U16 Head Coach Jill Rankin Schneider Discusses Team's Frist Practice
Colorado Springs, Colo. • June 3, 2011
USA Basketball Women's U16 National Team head coach Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S./Lubbock, Texas) spoke after her team's first practice about getting her squad back on the court and the short training period and the concerns that raises.
The first day is finally here, how did it feel to finally get your team out on the court?
It felt great. We met and had a short practice last Monday (at the end of Trials) just to kind of get together before we went home, but this was the real deal. It was exciting. I thought the kids showed up excited, ready to go and they had a lot of energy. I think it’s going to be fun.
Was the layoff from trials to now, was that helpful or did it make you more anxious?
No, I had a basketball camp to run when I went home and so I’m just so happy to be here now where this is my only focus, this is what I’m doing this summer now. I think it is the same for these young ladies that are playing. There’s a lot of excitement and we’re all just looking forward to seeing what type of team we can be.
You’ve coached previous USA Basketball teams and with this team has a very short training period to get ready for the tournament. How does your past USA Basketball experiences help?
I think it gives me a frame of reference to at least know this is a short time; whether to worry about any conditioning, I don’t even know if we can establish a great deal of conditioning with this short period of time. So I’m trying to figure out, feel my way through it, figure out how much to put on them and I guess I’ll recognize when they are on information overload, but so far they’re doing a great job, they’re picking up on things pretty quickly.
It was pretty obvious watching the practice there is a lot of teaching go on.
There is and it’s philosophical on my part so that they’ll know what I’m talking about, kind of what my expectations are because they come from 12 different backgrounds and they’re having to unify into one philosophy in a weeks’ time. But again they’re just doing an exceptional job. They’re very good communicators and I think that’s the thing I come away most impressed with. The fact that they communicate with each other that well is really going to go a long way in helping them become a lot better.
How do you get to determining roles?
I think that’s going to come through the course of just practice and seeing who is stepping up and serving in a certain role better. I think that’s our challenge because we have 12 very talented athletes and that’s the challenge on any team like this is determining roles and making it clear to those kids and them being willing to accept them. But we’re a number of days away from that so we’ll just see who starts asserting themselves when we start getting up and down, and scrimmaging, and in more game like situations.