What is your favorite part about coaching your team?

I have had the opportunity to coach all these girls in junior high and now at the high school level. Being a part of their basketball journey fills me with a lot of pride and responsibility to give them my best. They are a competitive and fun group that I am honored to coach.

How have your coaching techniques changed this season due to COVID-19?

COVID has made adjustments to my coaching techniques. Normally, I group the team in partners called  Panther Pals. These partners are formed by carefully looking at position, grade, leadership, etc. But, this year I had to think about COVID. I grouped sisters or cousins together or like sport, social groups together. I have always had detailed practice plans with groups/pods identified and specific timelines. But, we do have new practice procedures. For example, water breaks that include athletes bringing their own water bottles and time to sanitize and/or wash their hands. A positive aspect from COVID is that it has allowed the team to have open communication about ways that they can keep themselves healthy and in turn keep the team healthy for a successful season.

In your mind, what traits make a good leader?

  • A passion for what they do. This passion will drive them for constant self improvement through education and collaboration.

  • Effective communication. Communication is a two-way street. Being able to communicate the positive or crucial information along with having critical listening ability.

  • Work to serve others. The more one works to serve, the more they will grow.

How do you think the current COVID-19 environment has impacted athletes on your team and across the state?

It has created an increase of anxiety for athletes, coaches, teachers, athletic directors, and the list goes on and on. This stress is physically and emotionally draining. I see it in their eyes, on their faces, and on their lowered shoulders. I want to provide a safe environment where my team can, for a few hours, focus their energy on the game of basketball and let their worries subside.  

What have you have learned from your time coaching in Iowa as a member school of the IGHSAU?

Honor the tradition and build for the future. The IGHSAU celebrates the past and is always paving the way for the next Iowa Girl. I am proud to be an Iowa Girl and a role model for all Iowa Girls.

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - Mark Twain

What advice would you share with student-athletes just getting started in athletics?

Learn to love the process. As an athlete you will spend more time on the journey  than at the destination. So if you love the practices, the long nights, the open gym, the strength & conditioning sessions, and the sore muscles etc, then your athletic career will be one of joy and success.

- Spotlight written by Noah Christensen, Waukee APEX Associate

IGHSAU Coach Spotlights are created by high school students in Waukee High School's APEX program. The IGHSAU is thankful for its partnership with Waukee APEX to create meaningful content to share with our member schools, student-athletes, coaches, and fans. To learn more about Waukee APEX, click here.