Playing in the Lingerie Football League is tough. It seriously is. (The wacky marketing is a whole 'nother thing.) Yes, the players wear skimpy uniforms, but so do male swimmers, boxers and mixed martial arts fighters. These female football players have to be able to hit hard, get hit hard, and last for a whole game.
That's one reason Taylor Thompson works out. Thompson, who played flag football at Cooper City High School, is now in her second season with the LFL's Miami Caliente.
For a lot of reasons. Working out makes me feel better and more productive, and I do it to look good. In the [football] league I'm in, it's kind of mandatory. I've always played sports, so working out is natural for me.
What exercises do you do?
Mostly cardio. I do a lot of running outside with my iPod ... I run around my neighborhood, different distances on different days. I also go to the [In 2 Fitness] gym, where I hit the treadmill and the elliptical machine. Not really much [weight] lifting. I mostly do just push-ups for my arms. I do a lot of crunches for my abs, and squats with weights for my legs.
Do you do anything else, such as cycling?
I randomly go bike riding and Rollerblading around the city, 5 or 10 miles for both.
How are the football practices?
I have football on Tuesdays and Thursdays (and games every couple of weeks). First, we do stretching and warm-up. Then we usually do ground drills, where we jog in place, hit the ground, jump up and keep jogging till we hit the ground again. We'll do a couple of sprints with warm-ups, and with a partner we do a lot of ab workouts. Then we break into offense and defense [groups] to work on plays. We'll do a lot of tackling drills to work on getting the right form, right techniques.
What position do you play?
I start as wide receiver on offense, had two touchdowns in our first game. We lost 27-26 to the Philadelphia Passion. I started both ways last year, but this year I'm only on the practice team for defense. I play safety.
Are there differences between high school flag football and the LFL?
It's night and day for sure, to come from flag football where everyone plays soft. Now everyone hits really hard, wants to knock everyone out. The girls are a lot more athletic now. Over 80 tried out for Caliente, and [the coaches] had to cut to 20. The tryouts were really hot, so a lot of girls were falling out from the sun and the drills. They couldn't handle it.
Do you have any physical problems that affect your training?
I have a really weak left ankle, so I always have to wear a brace. But I haven't had any injuries or other problems.
Does your family keep fit?
My brother works out every day at the gym. My two sisters never really have worked out. My mom eats really healthy. Dad's a beer drinker.
What's your typical diet?
During the week, I usually eat meals with my family. I try to eat fish and other protein and salads. I snack on fruits a lot and eat a lot of vegetables. Not much fast food. I keep out sodas. On weekends, I'm not good. I bartend at Hooters so I cheat a little. A lot, actually.
Do you take any sports supplements or vitamins?
No vitamins. No protein shakes. But I eat a protein bar sometimes. I tried lean shakes for a while but gave up. For drinks, it's mostly Gatorade. I do drink a lot of 5-Hour Energy. It keeps my endurance up before I go to the gym.
Spotlight on Lingerie Football League's Taylor Thompson
Mike Stocker, Sun Sentinel