July 23, 2013
Head coach Kim Barnes Arico is staying busy during her second summer in Ann Arbor. New rules have allowed her more time with her team in the offseason and the Wolverines are currently getting ready for a overseas trip in August. She talks about what she has done since the 2012-13 season ended, how the new team is looking and what last season's seniors are up to.
On what she has been doing since the season ended ... "My first offseason challenge was to challenge the staff to see how many days in a row we could work out. Our whole staff was on board at the beginning and now there are two of us left after 86 days. Amy Mulligan (director of operations) and I are the only ones left. We have gutted it out and have worked out for 86 straight days, whether it is on the road, on vacation, in Las Vegas or in a car. We have found some way to work out. This office challenge has been really exciting to me. I think it is important for us, especially as we get older, to keep our competitive juices flowing. This has been a great challenge for me personally, as well as everyone else."
"I also got an opportunity, which I have been trying to do for years, to take my girls (Emma and Cece) to Disneyworld. Last year, with me getting hired in the spring, I really didn't have a chance. That was nice that I had a chance to do that with them. I also got to visit with my family (in New Jersey)."
On what the team has been doing in the offseason ... "The young ladies had an opportunity to go home for the spring semester when they finished up the winter semester, however, 100 percent of them decided to stay for spring and summer classes. They got about a week break to go home and see their families and unwind after the season and long semester of classes. Our season lasted longer than it typically does after making the second round. They all came back and started to work out on their own with our strength coach, Bo Sandoval, doing some lifting and conditioning."
"Our freshmen moved in the last week of June, which was really exciting. This is the first summer where coaches are able to work out their teams as a whole. We are allowed two hours of workouts per week, which has been great. It gives us an opportunity to help them work on their game and really develop our relationships with our new players."
"We also have the opportunity to have real practices since we are taking a foreign trip in August. That trip allows us to have 10 practices in the summer leading up to it, in addition to the three games we play. We are very excited about that and the ability to get a jump start on things for the season."
On the newcomers ... "Shannon Smith has been here for spring and summer session. She has been an absolute pleasure to have around. She really made a commitment to doing well in the classroom her first semester here and did a great job. She is just such a competitive kid and loves the game of basketball. She has been a winner every place that she has been. She is in the gym all the time when she is not in study hall or in class. I am excited to have her because she really wants to win and bring her winning spirit to our team.
"The three freshmen arrived about a month ago, all very nervous. Their families were holding on tight but they have had a wonderful transition. The three of them are outstanding young ladies from great families. They are doing really well academically and have just gotten off to a great start overall. Socially, they are adjusting to life at Michigan, life as a college student. They are great kids and we are expecting great things from them."
On last year's senior class ... "We miss them so much. We have heard from most of them. A large group of them came back and worked our team camp and elite camp. Kate Thompson is always popping her head in here, working our camps and the men's camps. She finished her physics class and graduated. She has been studying for her MCATs when she is not working camps or stopping by here. She is going to do a year of research on campus next year and then probably try to go to medical school from there."
"Nya Jordan is another one that I see very often. She is still working out a ton and is trying to go play overseas. She has been in the gym with our players and in the gym on her own, continuing to work on her game."
"Sam Arnold worked camp as well. It was so great to see her, she is doing extremely well. She is starting grad school next month at Loyola in Chicago. This summer, she has been back here working camps and spending time in Chicago. She always has a smile on her face and it is great to see her working."
"Jenny Ryan worked camps as well. She has been around for a while now, helping with our camps and with volleyball camps."
"Rachel Sheffer is probably the only one I haven't seen that much of, but that is because she is training. She is going to be playing volleyball this fall for Western Michigan. She is still staying in shape, the shape of a college-athlete. She has been working out in order to play another season."
"The five of them are doing great. We miss them tremendously during our workouts. We miss their passion, energy and their voice. It is definitely going to be a transition year without them this year. Even though these kids have graduated, we will forever be their families. They definitely come back as much as possible. They love Michigan and they love Ann Arbor. This is like home for them."
On what she is looking forward to during the rest of the summer ... "We are definitely looking forward to the foreign trip and having some summer practices with our young team. Obviously, we have four new players, but we also have four players coming off knee injuries last year. So, really, that is eight kids who didn't play last year. We only have 11 on our roster, so we are going to be really young. We are really fortunate to have some time over the summer to get some workouts under our belts and go on this foreign tour. I think this foreign trip will really help us from a basketball standpoint, but more importantly will help us with our culture-building and relationship-building. We are excited about the upcoming year and getting excited with a new group."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423