I had the honor of directing and working at the Nike Girls Skills Academy in Indianapolis, IN and Portland, OR. We had the top Midwest and far west girls in the US grades 9th- 11th work out with us.
Below are my thoughts.
We had an outstanding staff in Indiana. We had multiple State Championship High School coaches in Tony Pappas and Rickey Smith. We had an former All-Conference guard at Ohio State in Toni Roesch. Tamika Williams is a U-Conn 2 time National Champion and former 6 year WNBA player! Chris Thomas my homie and Nike skills trainer all over the world! Carolyn Peck, former National Champion Coach at Purdue and current ESPN announcer was fantastic.
Below are some notes from Coach Peck’s talk to the players.
-Every time you are in front of the media you have a chance to represent your team, family, and yourself
-You get 1 chance to make a first impression, so have a presence, self confidence.
-Best gift you were given was your Name!!
-Be honest with yourself, family, and teammates. Everything you say will be recorded so whatever you say will live forever!! Think about it!!
-Remember the media has several purposes. You have to leave a good impression.
-Don’t let media affect your team or play
-If you keep hearing great you get complacent
-No one is successful by themselves
-Sports teaches you how to win and handle disappointments
-Write down the 10 most important things of why you want to go to that school. Now when you choose a school, does that list compare with why you chose that particular school? What is Really important to you?
-You should all take public speaking
-The hardest part of making a decision is telling someone no!
What is a typical College Day?
8am – class
10 am – class
During holidays you have 2 practices a day
-Watch your body language, somebody is always watching you
-You don’t have to go to camps to get seen. If you are an elite player they will come to you
-If you have an issue with your coach, how do you handle that? Coaches in college aint gonna tell you what you want to hear. You have to be ready to be held accountable.
-Make doing your best become a habit, that’s how Winning is Done!
-Receive coaching, that’s your job as a player!
-Coach Pecks favorite coach was Pat Summit. Coach Summit is always constantly seeking knowledge!
-A friend Teresa Edwards played in 5 Olympics was asked, “where do you get the energy to play?” She said “I draw energy from the other players weaknesses. I get stronger because the other players look weaker!”
-Don’t want everything too quick! Don’t stop working just because something becomes too hard! Don’t get bored with the process. Don’t settle for being good, be great!!
-Best Way to stay humble – know your history, study Title 9 and players that came before you! Success leaves footprints so follow them!!
-Tamika Williams said the biggest thing she learned from Geno -”Do things at a high level every single time. You have to play intelligent for a long time at a high level of consistency.”
-He held everyone accountable, player 1-13. He gets on everyone
-A lot of his drills were timed and had goals. Every drill counted.
-Diana T had an uncanny passion to win and get better
-Difference between WNBA player and college player? WNBA is a business. Players worried about touches and paychecks a little more than college players. College players worked harder in general, than Pro’s.
-Players don’t realize how HARD you have to work and how good you have to be to go from HS to college and college to PRO.
Always Keep Learning Team!
Had a great week here as well! As coaches we had Vanessa Nygaard, former WNBA and Stanford All -American. My man Nike Skills Coach Henry Barerra, great HS coach GC Hillburn, very good skills coach Jason Jones, former All Pac 10 player from Washington Loree Payne, and legendary HS coach Sue Phillips.
Below is what we learned!
Vanessa N. Talk
-If you are good at what you do, you will always be in front of the Media
-You represent your God, family ,team, school, and self. So woman UP!!
-Ladies, clean up your twitter/facebook pages – you are always on record!
In an Interview
-Always talk positive about teammates
-Be humble, be grateful
-Don’t take the bait of a reporter
-Pause before you speak, think about what to say -Don’t ever tell a coaches’ strategies
-Stand up straight look people in the eye, don’t be goofy
-Keep your charisma, keep your personality -never say “off the record”- It’s always on the record – never say no comment – that sounds arrogant, and you sound guilty
College Recruiting Info
-A letter means NOTHING
-A call means they are interested. If it’s the head coach, they are REALLY interested
-A home visit or/and an official college visit means they will offer you a scholarship
-Don’t commit too early – wait till you know or at least after your junior year
-Before you commit, sit behind the coaches bench at the game, go to see them practice, visit a classroom, and interview the players
-Take atleast 2-3 official visits
-Your first semester of college will be the hardest of your life – get tough!
Questions to ask the College Head Coach on home visits
-Will you honor my 4 year scholarship or is it year/year?
-How long do you plan to stay head coach at the school? How many years are on your contract? What happens to my scholarship if you get fired or leave?
-What is your turnover with assistants?
-Put boundaries up in regards to phone calls from coaches. It will get crazy!
Baker’s Bullet Points
- Mental toughness is when you finally play through fatigue and execute in practice and/or the Game
- Too many female players (men too) are afraid of taking a stand and rising above the crowd. They want to blend in, not Stand Out! They want to be cool and liked instead of leading and being respected. They are afraid of messing up and hurting the coaches feelings! They want to PLEASE the coach instead of make PLAYS for the Coach!
- When opportunity comes, it’s too late to work! Work now for the level you will face in the future
- Mediocre players like it, Winners Love it
- Mediocre players are interested, Winners are Committed
- Mediocre players are Complainers. Winners are Competitors!
- Talk and speak from your Heart (forceful) not your throat (soft/timid). Leaders lead with their gut, their heart
- We got you through the workout, What are you going to take FROM the Workout!!
- Yo, when you gonna listen, change your actions for the better, and get to Stepping?
Get After It
Nike Skills is a Wrap!!