Lynx Teach The Game To Youth At 3-Day Positions Camp
Web Editorial Associate
Aside from their normal practice and training regimen last week, a few Minnesota Lynx players got a chance to step into the coaching role as they facilitated a three-day Lynx Positions Camp for girls alongside coaches Cheryl Reeve, Jim Petersen and Shelley Patterson.
"We're here to teach some of our young fans about the game of basketball, fundamentals more than anything," Reeve said during the event. "And I think the fun thing for them is to be able to learn from our players."
Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Jessica Adair, Amber Harris, Erin Thorn and Julie Wojta coached campers in ball-handling and other offensive play as well as defensive positioning and strategy. The girls completed stations focusing on different skills, after which they put their knowledge to the test in full-court games.
Reeve said she appreciates the perspective her players gain from coaching these young girls.
"When players coach, you learn about communicating and terminology and really breaking things down so that you can try to communicate with someone to do something," Reeve said. "You've got to really put some thought into it, and I think it's great for the players to see what the coaches go through in some of their teaching moments."
At the conclusion of camp, the Lynx players held a question and answer session with the girls, with topics ranging from a professional basketball player's typical day to what size shoes they wear.
Thorn hopes that this personal connection with the campers fosters a role model relationship between the Lynx players and their young fans.
"I think important, not just for skill development, but just to have someone to look up to," Thorn said. "When I was little ... there was no WNBA. I looked up to the Michael Jordans and the Larry Birds of the world, because there were no women basketball players to look up to. So to have that for these girls nowadays, I think it's a huge deal."
And Lynx players take their job as role models seriously. Each stressed the importance of hard work and focus on the journey to becoming a professional athlete. Wojta said that the young campers remind her how far she's come and that her own love of basketball also started at camps like this many years ago.
"I just hope they understand that they can get to this level if they apply themselves," Wojta said. "Every time you step in the gym, play hard and give it your best, and you'll see good results."
But above all, Lynx players made sure their campers had a good time, cheering on their teams in full-court play and offering encouragement and support every step of the way.
"As professional athletes, we care," Adair said. "We care that they take an interest in basketball and that they want to learn."
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