Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Follow All The Winter Olympics Action Feb. 6-24 on NBC

From Coronado to Sochi: USA Women's Hockey Team

They may play on ice, but for USA women’s hockey, team-building starts on the San Diego sand

By Steven Luke
|  Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013  |  Updated 7:14 AM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Although they're women of ice, the USA women's hockey team is using the sandy shores of Coronado to practice team-building skills in preparation for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. NBC 7's Steven Luke reports.

Although they're women of ice, the USA women's hockey team is using the sandy shores of Coronado to practice team-building skills in preparation for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. NBC 7's Steven Luke reports.

advertisement

People come from all over to visit San Diego’s famous Coronado community and in the case of the United States women’s hockey team, they’ve come from all over America.

From hometowns stretching mostly Midwest to northeast, the 2014 Winter Olympics-bound players recently found themselves training on the southwest tip of the country.

Ironic to find these women of the ice working out on sand? You bet.

“I want you to learn the lessons on a beach in San Diego, not in a rink in Russia,” barks Colleen Hacker, a professor at Pacific Lutheran University.

Hacker, the team’s mental skills coach, is putting this group of girls through some of the most unusual challenges you can imagine. They’re running relays with two players at a time, holding sticks between their stomachs. Next up: more relays, this time with tennis balls between their heads.

The bigger picture isn’t lost on 22-year-old Brianna Decker, one of the team’s bright young stars.

“You have to be able to listen to your teammates and keep things simple out there, and also communicate, and that’s one huge thing we’re learning,” said Decker.

The players, soon covered in sand through some of the physical drills, also must put their brains to the test with numbers games.

Team USA has medaled in all four appearances since the sport was first introduced to female competitors at the 1998 Winter Olympics. However, 1998 was the only time they’ve reached the top of the podium.

Head Coach Katey Stone laughs with the realization that hula hoops and blindfolds on the beach could be part of a winning strategy.

“If your kids trust each other, prepare together, know how hard each other is going to work, and can count on each other, that in itself is invaluable,” said Stone.
 

Follow NBC 7 for the latest news, weather, and events: iPad App | iPhone App | Android App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Get the latest Olympics 2014 Newsletter
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments

Olympic News

Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out