Coach Shelley Sheetz Talks BC Women's Basketball
June 20, 2013
Chestnut Hill, Mass. - Shelley Sheetz enters her second season as an assistant coach for the BC women's basketball program. Sheetz, a native of Iowa, played at Colorado and was a Kodak, AP and U.S. Basketball Writers All-American honoree. She played professionally for the Colorado Xplosion and Portland Power in the American Basketball League. Sheetz has been in college coaching for 14 seasons.
Q: This is your first full year on the East Coast; can you talk about your adjustment to this area?
Boston is a very cool city; the history and great food are both amazing to experience. The biggest adjustment has been driving. I spent nine years in Los Angeles so the traffic and big city hasn't been my problem. Boston is not on a grid and most streets don't have street signs, so I have had my GPS say "recalculating" way to many times.
Q: Upon your arrival here at BC, did you have to adjust your coaching style from being an assistant at Denver?
Going into my 14th year as an assistant, I would describe myself as a teacher. I love the player development and the little nuances of teaching the game from the guard position. So the only adjustment I had to make coming to BC was to find out how each one is motivated and their learning styles. Once a bond was made, we were all able to get to know them as people.
Q: You have known Coach Johnson for years, what is it that made you uproot your ties to the west coast and come to Boston College with him?
Coach Johnson and I have are going into our 10th season coaching together, we are family. We both have been through a lot together both professionally and off the court and through these experiences our friendship has grown much stronger. He has a beautiful family (wife Laura, two daughters Daly and Avery) and they have become my family.
Q: What did this staff and you personally have to do to get the players to buy into the system?
I believe it all comes down to TRUST. Trust takes time, but I believe it is just how consistent our staff is every day. How we approached every practice and every game. We also spent a lot of time off the court getting to know each player and that is where you can build trust. Trust is a two way street, if the player gets to know you not only as a coach but also as a person, both sides have an understanding of where the other is coming from.
Q: The 2012-13 season is over - give me your assessment of the season and players?
From where we started to where we finished, I believe this year was a success. If you ask the players and staff it was just the beginning though, we all feel that this coming year we can have even great success in raising the bar and our expectations.
Q: Can you remember a game or practice where you felt was the turning point?
I think across the board everyone will say the Rutgers win gave us a lot of confidence. I also believe the back-to-back ACC road wins against Virginia Tech and Clemson really was the turning point. That is when I saw in the players' eyes and body language we were improving and we started to believe we were a team to be reckoned with in the ACC.
Q: The coaching staff is always bragging about their academic team. What was the staff's first reaction to the much-improved GPA?
PROUD! Our players have worked really hard in the classroom since we arrived here last spring. It was definitely an area where we need to make improvements and really buckle down and attack the work just like we would attack a full court press on the basketball court. Academics and basketball are not mutually exclusive, they go together. I believe once the players saw success in the class by paying attention to the little things, they started applying those same skills to the court and eventually we had success in both areas.
Q: You have played professionally, coached many levels of basketball, what sets the ACC apart from other conferences?
The ACC is an amazing basketball conference and now with the addition of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, I believe the ACC will be talked about as one of the best basketball conferences in the country. The conference gives you the best of both - academics and athletics. As a prospective student-athlete, why wouldn't you want the best of both?
Q: The summer is a chance for you all to recharge. Will you go somewhere special or do something exciting over the break to get ready for the season?
I love the beach. Going on vacation anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico from Panama City, Florida to Orange Beach, Alabama is beautiful. I love to sit by the water with my toes in the sand and smell the salty air while listening to the waves of the ocean. It's heaven.