BATON ROUGE -- The LSU women’s basketball team completed two hours of United States Marine Corps workouts on Friday afternoon at Bernie Moore Track Stadium as pre-season preparations continue for the squad.
The event began with a leadership talk and safety brief before warm-ups. The team completed flex arm hangs, crunches, 30-pound ammunition can lifts and finished with a combat fitness test.
During the fitness test, the team carried two 30-pound ammunition cans for 75 yards, stopped to shoot a free throw into a trashcan, completed three pushups and carried the ammunition cans for 75 yards back to the starting line. The team also had to "casualty lift" each other for about 25 feet.
"The three things we really tried to pull out of the team today was enthusiasm, endurance and bearing," said head coach Nikki Caldwell. "I felt like the team came through in those areas."
The team went through the serious of workouts twice, and all coaches participated in the combat fitness test the second time.
"The great thing about my staff is that we are so hands-on," Caldwell said. "Sometimes it's better being side by side with your team opposed to always being in the back."
Caldwell decided she wanted to incorporate the military into her women's basketball team after hearing a high-ranking female officer speak and meeting with military leaders at LSU.
"A lot of their leadership principles we're applying to our team," Caldwell said. "A lot of what they live by and stand for are things I want to instill in our young ladies."
Senior forward Theresa Plaisance, sophomore Danielle Ballard and freshman Rina Hill were named the standouts of the workout. Plaisance said it's an honor to be named a standout by the Marines, but also said it's her last year so she has to "give it her all."
Plaisance said she was nervous coming into the workout, but it was everything she expected and more. She said the workout was a different form of bonding with her teammates than she's previously experienced.
"In Spain we battled together, but this is taking it to a whole new level," Plaisance said. "We were really grinding it out together, beating the odds in the grass, outside and in the sun. We really getting to compete together as a team. It was tough, but it was a lot of fun."
Prior to the workout, senior center Shanece McKinney's spoke to her father, who is a former Marine, and he told her she had to go into the workout focused because the Marines are the "best in the world."
McKinney said she has a different approach to life after completing the Marine workout.
"It was life changing for me," McKinney said. "Here on out I'm taking a different approach to everything I do. Every workout I’m thinking of it as it's for the person next to me, not just for myself."
The workout also gave McKinney even more motivation entering her final season at LSU.
"It's senior year, the last go round," McKinney said. "It's the final push. We need for everyone from seniors on down to give it their all in the offseason and preseason so we can kill it in season.