Discipline shaping women’s basketball

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With a new coaching staff, the North Central women’s basketball team is working harder than ever

Women BB Practice
Head Coach, Paul Brunner, applies principles of discipline and hard work to practice. Photo by Curtis Vaughan.

The North Central women’s basketball team is starting the new season off with a fresh mentality and intensity. Although the team has started off the year with more losses than wins, the coaching strategy and extreme intensity that the new head coach Paul Brunner has brought to the table is a good foundation for heading in a winning direction.

With a new coaching philosophy behind the purpose of the game, the women’s team is trying to focus on the real life application that basketball can bring to their lives and the culture of North Central University.

“It’s not for us. It’s not about basketball. It’s about the culture of the program and what we want it to be about,” Brunner said. “Our program is about our faith, our academics, and then basketball.”

By no means is this new mentality taking away from the intensity and hard work that the team is putting toward this season. In fact, a handful of veteran players told Brunner that this is the hardest that they have had to work in a long time.

“The big thing that we’re trying to get across is getting (the players) to believe that they are great basketball players,” Brunner said. “They are capable of winning and beating teams.”

Picked last in the coach’s poll in the UMAC, the lady Rams have big shoes to fill in order to prove themselves. The intensity and discipline emphasized in practice is a step up from years past.

Each day, the team is on the court for almost an hour and a half. Depending on the day, the team also spends time in the weight room working out. Aside from physical training, the team has been spending every day in the classroom studying game film. Each player is required to have a notebook with them at all times where they constantly take notes and receive different handouts in order to study for their upcoming games.

Not only is there a team GPA goal, there is a new emphasis in discipline as a whole. The players are expected to be at practice, dressed and ready, at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of practice. In the past six weeks, not one person has showed up late to a practice. According to Brunner, the team rule is, “you’re late if you’re on time; you’re on time if you’re fifteen minutes early.”

The mentality behind the discipline goes beyond the court. Brunner believes that by practicing the discipline of being punctual, the players will see major benefits in the real world when they start applying these habits to their daily lives.

Aside from studying and training for basketball, the women’s team has been doing their very best to build relationships, continue in their faith, and work hard as a team. Brunner strongly believes that “rules without relationship leads to rebellion.” Even though the new coaching staff is bent on discipline and hard work, the new mentality of building relationships and the concept of basketball being bigger than the game itself is pushing the team to a whole new level.

“We’re practicing with a purpose and it’s really showing. Coach is making us work really hard and it’s exactly what we need,” senior captain Jamie High said.

As the underdogs, the Rams look forward to proving the UMAC wrong, and trying to come out on top during this new refining season.

The team’s discipline and hard work on and off the court is one step closer to a historical season.