Continuing our attempt to highlight OUR coaches in Louisiana we caught up Coach Lindsey from Northwood. Coach Lindsey took over the Northwood program which only had two wins the year before he arrived and now just in a few short years they have won 20+ games last year and were contending in the playoffs. His passionate coaching style is a reflection of the way his team plays on the court. Keep an eye out for Northwood to make some noise next year and make a deep run in the playoffs. Check out our Q&A with coach Lindsey below:
Reflecting back on last year’s run can you talk about how satisfying that was and the rise of your program after taking over a program that only won 2 games the year before you arrived?
Last season was another brick in the re-building process of the Northwood Lady Falcon basketball program. My staff and I were incredibly happy of the outcome of last years run because it allowed us to see all the hard work our team put in daily. Being able to see our first class of freshman; the group that came in our second season at Northwood, grow into a group of juniors that were humble yet hungry after taking a lot of butt whipping’s over the years was very satisfying. Our first job after taking over the program that had only won two games was to get total buy-in of our process. At first I thought it was going to be very difficult, but as one of the players (Robyn Marchman) said, “buying in to what Coach Lindsey wants us to do is not hard, because we finally have a real coach now”. So, seeing the growth from 3 wins our first year to 25 in our fourth year is a testament that the team is buying in and they want to be the best of the best.
Moving into the 2020-21 season your team looks to build off of its recent success bringing back the core of your team how do you take that next step?
We will continue to build off the success of last season by correcting the mistakes we made throughout the year and we will become a more defensive minded team. There is no doubt we can score the ball. This coming season we will challenge the girls to become more defensive minded and mean!
Again reflecting back on your first couple of season bringing a program from two wins to twenty plus in just a few seasons, what do you feel are the reasons for your team's success?
The girls believe in the process and they trust that we as a coaching staff will make the right decisions to put them in a position to win every time, they lace up their sneakers and take the court.
What led you to choose teaching and coaching as your profession? Who are some mentors that have help you become the coach you are today?
As a former police officer working in the juvenile department, I grew tired of seeing young people with no guidance. One thing I knew growing up in the mean streets of South-Central Los Angeles, playing sports gave me an avenue to being discipline and it allowed me to be apart of a family. So, I made the decision to retire the badge and put on a whistle and do the one thing I knew best and that was be a mentor to young people by coaching a game I love. One of the main influences in my coaching career was a legend in his own right and a great mentor to me and that is Coach Elliot Gilbert. Coach Gilbert was the coach at Webster Jr. High School in Minden, La. He would allow me to pick his brain and he really encouraged me to becoming the coach that I am today.
Do you have any advice to a younger coach in terms of what makes a good coach?
Always be firm, fair and consistent. One thing that I had to learn throughout my career is to not make rules but to set expectations. Children will always test you and they will break rules, but as a coach will you be willing to enforce the consequence especially if it is your 6’6 center and you’re going into the state championship game. Setting expectations gives your team guidance on what you expect of them.
I ask this question to all the coaches I interview. What do you feel are some ways that Louisiana can improve the girls basketball moving forward? What do you feel really works and made you glad to be a coach in Louisiana?
One thing I would like to see done for girls’ basketball is to give us more exposure. I watch the news basically every night and when it comes time for the sports segment football and boys’ basketball get so much love. They will run through a girl shot very quickly with sometimes not even saying anything about the highlight! The fact that a small town can have so much pride in their local high school and show so much love and give so much support to the high school teams is a key reason I stay in Louisiana and coach.
What would you like to see implemented to assist young girls develop prior to high school? What are things middle school kids need to know or should be working on to prepare for the high school level?
I feel that every high school coach should reach out to their feeder school program and give as much assistance without breaking any LHSAA rules. I tell every incoming freshman that high school is faster and tougher than middle school ball and they have to be willing to buy in to the hard work and dedication it takes to be successful.
What are things that can take us (Louisiana girls basketball) to another level?
Currently, I feel the state of Louisiana is moving in the right direction as it relates to girls’ basketball. Having more clinics for coaches to come together to share will be a good idea as well.
What is something you hope your kids carry on with them throughout their lives after leaving your program?
I want my girls to know that I prepared them to become successful citizens in this global society we live in. I’ve coached several student-athletes that went on to play college basketball and I even coach a McDonald All-American that would later get drafted into the NBA, but my greatest reward is having a 98% graduation rate and having one of my former players to ask me to walk her down the aisle.
Anything else you would like to add.
The best is yet to come for the Northwood Lady Falcon basketball program. Stay tuned!!!