By senior Sammi Goldsmith
It has been two weeks since I first stepped foot in Indianapolis, Indiana. I had been anxiously awaiting my trip to the Women’s Basketball Final Four since January when I found out that I had been accepted into the WBCA’s ‘So You Want To Be a Coach’ Program.
I wish I could turn back the clock and relive that weekend over and over again. The ‘So You Want To Be A Coach’ Program is a highly prestigious one that only accepts about 50 applicants each year. I was fortunate enough to meet most of these young women during the 3-day trip. The eagerness to learn was palpable as we all waited for our first session to begin. The WBCA intern, Mariah, made us feel immediately welcome at registration. She provided us with large binders, neatly packed with information and biographies of the speakers that would soon speak with us. Many of the speakers were either current or former college coaches, while others were at the high school level. We even had an official and a group of U.S. marines speak with us as well. The speakers were awesome, enlightening, and brutally honest. None of them sugarcoated anything. Obtaining and maintaining a coaching job is not easy, hence why the number of female coaches is dropping. The speakers communicated with pure passion, and it was enlightening to know that so many strong women share my love for coaching the game of basketball.
Although the weekend had many highlights, like hearing from Tara VanDerveer and meeting Geno Auriemma, the best part of my trip was meeting the other young women in my ‘So’ Class. I met so many inspiring people who have the same goals and aspirations as I do. By the end of the program, my ‘So’ Sisters and I were already making plans to meet up at the next Final Four. We spent time discussing our individual stories over dinner about our playing careers and what motivated us to get into the coaching world. The reasons varied, but one thing was always there: passion. The assistant coach from George Washington University, Diane Richardson, had an insane amount of passion when she spoke with my class. She really knew how to fire up a crowd, and she closed by telling us that passion changes lives. Coaching is not solely about Xes and Os or winning; it is about making a difference in the lives of the players. I am excited to make an impact on others as a coach and I know that the knowledge I gained during the ‘So You Want To Be A Coach’ Program will help me obtain my goals and excel beyond them. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I am forever grateful for the relationships and connections I made while I was there.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” –Theodore Roosevelt