Coach Speak: Amanda Carlow talks lifting weights, growing as a basketball player and becoming a better leader


By Rich Winter

As we hit the second week of June, Sacred Hoops 17-U coach Amanda Carlow recently sat down and visited about a number of topics, specifically tailored to young ladies in South Dakota who want to get better. 

Lifting weight:

It adds to your game! You are stronger in the paint, you are stronger to the basket, you can rebound and box out better. It helps your body and it helps prevent injuries. If your body isn’t strong you can have some injuries and if you are in the weight room you can sometimes prevent those things from happening. 


Growing as a basketball player:

Some of the teams are starting to grown and figure out we can’t rely on one super-star athlete. We have to involve our team and have other people doing things on the court. One of the best things you can do in the summer is to build team trust. I might be the superstar on the team but I’m going to trust my teammates and we are going to get a better shot or get to the bucket. Building that foundation of team and trust and really being able to rely on each other on the court is huge. Cheer each other on and really believe in each other. That’s a really big thing for team camps and summer workouts and just learning how to be a good teammate. 

Getting better as a coach:

“If I’m not willing to grow as a coach then I shouldn’t be coaching,” Carlow said.

I think doing the things with AAU and with the little guys and being able to see things, work with kids and build their strengths and improve their weaknesses is fundamental. Some players can’t handle criticism and as a coach I need to work on communicating with all my players. You always want to find new drills, new ideas to help your team continue to grow. As a coach for me I’m willing to learn and talk to other coaches just to build for myself. I’ve got to be a better coach for all the different athletes. 


Coach speak:

I played for and talk to Dusty LeBeaux a lot. Every time I see Charlie Zimiga we have a real conversation about basketball and how the game has changed from him watching me to him watching me coach. Matt Rama has always been someone I’m able to talk basketball with. No matter what team of color of jersey he will always sit down and talk basketball with you. Christian McGhee also and others, we are always talking basketball and going over those little things like, ‘If I would have done this, breaking the game down and going over things we could have done better.’

Sacred Hoops athletes sharing knowledge with high-school teammates: 

Last year we had just a few players that were able to travel across the state to learn this style of basketball. This year we have more players from different schools and we are trying to teach them the intensity of the game, playing at another level and playing hard the whole game without taking a possession off. We want our athletes to be sound defensively, move the ball, talk (Always talk). The goal is to get them to go back to their team and be leaders and carry that back to their own teammates and to be vocal leaders and push their teammates. If we can do that, and keep cycling players into Sacred Hoops and have them cycle that information to their team we are looking to make big changes to our school programs. That’s really the goal is building our players in the offseason so they can go back to their teams more vocal, stronger leaders to help get their teammates to work harder. 

Sacred Hoops Video - Coach Carlow tells us what Sacred Hoops is all about!

Becoming a better leader:

Sometime the seniors might not be your most talented and your most athletic, BUT, as a senior, as a leader age-wise, it is important to be in every possession at practice, be in every drill and be in everything. It is a seniors job to be cheering in practice and make sure everyone is working hard in practice. Sometimes players that play that role don’t realize how big that role is.