It's hard to catch a breath to train


When Clare Anderson eventually retires from Scotland's national women's lacrosse team, she might finally get a good night's sleep.

The 31-year-old World Cup veteran works 12- to 14-hour days as a funds manager in London. That doesn't give her much time to work out, so she cycles the seven miles to and from work each day, just in case she's too tired to run or get to the gym afterward.

"It's quite tough. I don't excel at either my job or my training. You get used to not sleeping much," said the vice captain of the Scottish side competing in the International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations quadrennial World Cup this week at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Cherie Greer, a midfielder on the U.S. team, knows something about that kind of schedule.

Greer, who lives in Orlando, Fla., is vice president of Hill Ventures Inc., NBA Magic star Grant Hill's sports management and real estate investment company. After putting in at least eight hours a day at the office, she said, she is always accessible by cell phone. She works out before and after work.

For the many players, such as Anderson and Greer, who have demanding jobs, the sacrifices to prepare for World Cup competition are many, but they are worth it.

"I love it. I love the game. I love competing," said Greer, 32 and playing in her third World Cup. "I love playing with the best teammates in the world and against the best teams in the world."

Having the chance to represent their countries is a big part of the World Cup appeal.

"I think Scots are very passionate," Anderson said. "We're very proud of our country. There's no other feeling like wearing a Scotland shirt and going on the field. I play better when I'm playing for Scotland than any other time."

While all of the 10 participating teams have had training camps leading up to the World Cup, each had its own timeline. Most were able to train only for a few weeks or a few weekends during the months leading up to the Cup.

That left much of the responsibility of staying in shape and keeping skills sharp up to the individual players, who are often scattered around their countries. Some, such as Anderson, even live in a different country .

"They say this is like doing two full-time professional jobs," said England coach Lois Richardson of her players, who include lawyers and dentists.

A few teams, including the four-time defending champion United States and Canada, made their final cuts to 16 players within the past month.

Still, both North American teams have had most of their players together for most of this year. Japan and New Zealand have had their teams together the longest, since March 2004. Australia made its final cut in January and Germany in March.

"Eventually, I think it comes down to the heart of the players," said Germany's coach, Denise Westcott. "If each and every individual isn't going to work hard, you're not going to have 16 individuals that are ready to play here [in the World Cup]."

Some players coach for a living and have time to work out with their teams, including U.S. midfielder Kelly Amonte Hiller, head coach of NCAA champion Northwestern; Canada's Jen Johnson, head coach at Vermont; and Australia's Jen Adams, assistant coach at Denver.

Those like Anderson and Greer have to fit workouts into what little spare time they have.

Anderson rises at 5:15 every morning to get to work early. In addition to her evening workouts, she and five of the other six Scottish players living in London try to get together to work out two to three times a week, and they also play for a West London club team.

Greer also rises early to lift weights. After work, she emphasizes an hour or more of cardiovascular work, usually intervals on the track. There's no club team in Orlando, so she hones her skills by catching and throwing against a wall.

"You have to have self-motivation," said Greer, the daughter of Basketball Hall of Famer Hal Greer. "In college, we had to balance our academics and athletics. That takes a lot of discipline and that just kind of rolls over into our everyday life.

"In the real world, it's the same thing. You work all day and then you train in the morning or evening."

Results, schedule

Women's World Cup

At the Naval Academy

Yesterday's results

At Glenn Warner Soccer Facility United States 11, Wales 4 Czech Republic 21, New Zealand 6 Japan 17, Germany 2 Australia 17, Canada 2

Today's games

At Glenn Warner Soccer Facility Japan vs. New Zealand, 11 a.m. Australia vs. England, 2 p.m. United States vs. Canada, 5 p.m. Scotland vs. Czech Republic, 7:30 p.m.

Tomorrow's games

At Glenn Warner Soccer Facility England vs. Wales, 11 a.m. United States vs. Australia, 2 p.m. Scotland vs. Japan, 5 p.m. Germany vs. New Zealand, 7:30 p.m.

Monday's games

At Glenn Warner Soccer Facility Australia vs. Wales, 11 a.m. Scotland vs. New Zealand, 2 p.m. Germany vs. Czech Republic, 5 p.m. Canada vs. England, 7:30 p.m.

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