Krystal Thomas: How to Make a WNBA Team

By Krystal Thomas for PhoenixMercury.com
Posted: Feb. 14, 2013

WNBA training camps are exciting, but also very stressful and daunting times.

Trust me; I've been there.

They are exciting because for many individuals, it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase their skills around some of the best players in the world and compete for a spot on a very prestigious WNBA roster.

Yet, the high level of competitiveness and demands for excellence can be formidable and strenuous – after all, each individual in the locker room is competing for one of 11 spots. The limited number of spots makes it an exceedingly difficult, but also very capable task.

It's hard to believe, but the collegiate season is over halfway done and WNBA training camps will begin to open in less than three months. Needless to say, it's never too early to start preparing.

From a personal standpoint, having been in multiple training camps and defied odds to make teams, here are the five most important things I think a player needs to have if she wants to make a WNBA roster.

5. Motor

This is a phrase stolen from Corey Gaines himself, but players need to have a “motor” when it comes to training camp. The days are long and the practices are even longer; you have to be able to keep up the pace and have the endurance to withstand the long hours.

4. Chemistry

So much of what makes a team great is how each teammate gets along with the others. Good chemistry, often times, leads to even better teams.

Coaches and General Managers are looking for players who mesh well together on and off the court.

3. Smarts

The WNBA is a fast and complex league, and coaches throw a lot at the players in a short amount of time.

You have to be able to pick it up, and translate it back onto the court. This doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so those who are quick learners have a leg up on others.

2. Niche

Every single player that comes to training camp is the best of the best.

So at this level, overall talent somewhat becomes a wash. Coaches and General Managers are looking for the pieces to put together the best team for the WNBA season.

Find something that you do well, and do it to the absolute best of your ability. This will allow you to stand out to those who make the decisions.

1. Heart

This may seem obvious, but every player that comes into training camp has to have heart. Talent will only take you so far. In my opinion, having a deep love and passion for the game itself is a must.

Or, better said, you need to have an unwavering desire to stop at nothing to accomplish your goal(s).