You don’t need a flashy workout program or a crazy diet to take your game to the next level. Sometimes, you just have to put in the work. Dudzinski, a 5-foot-7, 16-year-old basketball player out of North Carolina, understands that. She’s aiming to practice three hours per day, six days a week, as she prepares for her final high school season. Oh, and her “day off” will be dedicated to chipping away at a growing pile of recruiting paperwork. She spoke with STACK about what she’s doing to get better each and every day.
STACK: You’re heading into your senior year, and you’ll be a captain. How are you going to lead your team?
Sarah Dudzinski: I’ve always tried to have my teammates’ backs on and off the court. If they’re getting in trouble with a coach, I’m the first person to be there and be like, “it’s okay, you’ll get it next time.” [It’s different from my] freshman year, when I was the only freshman on varsity. That forced me to be more outgoing with the team and prove myself more in practice, to earn a spot and playing time.
STACK: How has your game changed each year?
Sarah Dudzinski: I have more of a leadership role at the point. I’m able to take control of the game when I need to. I’m taking better shots and I’m knocking them down more consistently. I also really focused on my defense and becoming quicker, and I’ll continue to try and become quicker on my feet.
STACK: Your highlight tapes show you have impressive 3-point shot. What are you doing to make it better?
Sarah Dudzinski: I just try to do catch and shoot drills. This summer I’m going to be working on game time shots, so I’ll be coming down the court and pulling up, or coming off a cone to simulate coming off a screen. I’m just trying to get my shots up quicker so it’ll feel more like it will during big games.
STACK: What have you been doing in the weight room to help your game?
Sarah Dudzinski: The trainer at my school wrote me a workout that’ll help me with my speed and quickness. It’s a lot of weights with legs and arms. I’ll also try to get on the elliptical for cardio, and then I do core stuff, too.
STACK: Have you made any changes to your diet?
Sarah Dudzinski: I started focusing on my diet during my sophomore year. Since then, I’ve tried to cut out a lot of [foods high in preservatives]. I challenge myself to see if I can have one sweet thing per week, or one sweet thing every few days. I feel much more energetic on those days. In middle school I read an article about how Peyton Manning stopped drinking soda and his athletic performance skyrocketed, so I don’t drink soda, either.
Learn and Apply
Dudzinski’s coaches mentioned that the recruiting process might start off slowly, but odds favor everything falling into place before the mad dash to the finish. In the meantime, an athlete looking to get noticed by colleges needs to keep working hard. Dudzinski says, “[My coaches told me that] you just have to keep going, because at the end there will be a moment where it just clicks and everything goes really, really fast. You’re going to get offers, and that’ll be the best [feeling].”