Best of Series: Brenda Frese

Brenda Frese

Our Great Coach on this episode is American women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese

While injured as a player at the University of Arizona, Brenda volunteered as an assistant coach at Pima Community College. After graduation in 1994 she started as an assistant coach at Kent State.

In 1999 she was appointed into her first Head Coach role at Ball state and then in 2002 to the University of Maryland. Her success with Maryland places her in the elite levels of women’s basketball, the highlights of which are:

· 2006 NCAA Championship

· the 2009 and 2012 ACC Championships

· Big Ten champions in 2015

· 4x Big Ten Coach of the Year (2002, 2015, 2019, 2021);
National Coach of the year awards in 2021, 2013 and 2002

· And a winning % of 78 at the end of the 2021 season.

Brenda is the type of calm, spirited leader who can see a clear path forward when the anxiety within the team is at its apex.

She is able to regulate her emotions, and response in such a way that it matches the moment and helps to build self-belief in others. She demands a lot from her athlete and support team, but you have the impression that she also gives more than she gets.

There were many key parts of this interview but some of the key points that stayed with me afterwards were:

Her view that great coaches are able to connect with people in a way that makes the person feel like they are worth a million dollars.

Her view that women in leadership positions need to move beyond being grateful and lead the change they want to see.

Her focus on positivity and bringing confident energy into practices and game day; as she this enables you to produce the best performance that you are capable of.

This was a wonderful conversation, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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