go performance Client Since 2015
My name is Amanda Dennis, I was born with a visual impairment called Aniridia - which means that I don’t have any iris’. It affects the way light and colors enter my eyes and my visual acuity. I started playing sports around age 4, where my parents put me into soccer. I begged to play because my older brother played soccer. I didn’t really realize that I couldn’t see as much as the other kids and ended up hating soccer because I couldn’t see the ball and consequently sat in the middle of the field. The image that soccer left on me was pretty negative, so I gave up on sports, thinking there weren’t any sports that I would ever be good at.
At age 7, my parents sent me to a Sport Education Camp. This camp was specifically for athletes who had a visual impairment. This camp has role models like Paralympic Athletes who had previously competed in a Summer Paralympic Games. These athletes were from: Judo, Swimming, Rowing, and Goalball. I loved goalball from the start. Some of the Paralympic athletes who taught me goalball are ACTUALLY my teammates today.
At Age 15, I made my first U-19 Youth World and Student Games team competing for USA. My goal was to make The 2012 Paralympic Games in London. I was able to get elite level international competition in 2011 for the first time, and also made the ParaPan American team that Won GOLD in 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. From that, I was selected to compete on the London 2012 team and live my Paralympic Dream.
Unfortunately luck was one of the things that was not on our side in London. We lost a crucial game that decided if we were to place as 1st Seed or 4th Seed headed into QF Match-ups. We played 1st Seed (China) and Lost 5-0 ending our dream of a Paralympic medal.
Fortunately, we were able to come back two years later as a better, stronger, smarter team and win World Championships after facing adversity in pool play. Now headlining into Rio, we’re defending World Champions, and favored to take a top spot on the podium. I am ONE of six athletes in the world who was named “OneToWatch” by international Paralympic Committee. This year is going to be a good year!
My Experience at goperformance
I started at goperformance in August 2015 before my competition at the ParaPan Ams. My ultimate goal was to become a better “All-Around Athlete”. I play goalball and it is one of those sports where you need to be strong, able to throw the ball, fast, agile and able to block (hear) the ball when it’s coming at you fast. I’ve worked both with Lane and Stuart at goperformance. I’ve experienced some of the hardest workouts of my life! The workouts don’t get any easier, but I’ve gotten much stronger.
During my offseason training, my first priority was to become more powerful and explosive so that I could be a better offensive player for our team. My second priority was to become as fit and in-shape as possible. One of the metrics that the USA Women’s Goalball Team uses at camp to gauge fitness is the DEXA Body Composition Analysis System. It measures body fat percentage and body mass. My goal was to drop body fat so that I could become faster for our team.
Throughout my year of training at goperformance, I’ve gotten much stronger and become a better athlete. My throw is more powerful on the court. I’ve been consistently around 9-10% in tournaments, which is extremely high for goalball. My stamina has improved on the court as well. My body fat has decreased 4% in the past four months. I’ve gained muscle mass and become faster. Since I’ve been training at goperformance, I have been able to work on more advanced skills for the court for movement and agility.
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