PCA was thrilled to host our Coaches Clinic webinar with Matt King, the Executive Director of the Arizona Basketball Coaches Association, moderating this special event.
The session featured Sandy Brondello, the head coach of the Phoenix Mercury, Willie Green, an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns and Jeff Rodin, one of PCA-AZ’s Chapter Board members and an experienced trainer.
Both Brondello and Green excelled as professional basketball players prior to working with prominent WNBA and NBA teams respectively.
Brondello began playing basketball at the age of nine in her native Queensland, Australia where she immediately fell in love with the game. As a coach, she wanted to provide the lessons and knowledge of the sport she learned as a player for her athletes.
“I retired after the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece but I had already set in motion that I wanted to be a coach,” Brondello said. “This sport is what I know the most of and I’ve sacrificed a lot to put the time and effort into it. I just love the game and I wanted to help coach the best so they could experience even more success.”
Brondello joined the Phoenix Mercury as their head coach in 2014 and was able to secure a WNBA Championship with her team that inaugural year. Although she experienced immediate achievement in her tenure as a coach, Brondello continues to study the sport to develop better game plans for her athletes.
“Every single day I’m learning because I know I’m not perfect with my game plans or the plays I execute,” Brondello explained. “I am always self-evaluating and I am trying to learn from others. This quarantine allows me to reach out to a lot of different coaches and pick their brains, attend virtual clinics, and study video in order to bring that knowledge to my team and generate more success.”
Green, in a similar way, deeply appreciated the knowledge and support of veteran NBA players when he began his professional career and felt that coaching offered him an opportunity to provide guidance for the next group of athletes.
“It’s all about connecting with our players and building relationships,” Green said. “Impacting players in a positive way means holding them accountable but we also want to spend time with these guys and get to know who they are. We do fun facts about players, coaches and staff. As long as we continue to build those connections, teams will become even more dedicated to the work and mission of what the coaches are trying to do.”
King echoed the importance of connection in our culture, even as we adjust to the challenges of being away from friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are all ready to see people in person because we all have that desire to connect, we all have that desire to be seen, to be known, and to be in relationship with one another. You are not going to be as good as you can be if you are not together. Players might hear this more often at the high school level, but it is just as critical in any other point in your playing career or in life.
Want to see highlights from the webinar? Check out the segments below!
Willie Green speaks about keeping the game simple
Sandy Brondello on team culture within a sports program
Willie Green on what makes a great shot in basketball
“We all in our humanity have a desire to connect,” King remarked. “That’s why Zoom has been so good and that’s also why we are all ready to be done with it. We are all ready to see people in person because we all have that desire to connect, we all have that desire to be seen, to be known, and to be in relationship with one another. You are not going to be as good as you can be if you are not together. Players might hear this more often at the high school level, but it is just as critical in any other point in your playing career or in life.”