NBA FIT Team: Tamika Catchings

Tamika is a member of the Indiana Fever. She attended the University of Tennessee where she was an All-American from 1997-2001. She was a part of Tennesseeís undefeated 1997-98 National Champion team. She was drafted 3rd overall in the 2001 WNBA Draft. Tamika was twice named WNBA Defensive Player of The Year and she is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. She is a 5-time WNBA All-Star.

Staying Active
Itís very important to stay active during the season and even more importantly during the offseason. I think during the season the biggest thing is trying to maintain your shape and strength to sustain you for the practices and games.
In the offseason, what you put into your body whether itís food or activity is how your body will respond. Coming into training camp in shape is very important to avoid injuries.

Eating the Right Foods
I try to drink a lot more water to get me through the day. I used to hate water, but by forcing myself to drink it, and knowing the effect that it has on my body, Iíve added it in. Another thing that Iím really big on right now is green tea and I try to drink a few cups a day. Also, I love fruit juices too, so if I have a cup of juice, I try to have at least one cup of water right after. Keeps the body flushed.

Benefits of be WNBA FIT
Some of the benefits of being and eating healthy are feeling good, being able to get up and go as you please, and just being fit overall. That is what allows us to stay conditioned. I think there is nothing better than the feeling after you work out, and know that your body is benefitting you. Yes, youíre tired, and it may even hurt while you are going through it, but the after effect is what makes it worthwhile.

Adapting to your environment
I have changed my diet as Iíve gotten older by cutting out the fast foods. You have to work in steps, and of course I still eat the things I enjoy, I just try to eat the stuff I know I shouldnít have in moderation. I donít truly believe in ďdietsĒ because I think eating is enjoyable, and you should be able to eat what you enjoy. But, if you know itís not good for you, you should know to eat it in moderation.

Importance of developing a strong core
Having a strong core is great with any sport, and also with just being fit. It has been proved that having a strong core in sports helps with your balance and in every aspect of the game of basketball, balance is necessary.

Getting enough sleep
Every person and player is different. Some people need 8-9 hours of sleep, and some can go off of 5-6 hours. The important thing is to figure out how much your own body needs to be able to play at your peak. Sleep is important because it allows for your body and mind to rest. Things go so fast during the season that itís important to allow your body that wind down time to be able to be as effective as you need to be every day.

Pre/Post Game meals
Most of the time for pre-game I eat chicken with either potatoes or rice and broccoli. As for post-game, that always varies. For me it depends on how hungry I am. If Iím not really hungry, but I know I need to eat, Iíll go for a salad. If Iím hungry, itís whatever I feel like. Remember, Iím not about diets, so I eat whatever I feel like as long as itís in moderation.

Turning off the video games and playing outside
Growing up being outside was our way of life. We had a Nintendo, but it was rarely used because we enjoyed being outside and running around. All of the kids in the neighborhood used to get together, and just run and play games out on the streets. From basketball, to hockey to tennisÖ we just wanted to be outside.

Staying in shape
As I played basketball in school, I didnít really have any routines. Playing other sports helped to keep me in shape for basketball season. And, during the season we ran and played enough games to keep me in shape. One thing I continue to do, if you didnítí play a certain amount of minutes in a game, you had to do extra cardio either on the bike, elliptical or with one of the coaches.

Competitive Workout Games
My favorite, competitive workout to do with my teammates is Queen of the Courts. Basically, itís one on one. If the offensive player scores they stay on offense and a new defense comes on. If the defense gets the rebound or a steal, they become the new offensive player, and a new defensive player steps on the court. You can make it harder by limiting the number of dribbles you are allowed to take. We play up to first player to 7 baskets.

Biggest improvement in a workout
Full court ball- handling drills is where I see my improvement/ progress. Itís still a process for me, but I can tell Iím getting better and better. When I was younger and just starting out I couldnít go as fast as I can now. But still with ball handling a vital part of the game, doing full court drills with the ball helps with conditioning and preparing me for in game situations.

Staying Fit after Basketball
I think Iíll always be into staying in shape in some way. Whether itís getting to an elliptical or bike, or even just making sure I swim. I donít think that not working out is truly an option.

Energized by the Music
I like a variety when Iím working out. It can be fast or slow, but something that Iíll eventually start singing along to Iím sure!

Knowing how to eat your ďFavorite FoodĒ in moderation
I LOVE DESSERT!!!! I could eat it with every meal, but I try to limit myself to one dessert every couple of days. But, since I love to bake, even that can be kind of hard.

Motivation when your not feeling like working out
I think of all of the other players out there who are busting their butts to come back better. Plus, I think about not letting my own team and all of my fans out there, down. There are so many people who are looking to see me at my best.

Fruits and Veggies
My favorite fruit is strawberries. My favorite veggie is corn and broccoli.

Favorite meal then and now
My favorite meal growing up was a cheeseburger and fries. Simplicity!! Now, my favorite meal is steak (medium well), salad, and a sweet potato. Yummy!!