What do you like about the women's team this year?
"What is nice about the women's team is it being such a veteran team. They are really good at policing themselves and pushing each other. We have been through a full year together so they know what to expect. They know our standards for them. And they know the exercises. Because of that, the learning curve is not the same as it would be with a team full of newcomers. It has been nice to be able to really get after it without having to teach a bunch of players every single day."
There are two new players on the team. Do you have to spend a lot more time with them?
"In June we had them in a group by themselves the entire month so we could teach them. It was great to be 2 on 1 with them. We were able to teach them every day and slowly progress them in learning the techniques and how to do the different lifts, how to move and how to use their body. Now that we are in the July session they are mixed in with the other girls and the other girls are helping them."
What specifically did you have to teach the new girls?
"They had never really trained before. So, we had to teach them how to train, how to move, how to be able to get into the correct position."
What are you doing with the veteran girls this summer?
"With the women we are trying to lean them up. There are some that we are trying to decrease the body fat and at the same time we are trying to increase the muscle mass. Really, our focus in June was strength. Now we are into strength plus speed. We are trying to do a lot of agility work with them."
What specially are you working on with the new big girls, Chinwe Okorie and Teaira McCowan?
"We are really working on mobility with them. That is where they are the weakest. They are strong and can hold their ground. But we are working on them being able to get in and out of position more effectively. So we are doing a lot of movement based work."
Is Teaira McCowan, now a sophomore, about where you want her to be weight-wise?
"Yes, she is good. She has done a good job. She has gotten better over the year. She is coming along and starting to get it. She is starting to blossom."
What are you trying to do with Victoria Vivians?
"She is a very gifted athlete. It is really just improving the movement patterns and working on her strength."
This past season was your first time to see them play. What were some things you noticed that you felt needed to be worked on during the summer so you could improve them even more on the court?
"You always want to improve because you can always get better whether it be your core strength or your stability or being more explosive or reacting better. We have been doing a lot of reaction training with them."
Are there certain things you work on with the women compared to the men due to their body type?
"There is. Girls are move susceptible to ACL tears. We really try to work on the strength in that area to help them. There is a lot of deceleration work. We get them to learn how to stop and change directions correctly. That is when an ACL tear usually happens, when they are landing off of a jump or when they plant. So, we are working on that a lot this month.
"Another thing about women is they have less bone density. So they have more stress fractures. We also work on that.
"And actually, because I don't want a guy to get injured I train them similar to how I train a girl but with heavier loads, more weight, a little move volume."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.