It won't be hard to tell how much progress Stefanie Dolson has made reshaping her 6-foot-5 body when the Huskies open the season Sunday against Holy Cross. The difference since the center arrived as a freshman last year is startling.
To accomplish this, Dolson relied on willpower and the advice of Amanda Kimball, UConn's strength and conditioning coach.
Kimball introduced easy-to-understand concepts about better nutrition, teaching Dolson what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat to calm hunger and maximize energy.
"What she needs to refuel her body appropriately for the rigors of basketball. Basic food exchange and nutrient timing," Kimball said.
Dolson makes sure she keeps hydrated, which also quells hunger. And those brownies she loves so much? Call them rewards.
"We stress the importance of lean proteins [chicken] and veggies," Kimball said. "Exchanges like baked potato instead of mashed. And we emphasize an even distribution of the macro-nutrients.
Short, but intense cardiovascular sessions, usually lasting 30-40 minutes, combined with weightlifting that Kimball described as comparatively minimal.
"Our sessions are generally short in length, but we address areas of weakness for her," Kimball said. "We touch upon her cardiovascular endurance as well as her core/postural strengthening."
"There is lot of body weight and abdominal movements, in addition to the normal weight sessions she already does with the team," Kimball said.