Athlete Benchmark: Sandy Jorgensen, DC Scandal

by | January 26, 2011, 8:00am 0

Sandy had a busy year last year as she graduated from the University of Wisconsin where she played for Bella Donna who finished 3rd last season in the College Championships.  She also made a splash in the Club scene with the DC girls of Scandal who finished 6th at Sarasota.  Sandy ran through the performance testing with Tim Morrill at both championships events, scoring in the 90th percentile on all the tests.   Though Sandy is an elite athlete, she has had to work hard to get to where she is.  Sandy has made a habit out of smart and consistent training. At U of Wisconsin Jorgensen participated in Varsity Track and Field.  Her weight training was directed by strength and conditioning coach Kesha Benzing and helped her to make strength and power gains while mastering her Olympic lifting technique.  Sandy is currently busy in the weight room striving to increase her strength/power in an effort to take the DC girls of Scandal to the top of the Women’s Division.

Sandy demonstrates the movement of triple extension as she sores through the air at last years Standford Invite.

Name: Sandy Jorgensen

Team: Scandal (DC)

Number: 17

Position: Cutter


40 Yard Sprint: 5.19

10 Yard Acceleration: 1.83

Vertical Jump: 22

Zig Zag Agility: 9.03

300 Shuttle: N/A

Chose One:

Sky –  D-Block  –  Lay Out Snag

Ocean – Mountains

Stair Workout – Heavy Front Squats – Plyos/ Agility Workout

Agility – Quickness – Speed – Power

Describe your playing style in 1 word?


What are your strengths as a player?

Speed and athleticism.

What are your weaknesses as a player/ what part of your game are you working hard to improve?

Defensive agility, throwing accuracy, and focus.

What drives you to play at the top of your game?


Where and at what level do you see yourself playing ultimate in 5 years?

Hopefully still playing club women’s in DC.

What sorts of things do you do for off-season strength training?

Olympic lifts, squatting, lifting circuits (arms, legs and core).

Who are your heroes and influences in Ultimate?

Georgia Bosscher is my hero and I aspire to work as hard and be as athletic as her.

Did you play any sports in High School/ College?

Played soccer and ran track (400m) at University of Wisconsin. Also cross country skied in high school.

Agility – Quickness – Speed – Power- Endurance

Which quality (s) do you excel in?

Speed,  Power

Which quality (s) are you working on improving?

Endurance and Agility

Do you credit any coach, weightlifting regiment, particular style of training to your success?

When I was running track at Wisconsin we had a lifting coach (Keysha McClenton Benzing) whose regimen I try to follow where I can. It was a program for 400m runners, and I find that it translates well to the mix of speed and endurance needed for Ultimate. Based on her program I really focus on Olympic lifting and squatting for power and speed, and try to always do full-body workouts with free weights or bars and as little down-time as possible, working other muscles instead of resting. My staple is circuits of three or four lifts using similar muscles, and I think the circuit style improves my fitness and forces my muscles to work when fatigued, like they have to playing Ultimate.

What movements/ modes of training do you recommend to players getting into training?

I would recommend using as few machines as possible, and as many lifts as you can that work multiple muscles at once and force you to stabilize and balance yourself, avoiding things like assisted squats or leg press and instead using free weights or bars. Front and back squats I think are fundamental for an Ultimate training program, along with Olympic lifts for power (at least clean but also snatch and dead lifts) if you have someone to teach you form. I also recommend using the rest between sets to do other lifts to increase cardiovascular fitness.

Can you describe an example “staple circuit”?

(I don’t really remember the names of a lot of lifts, so these were the ones I do whose names I was able to find online. I’m at my parents’ place for Xmas, and I don’t have my workout sheets with me.)

Arms: biceps curls + military press, dips, pull-ups to fail, side and front shoulder raises (3×10 if I can – I often mix in lunges or Russian Dead Lifts to give my arms a break)

Legs: front/back squats, wood chop, RDLs (3×10) or substitute hamstring stability ball curls, lunges, or dumbbell step ups.

Core: 2 min planks and 30-sec x 12 different abs, or my favorite: 100 push-ups and 100 full sit-ups as fast as possible in any combination.

Have you noticed anything about variations in lifting intensity and volume relative to where you are in the season? I.E. how does your training change from off-season to post-season?

I’ve never really had an off-season to speak of until now, because I was playing soccer and running track in college (fall and winter/spring, respectively), and then playing in the College and Club Ultimate seasons,but for the short times I was off-season and then now that I’m focusing on Club, here’s my general philosophy:
Post season I take it easy for a little while with light circuits and high reps to not lose everything, and then transition into high reps/high weight in the months or weeks before the next season begins (I try to do 3×10 or 4×8 of 65% of my 1-rep max to start). As the season gets closer I try to stick with the high reps and continue to increase the weight, and then once the season starts I do a traditional taper down to 4 reps with as much weight as I can tolerate and more rest between sets.

Many players today seem to be reluctant to lift heavy.  The vast majority spend some time lifting heavy during the off-season in order to establish a strength base.  Ultimate players tend to think they should always do only light weight circuit training.
Can you please comment on this?

I guess I don’t have a lot to say here except I’m surprised that players think that and I think it’s untrue. I feel like the only way to increase my power and speed is to lift heavy, and in order to maintain that power I need to continue that through the season. Similar philosophy to doing sprint workouts instead of just jogging to keep in shape for ultimate.

Check out the strength of her wrists musculature as she throws this flat back hand

If people are worried about being sore and tired out for practice if they lift heavy, my experience is that’s not the case unless you’re just beginning a lifting program. Unless I lift immediately before a running workout, I don’t find that it detracts from my performance.

What is your favorite “let’s go!” jam?

I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” from Mulan

What are your goals concerning this year’s club season?

Team: Make it to Semis of Nationals

Personal: improve my cardiovascular fitness, focus at practice, and impulsive throwing

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