Practicing Women

Maybe female athletes will never play like the men. But imagine what they could do.

That's what practice is for, observes Smith: "That's when you can take a chance and make the mistakes. Your teammates know your weaknesses--they know what you can't do, so they try to make you do those things. And that's what makes you better."

All the Lynx I spoke with shoot extra baskets after the Lynx's six-days-a-week practice and do weight training three times or so per week. That still leaves them practicing at least an hour a day less in their inaugural preseason than the Timberwolves regularly do--a common discrepancy, writes sports journalist Adrianne Blue in her 1987 book Grace Under Pressure: The Emergence of Women in Sport. If women trained like men, if they were expected to train like men...well, let's just say the future's a big country and you might have to dump some baggage. ARE YOU A QUITTER?

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