18 April 2024
Basketball Sports

For Her Gamers, Daybreak Staley Is a Basketball Coach and A lot Extra

This text is a part of our Ladies and Management particular report that coincides with international occasions in March celebrating the accomplishments of ladies. This dialog has been edited and condensed.


As coach of the College of South Carolina girls’s top-ranked basketball crew, Daybreak Staley is a dynamic chief at a time of surging international recognition in girls’s sports activities. At 53, she is a Corridor of Fame level guard who guided the US to 3 Olympic gold medals as a participant and one as a coach. And in her sixteenth yr at South Carolina, Coach Staley simply led the crew to its second straight undefeated common season. Now she seeks her third nationwide collegiate title. A proud Philadelphia native, Coach Staley is an outspoken advocate for gender and racial fairness in sports activities and past.

Her secret to guiding younger individuals at the moment? Honesty and self-discipline, classes she discovered from her mom.

You make statements along with your teaching wardrobe, and a hoodie you latterly wore declared, “Everybody watches girls’s sports activities.” What’s totally different now?

I simply really feel like there’s extra entry to our sport. There’s extra demand. I believe it’s OK to inform the tales of our sport and folks in our sport. I hope it’s not a fad. I don’t assume it’s. As a result of the material of our sport is robust. It’s bursting on the seams proper now on all ranges, not simply collegiately, however the W.N.B.A., even highschool. Youthful women have grown up on the W.N.B.A., and through my time in faculty, we didn’t have that. We’ll get an enormous bump when the Olympics roll round.

For the primary time, there’s going to be the identical variety of feminine athletes as male athletes on the Olympics. Are you amazed it took that lengthy?

No. I’m not. I believe now we have been held again, deliberately, and the numbers and the demand at the moment show that.

Have you ever ever caught your self saying “again in my day” to your gamers?

​​No! They’d no thought what my day appeared like.

Do they care?

No. That is all about them. It truly is OK; I get it. I’m so used to it. So that is all about me assembly them the place they’re. It adjustments each day.

The perfect leaders are the very best communicators. How have you ever tailored your communication fashion over the many years?

I believe I’m very in line with who I’m. As a teen, I didn’t actually discuss. I used to be the youngest of 5 youngsters, so I sat again and noticed. As soon as I bought older, I began determining the issues that need to be stated. I govern my life, being a pacesetter, a coach, a colleague, on how one thing seems to be, feels and sounds. If one thing seems to be or sounds or feels improper, I’m going to say one thing. I can’t not say something. After which the identical, if one thing seems to be, sounds or feels nice, like, I give it the identical vitality the opposite approach.

Implementing self-discipline is central to your management. Did you get that out of your mom, Estelle?

Completely. I’m extra like my mom. As a teen, I liked her, however I didn’t like her as a result of she was very strict. And it’s onerous for younger individuals to see what your dad and mom are attempting to protect you from.

How do you method your management past the basketball courtroom?

If younger individuals come to play for you, it’s important to give them your all, give them their desires and desires. Considered one of my former gamers, when she was on her official go to right here, her mom was slightly skeptical about South Carolina. In case you take a look at the historical past books, you get a not-so-pleasant image. Till you come go to. After which on the finish of her go to, the mom really stated one thing that no different father or mother has stated to me. However it’s the very factor that guides me, that permits me to have the stamina, that permits me to fulfill younger individuals the place they’re and attempt to take them the place they need to go. She stated to me, “I provide you with my youngster.”

Whether or not I’ve to like them or present them slightly little bit of powerful love alongside the journey, finally I preserve that line in perspective.

You might be all the time beneficiant in sharing credit score. After your two nationwide championships, you mailed snippets of the online to different younger Black coaches. Why?

I really feel like I’ve been put within the place the place I owe basketball. So I’m actually attempting to repay my debt. I need individuals to really feel what I really feel about basketball. The those that I meet in males’s and girls’s basketball, they inform me what I imply to them and what I imply to the sport. I’m impressed by their aspirations.

Apart from successful one other championship, what aspirations do you’ve gotten left?

I need to be the very best dream service provider I may be. That’s it, merely. I need all my gamers to examine off all of their objectives. I need our assistant coaches, in the event that they need to be head coaches, to examine off their objectives. I don’t have a need for something. Properly, really, I’ve bought one need. I need to go within the Corridor of Fame as a coach.

Why is that so necessary to you?

Since you’re amongst the very best. And which means you’ve impacted lives.

The Phoenix Membership of Philadelphia sponsors the annual Daybreak Staley Award for the very best feminine guard in Division I. Caitlin Clark, who simply handed Pete Maravich to set the N.C.A.A. profession scoring document, has received it three years in a row. How do you’re feeling about that, particularly after Clark’s Iowa crew eradicated yours final yr?

Properly, I get a vote! In her first yr, no one was giving her the credit score. However Caitlin was throwing these numbers from yr one. And , I love to do issues in a different way. I nearly wish to go towards the mainstream and discover younger people who find themselves doing issues quietly and aren’t getting the publicity that they deserve.

So that you knew. You had it first.

Completely. It’s not onerous to see. She’s a generational expertise.