Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Valkyrie Voice – Training Camp (Day 1)

June 1st probably doesn’t hold much, if any, significance to you. Oh sure, June 1st, 1812, James Madison asked Congress to declare war on the United Kingdom. And yes, June 1st, 1925 is the day that Lou Gehrig played the first game in his streak of 2,130 consecutive games, the longest streak in MLB until Cal Ripken broke it in 1995. Oh and sure, on June 1st, 1968, Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” became the number one song in the US. Oh, and let’s not forget, on June 1st, 1984, Ben of STOB was born.  So yeah there are some significant things that have happened, but we are missing one. June 1st, 2011, The Minnesota Valkyrie started their first Training Camp with hopes of a championship season.

That’s right. The journey has officially begun for your Minnesota Valkyrie women. The training camp was noticeably smaller than tryouts, which is to be expected. It consisted of around 25 excited and anxious hopefuls that were ready to make their mark in LFL history. The first day of camp took place in Vadnais Heights, MN and went from 6-9:30 pm. It was started off by some light stretching and breathing, which Kendra Ruff took charge of and led by example. The other players were focused and listened to everything she said and after about 10 to 15 minutes of getting their bodies ready for the long workout, the players broke out into groups. Coach Lindsay, former MN Vikings lineman, worked with the offense and defensive line while Coach Sandbo worked with the WR, RB, and DB players. While this was going on Jana Skrtic and the other QB hopefuls worked on technique and learning the playbook for the first time. Coach Tony was overseeing the whole operation, stopping at every group and giving advice and feedback. You could hear his voice echo throughout the dome, “Come on ladies, this is football! This could be the difference between you making the team, or going home.” You can tell just how dedicated Coach Tony is by listening to the interview below.

It seemed the players took this to heart once it was shouted and not just spoken. At first, during the drills, the players seemed to be really passive. No one wanted to hit each other, no one wanted to get dirty and it looked like what you would expect from ladies playing football. It just seemed everyone was out there to make friends. But once Coach Tony yelled, it seemed to get them fired up. The gauntlet drills that Coach Sandbo had the RB’s going through got more intense, the blocking and swim move drills Coach Lindsay had to the line going through got a lot more physical. It almost seemed as if something clicked for the players. They were no longer friends on the field, they were competitors. And they knew that if they wanted to make this team, they would have to give everything they had and more. This meant that, if you have to take down your roommate, you do it.

The practice stayed intense and focused through out the full 3 plus hours. The only water break the players would get would be 2 hours in at 8pm. Coach Tony usually likes to end his practice with a fun scrimmage, but today, it wasn’t about fun, it was about work. They ended the practice with 20 minutes of kettle balls, sprints, pushups, situps and ladders. The girls were in groups of 5 to 6 and stayed a minute at each station. Once that minute was up, they sprinted on to the next. This continued for the full 20 minutes. All while Coach Tony was yelling “You can do anything for 1 minute!” “Fast feet wins games!” And the girls, they didn’t seem to mind at all. They know the coaching staff wants them to get exhausted, wants them to get beat up, hell, maybe even wants them to get to the point were they want to walk off the field for good. But this team is smart, they won’t give up and they know this is the hard work needed in order to still be playing in February at the Superbowl in Las Vegas.

So, our advice to you is this. Follow this team. We think you will be greatly surprised at the talent, focus, dedication and flat out skill of these girls. Get past the lingerie aspect of the league and you might find yourself cheering for your favorite Valyrie player. These girls are busting their tails out there day in and day out for no pay, just to have the chance to run out on the Target Center field October 14th to a packed house against the reigning champs, the Los Angeles Temptation. Let’s make that dream come true and on top of that, let’s watch some serious football.

For ticket info, please contact us at and we will get you in touch with the right people.

Also, keep your eye out for the next “Get to Know Them” player post coming this week.

Interview with Coach Tony.

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