Bria hobbling a little bit and Becky with a twisted ankle...but all are practicing and should be OK by the 30th. WE like Jenny's writings, too!

Megan (Philadelphia, PA) says:

"How do you think the loss of Syracuse and Pitt will affect BIG EAST women's basketball? I am a big Temple and Villanova fan but I really admire the job that Jeff Walz has done at UofL and hope they have a great season. CARDINAL COUPLE, you are my BFF!!!"

We'll miss the animated "Q" when Syracuse leaves the BIG EAST
Thank you, Megan...and a big OMG! on the BFF notification. WE recently did a poll on who our readers thought the top three teams in the BIG EAST would be this season and Notre Dame, UConn and Louisville swept the top three spots with a huge majority. Pitt has been a middle of the pack conference performer over the past several years in BIG EAST WBB and they'll probably remain middle of the pack when they migrate to the ACC. Same for Syracuse, although we'll miss Quentin Hillsman's antics on the sidelines. Both schools subscribe to the brutal, bounce 'em around BIG EAST basketball theory and they'll have some successes in the ACC. They aren't of the quality of a Duke, North Carolina or Maryland, though...the perennial powers of the ACC. WE'RE also hearing very good things about the Miami and Florida State women's teams this season...so, the ACC could be very interesting in the future.

Anonymous writes:

"Hey, Cardinal Couple. Tell me what you think of Louisville's chances going to the BIG 12 and how you think they would do there in womens basketball. Like your site. I am a K-State Wildcat fan in all sports."


WE haven't heard a lot about conference expansion lately, so...maybe it's the calm before the storm. Even with Texas A&M leaving the BIG 12..there are a lot of good teams remaining. BAYLOR is a lot of people's #1 preseason pick. OKLAHOMA always turns out tough teams. Same with TEXAS. K-STATE has made the tournament with regularity over the last few years and IOWA STATE draws almost 9,000 for women's home games. Jeff Walz was asked how he felt about conference expansion when he spoke to the Sportsmen's Supper Club...and WE love his answer:

"I don't care. WE just want to play. We want to compete."

If conference expansion does come down and Louisville is invited to the BIG 12...the Cards should be contenders for the top three spots year in and year out. You trade UConn, Notre Dame and Georgetown for Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas. Still very tough basketball...

*********************************************************************************************

(CARDINAL COUPLE special correspondent David Watson checks in with his thoughts on conditioning.)

Let me begin by telling you that my own personal experiences with conditioning were years ago, when I ran Cross Country. Five miles a day, unless it was the day before a meet. Tough, demanding and fatiguing. I also ran track. Didn't run quite the distances but I made a solemn vow to myself that I wouldn't put my body through all that pounding when I graduated from high school. I turned in the track shoes for golf spikes and bowling shoes. Haven't looked back since.

My oldest daughter does the conditioning in the Watson family these days. She's a mid-fielder on her high school field hockey team. A pretty good one, too. She's gotten interest from several colleges - including Ball State, Notre Dame and American University. Her typical day wears me out just writing about it. A typical day for her during school days:

5:30 a.m.  Up for a light breakfast and out for a 2-3 mile run before 6 a.m. She runs with a friend down the street. They dread rainy mornings. Don't we all?

6:15 a.m.  She prepares for school. Before she leaves, she does do arm curls with 20 lb. weights while watching the morning news on TV. 

7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.  Classes.

3:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Either practice or a game. They are 5-1 on the season. She has scored three times this year but is used more as a set up - feed player and has eight assists on the season.

6:00 p.m.  She arrives home for dinner with the family. She also works a little bit after dinner with our youngest daughter, who will be a freshman next year in high school, on her field hockey game. Despite what you hear about the calamities of little sister - big sister relationships during the teen years, I can tell you that these two are peas in a pod. Best of friends. They combine forces to make my only son's life a constant drama. When they can drag him off the Internet.

7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.  Watson Study Hall. My wife and I mandate that the three of them spend 90 minutes each school night doing homework or reading. No internet access or television during this time. No texting, e-mails or Facebook. Usually, they comply.

9 p.m. -10 p.m.  She works the weights. Her friend she runs with has a set of barbells and free weights left over from when her football playing brothers were in high school. They spot each other in lifting. Sometimes, lil' sis tags along.

10 p.m. Either bedtime or catching up on texts or e-mails. Lights out at 11 p.m. for her. The younger ones have a 10 p.m. light out curfew. I have to admit, I'm usually asleep before them.

The conditioning, we hope, will pay off in her getting the chance to participate in college field hockey. It's already turned her into a healthy, athletic young woman brimming with confidence and personality. It has the softball and basketball coaches at school wooing her for her services once field hockey is completed.

IT has her parents very proud. It drives her "kinda" boyfriend crazy. We'll take the trade off.

(David Watson's athletic feats remind us of Paul's football days. He was a guard, end and tackle. He'd sit on the end of the bench, guard the cheerleader's purses and tackle anyone who got near them.)

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