From Basketball Player to Basketball Coach
Lisa Brennan and Rebecca Schatz were the assistant coaches for the North and South Under 18 National teams respectively. Both coaches are multiple state representatives for Queensland. We chatted with both coaches about their transition from playing to coaching and their future basketball goals:
Lisa Brennan (U18 Women North – Assistant Coach)
Lisa has been involved in basketball from a young age, having started when she was 4 years old when she tagged along to her sister’s training. As her sisters were already playing, it was natural that she wanted to as well.
Her greatest achievement as a player was being selected into the U19 Australian Gems squad in 2005 and winning the U20 Australian Junior Championships for Queensland in 2006. Lisa represented Queensland for 6 years as a player and had just as much fun coming back as a coach!
Lisa is still in the transitional stages of moving from playing to coaching and is working out the balance between the two. She has been coaching junior teams for a decade and has more recently been getting involved in representative teams. Lisa is also still playing in the QBL this season and finds it can be challenging being a coach who still plays, but it can also have its advantages.
Of her AJC experience, Lisa said; “Coaching at the AJC’s was full on and exhausting – definitely much easier being a player, but it was made very enjoyable by all the coaching staff I worked alongside. Claudia Brassard is a highly experienced coach and a lot of fun to be around. Mia Murray and I are good friends and have played against and with each other for most of our basketball lives, and James Rapinet is a young, up and coming coach who is also a lot of fun to have around! It was so nice to see so many people who I’ve either played with or been coached by and all the ex-players now coaching and giving back to this amazing game.”
Lisa is in the process of wrapping up her career as a basketball player and is instead looking forward to spending more time with her family. As her kids get a little bit older, she would like to establish herself as an experienced and passionate coach.
Her take-home message to past players looking to coach is: “Basketball has allowed me to see some great places in our world and meet some pretty fabulous people, one of which is my husband today! My message to other players looking to coach is just to get involved. Clubs everywhere are always looking for coaches. It’s a great way to give back to something that has given you a lot of opportunities and probably life lessons. Just get involved!”
Bec Schatz (U18 Women South – Assistant Coach)
Rebecca Schatz started playing basketball when her year 4 teacher asked her and some friends to play for the school team. She then played for a further 14 years. Her greatest achievement as a player was winning the Under 20’s Championships in 2006, playing for the Under 19 Australian team in 2005 and 2007 and attending the AIS between 2005 – 2008.
Unfortunately, Bec had to stop playing basketball in 2012 due to injury. She distanced herself from the game as she found it hard to watch and not be able to play. It wasn’t until 5 years later that she transitioned into coaching by being involved in school sport. Her greatest achievement as a coach is running the junior program at Palm Beach Currumbin State High and contributing to developing young athletes’ fundamentals and personal growth.
Bec found coaching at the Australian Junior Championships an invaluable learning experience that was hard work, but thoroughly enjoyable. In comparison to being a player the Australian Junior Champs and being a coach, Bec said: “As a player at the AJC your responsibility was to play your role and contribute to the team effectively on and off the court at the tournament. As a coach you have a lot more to juggle, for instance, your scouting, cutting tape, devising game plans, devising schedules, keeping spirits high, running recovery sessions, and having endless conversations about how we can get the best out of each player.”
Her coaching philosophy is based on the long-term development of athletes in their physical conditioning, fundamentals, basketball IQ and their personal development off the court. In addition, Bec takes pride in knowing her athletes and building a culture that the whole team buys into.
Her future basketball goals are to further develop the program at Palm Beach Currumbin State High School, whether it is providing a platform for further basketball success or life experience.
Bec’s take-home message to past players looking to coach is: “Basketball is a great way to stay connected to the game, give back to your basketball community and achieve success whether it is via seeing personal growth, improvements in skills or winning competitions.”