Guest Post: Alana Beard
Alana talks about her intense offseason training, Kobe, and planning birthday parties
Alana Beard is, truly, one of a kind.
Her dedication to the game surpasses most athletes, as you’ll read below. When I interviewed her for SLAM recently, her love of basketball was unmistakable. But what resonated more with me was how humble and grateful she was to be in the position she’s in – something she never takes for granted. In addition, she was one of the friendliest and most genuine interviews I’ve ever done.
Below, you’ll see a side to Alana that few see. You’ll understand what I’m talking about when I state how committed she is to getting better, how kind she is, and how classy she is.
Alana brings us an insight not only to her game, but also to her family and her respect for fellow players devoted players such as Kobe Bryant.
by Alana Beard
When I was asked to write a blog for SLAMonline, I was pretty excited. Coming into my rookie season of the WNBA, SLAM was the first magazine to write a feature on me. It was an awesome article, but more importantly, the pictures were C-U-T-E . I know you all are saying to yourselves, “I know she’s not calling her own pictures cute?” Hahaha…I am…sort of. They were!!
I am sure you all are curious about what have I been up to since the conclusion of the WNBA season, right? If you’re not, just read anyway. : ) Well, I’m actually on the plane headed home to Shreveport, Louisiana for my mom’s surprise 50th birthday party (shhhh)! Let me tell you, planning for this woman is so hard! She wanted to throw her own 50th party. She had it all planned out in her head. The only thing my sister and I could do is shake our heads. We had to tell her friends to cancel on her! Our mom is a “hoot!” If you don’t believe me, just wait until you meet her. I don’t know what I would do without her though. I’m excited because this is the first time since college that I’ve been able to be home to celebrate it.
Other than planning my mom’s 50th, I’ve been in crazy workout mode. I’ve been doing hot yoga (exhaustion), boxing (never fought in my life, just imagine those punches), working out with Coach Julie Plank everyday and I flew to Tampa a few weeks ago to work with Marvin Harvey on my shot. We totally analyzed every aspect of my shot and found reasons as to why my shot may be a bit inconsistent. I was there for five days and spent at least 6.5 hours in the gym each day.
I love routine, so this is absolute bliss for me. It may not be “absolute bliss” for Coach Plank because I like to get up early and get my workouts out of the way, so that I have the full day to myself. I start my day at 5:15 a.m. if I’m doing yoga and straight from yoga I shoot over to Verizon Center to be there by 8:30 a.m. I usually get out of there around 10-10:30 a.m. and home just in time to catch “The View”!
Coach has been good for me. This is the first time that I’ve actually had the opportunity to work with my coach during the offseason. It’s great because she gives me feedback as she sees it and in my opinion, there’s no one better to get it from than someone who has watch every single game you’ve played over and over. With Coach, it’s about the little things and I really appreciate it. I love having my game depicted (by my coach, not wanna-be coaches, LOL) and being told what I need to improve on in order to be a better player.
I had my first Kobe experience when the Lakers came to DC to play the Wizards. It’s weird because I don’t get excited about players, celebrities, nothing. I just admire their talents. However, I was excited to see Kobe play in person. I think it was the idea of just getting close enough (had great seats, lucky me) to see the actual ball in his hands, being able to see the placement of his hands, the footwork and his vision. If I had the chance to pick his brain, I would be there for hours because I would have question after question. It’s clear as to why he’s so good (he puts in the time), but I would love to know the thought process. The documentary, “Kobe Doing Work”, wasn’t enough for me .
Thanks for letting me spend a little of my time with you all. I have to peel myself out of bed. I’m usually awakened to the smell of some eggs and biscuits when I’m home but we can’t let Mom cook on her day! However, tomorrow, oh, “it’s on like a chicken bone!” I’ll let you know how good that gumbo was. Whoop whoop, can’t wait.