Basketball has taught this young athlete a lot about the world, and about
herself as well.
Now 18, Elise Lepine of Mission, British Columbia, was just five years old when she first demonstrated athletic skill. It was baseball-and Lepine was a natural. After mastering that sport, there was no holding her back. “I was one of these kids who wanted to try everything,” she says. “After baseball, I tried track and field and then soccer.”
Lepine played metro level soccer and rep level baseball until she was 15, but then switched to basketball. She felt it was a natural choice, given her height and stamina. “Once the time came to choose a sport, the right one to decide on was basketball. Choosing to focus my time and effort on one sport has opened up many exciting doors.”
Lepine competed at the nationals for Team BC for two years and plans on launching a varsity career at McGill University in the fall. After that, she’s considering a professional career in Europe.
At the beginning sports were always just for fun. But once she started to get more competitive, she came to a crossroads: “Had I learned all I would need to know about teamwork and personal commitment? Would this mean the end of sports or was there something else I could gain from continuing on?”
Accomplishing these goals means a serious commitment to training and practice. Depending on the time of year and stage of the season, training will range from three to six or seven days a week. Lepine chooses conditioning programs that both improve her game and prevent injuries. During the off-season, she’ll hit the weight room at least two to three times a week and perform speed and agility training twice a week.
Lepine differs from many other athletes in that she rarely uses supplements. “During the competitive season, I may eat the occasional nutrition bar and take a multivitamin to keep my energy levels up. But to me, supplements are simply a means of meeting my nutritional needs when I can’t eat real food.”
Lepine understands the importance of good nutrition and says eating healthy makes a huge difference to her performance. Lepine aims to eat four or five times a day, snacking frequently in between. “I have tons of energy from my current diet and do not find I am lacking in strength or recovery.”
Elise has yet to declare a major at university, but she’s considering a major in international relations paired with a minor in economics. “I actually had quite a time deciding what do study in university, even the decision between a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science was a task. But as in all decisions I have had to make, I looked at what I enjoy doing, as well as what would lead to an interesting career. I did a lot of research and found that this degree could open many doors for me.”
Being the competitive person she is and enjoying having such an exciting outlet, she continued on with basketball. “I can now say that without a doubt sports have done things for me that I never would have imagined. I learned about leadership, how to act in times of crises, and how to perform well with many different individuals and with different coaches. Best of all, there has always been some fun to it!”