MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Lynx season season-opener is this Saturday, but for weeks the four-time champion team has been gearing up with practices, exhibition games and adjusting to life without Maya Moore or Lindsey Whalen.

The past two months have been a whirlwind for Napheesa Collier that she’s still trying to figure it all out.

“Coach (Cheryl) Reeve is telling us, ‘I just want you to go get the rebound, we need to have that ball,'” she said. “In college all we did was drilling box out, box out, box out.”

So it’s a bit of a learning curve and there are definitely few typical days for the team. The ones that are typical begin with shots early in the day with Reeve, lifting, breakfast and lunch, all under one roof at the Mayo Clinic Square in Minneapolis.

Assistant athletic trainer Kate Taber said they don’t focus as much on strength training as they do injury prevention. She has her players do specific workout routines every day.

“ACL is a huge issue with women’s basketball, so we try to incorporate that into the warmup, so they don’t even know they’re doing it,” Taber said.

The Lynx have one head coach and three assistants. Coach Plenette Pierson used to play for the Lynx.

“The Taylors have done a great job of making the women feel equally as important as the men, and that’s a big thing,” Pierson said. “We have steam rooms and stuff that’s just for the women.”

And they also have executive chef David Fhima, who explained that he gives them kombucha instead of soda.

“We do a lot of fish — cod, sea bass, tuna, striped bass,” he said. “We make organic, free range omelets every morning.”

They also have “fried” chicken, with breading that isn’t made from flower but chickpeas.

“Our number one goal is to keep them happy and healthy and try to nourish their bodies so they are injury free,” Fhima said.

“I have old teammates on different teams and they all say, everyone says the Lynx is the best place to be just because of the team atmosphere, what is expected of you, the facilities here, the fans, just everything,” Collier said.

Timberwolves share the same facility with the Lynx, which works out well with different seasons.

Heather Brown

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