Best of Series: Carrie Graf

Our Great Coach on this episode is Carrie Graf.

Carrie is a former professional basketball player and coach.

She started her professional playing career as a 16 year old in the Australian National League; playing in a team that won multiple championships.

She transitioned to professional coaching in 1993; winning the National championship in her first year. 7 Further championships followed in the years leading to 2010.

In 2004, she became the first female Australian coach in the WNBA leading the

Phoenix Mercury.

She also coached the Australian National team to a Bronze medal at 2012 Olympics.

In 2015 Carrie was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to basketball, particularly as a coach, mentor and athlete, and to the community.

She is presently the Director of Sport at University of Canberra

Carrie is a coach with a purpose. She believes that girls are capable of anything; and through her coaching she empowers women to, in her words, “ be the Prime Minister, the President, a brain surgeon, a nuclear physicist, an Olympic athlete, an Olympic coach or a football champion”

This is a wide ranging interview, and the highlights for were:

How she addressed the teams self-doubt by asking them to go back to childhood and list out all the championships they had collectively won as individuals.

How team values must be referenced in every training session and during the match if you want them to become part of how you function as a team. And she shares a good a story of how they score themselves on these values during time-outs in a game.

The importance of using your voice assertively, so that you can help your team mates see what the next possible decision could be? And she gives examples on why this is important for female athletes to develop.

And towards the end she gives great examples of how female and male sports are equal, and how you can affirm this with young girls while watching sport with them.

This was a wonderful conversation, one of my favorites so far, and I hope you enjoy it as much as Jim and I did.