Last year, a common knock against the basketball team was a perceived lack of conditioning, which, the argument went, manifested itself in an inability to finish games (see the Clemson choke, et al). So, in the offseason Gary Williams addressed this by hiring Ravens assistant Paul Ricci as the team’s fitness coach. Among Ricci’s tactics? Intense yoga sessions with renowned instructor Karen Dubs.
Players and coaches swear that the increased conditioning and flexibility have improved their defense (and they have been playing pretty good D up to this point when they have a mind to) and reduced injuries (I guess Jerome Burney and Steve Goins weren’t taking it).
Said senior leader and quotesmith Big Dave Neal:
“I feel like we’re the best conditioned team since I’ve been here.” Neal smiles when asked about the yoga. “This is the first year we’ve done it. If people don’t know, it’s tougher than people think.”
Of course he smiled. Because once the Terps started taking yoga, they were able to see
all the great, great benefits
of whatever it was
I was talking about.
But no, seriously. Yoga is very tough, and is viewed as fluffy or crunchy only by the unintiated. More, shall I say, enlightened men like me and the Terps, well, we see beyond the stigma. We’re not just another meathead. We understand yoga. We understand you. Hey, can we do Downward Dog again?
P.S. I love you, honey!