Lady Bruin Culture


Teamwork, as all players and coaches will tell you, is essential to any successful season. Players should be able to work with one another to create the greatest outcome for their team. When a team does not work as a unit, they do not win games. The Mountain View girls basketball coaching staff is well aware of this, and they have strived to create a program in which everybody on the team can work to improve together. Coach Gentry Dickerson and her staff have planted the seeds of team culture and eagerly watch them grow.
If you walked into a girls basketball practice, you would be impressed with the discipline of the team. This is by design. Coach Dickerson wants the team to look nice, neat, and well put together. She has a specific set of rules and regulations that the players must follow in order to stay on the team. She expects players to be on time, and if even one person is late, the entire team will run a ladder. She has an expectation of “toes on the line”, where all the team members must have their toes perfectly touching the line and not moving. Shorts and socks must be black. Coach Dickerson does not do this just because it looks good: she believes that if a player is purposeful in everything they do, whether it be toes on the line, being on time, or wearing the correct jersey, then they will be purposeful in the game. The structure of the team is based around the trust and purpose of each individual. If one member of the team is out of sync, everybody else will suffer for it in a game.
However, the team is not all serious. The coaches encourage an environment that allows the girls to be themselves, laugh, and have fun with their friends. Everyone on the team is friends with the other. They cheer each other on, get excited for a teammate’s success, and help encourage the team when things look dire. The culture of the team is not only discipline, but the fun the team shares with each other. Culture is a big part of the girls basketball team. The coaching staff takes extra care to encourage kindness and understanding, as well as accountability and grit. Each player is told that the practices are safe spaces to fail, so long as they get back up and try again. This creates an environment that is very healthy for a team. Players bond with each other, create new friendships, and become better teammates because of the environment. Skylar Paxman, a junior who was a part of the team last year had some insight into the culture of the team. When asked how cheering improves the team’s culture, she said, “It brings an energetic atmosphere and confidence. When you cheer for a teammate, you forget about your own mistakes and focus on your team’s successes.” On the subject of discipline, she said, “Discipline is important to our culture because it is essential when we want to improve our game. We do things that help practice stay focused and effective like lining up straight or clapping during each transition.” The girls on the team recognize that culture is one of the most important parts of being a team and winning games.
Coach Dickerson began her first year coaching at Mountain View last year, and set in motion a chain reaction that led the team to their success in the season. She intends to uphold the same standards this year. The basketball class during A4 is proof of this: the girls run if they are late, they keep their toes on the line, and their cheers of encouragement can be heard on the other end of the school. Each and every one of the players are contributing to the culture of the team. With the season beginning in earnest, we look forward to watching their work pay off.