Maya Moore: For The Love Of The Game

Maya Moore

As an eight-year-old, Maya Moore would run sprints through the hallways before shooting on a mini hoop. Even at a young age, Moore knew the importance of training, and integrated it into her game. It’s that kind of dedication that has made her one of the top players in the history of college basketball, a WNBA MVP, and a winner at the college, professional, and international level.

Moore still incorporates conditioning into her shooting drills like she did when she was a little kid. The drills mimic game situations and are designed to cause fatigue, because Moore knows that she’s going to be tired in the fourth quarter and still needs to knock down shots. She’s always looking for an edge, and working on her shot while she’s already tired is one of her strategies for gaining an advantage in late-game situations.

Off the court, Moore’s training routine is all about keeping her on the court. With the WNBA playoffs coming up, she focuses on workouts designed to prevent injuries. She emphasizes high-rep, low-weight workouts that tone her body and maintain her strength. She pays extra attention to her lower body, working on leg strength to avoid common basketball injuries to the knees and ankles. She spends hours in the weight room because she doesn’t want anything to keep her from missing game time.

Maya Moore

“I’ve tried to be very intentional about making sure my body is ready to go for every game, so recovery has been a big part of my routine,” she said.

That means frequent ice baths after workouts and a special focus on her diet so that she is refreshed and refueled for every game. She usually eats a pasta dish, salad, or a smoothie a few hours before a game so that she feels light and energized. It’s all part of the process that allows Moore to be at her best. She puts in as much work as possible ahead of time, so game day is simplified.

“Step out on the court, and it’s showtime,” she said.

When the stage is big and the lights are bright, Moore is a player who delivers. The two-time Olympic gold medalist has a stacked résumé that includes three WNBA titles, two NCAA titles, a WNBA scoring title, an MVP season, and four All-Star Game appearances. That doesn’t include her international play, where she’s won three more titles in China. Given her past success, it’s no surprise that Moore is again in the midst of another productive season on a team that’s hoping to make a deep run in the playoffs.

Maya Moore

“I just feel so privileged to be on an awesome team with great teammates and great coaches that all come to work every day with a lot of passion and joy for the game,” Moore said.
Moore has also found plenty of off-court success to go along with her on-court accomplishments. She’s becoming one of Jordan Brand’s most popular athletes, and she is the first female Jordan athlete to be on the Eastbay cover, which is special for a sneakerhead like Moore.

“Being on the cover of Eastbay is definitely big for me,” Moore said. “Growing up, I was always one of those kids looking at the Eastbay magazine, looking to see what shoes we are going to get this season, or what kind of gear is new that we can rock for the next upcoming school year. It was a part of my home, so I definitely have special feelings toward being on the cover.”

She’s also proud to be an ambassador for women’s basketball, using her success to inspire young female basketball players to pursue their passions and continue to expand the women’s game. If Moore’s success and popularity are any indication, big things are on the horizon for the WNBA.

“I think being a part of the WNBA, whether that’s as a fan or a player, it’s a better time than ever just because of how good the players have gotten,” Moore said. “We’ve grown in athleticism and the speed of the game – the versatility of the players on the court. The games have really been fun to compete in, so I’m excited about the direction that we’re moving in. I’ve been a fan of the WNBA since I was eight, and I still am to this day.”

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