Monday, April 29, 2013

Welcome To the Team Coach Belle

Hey, Hola, Salut, Aloha, Ciao, Olá, Hallo!!!

Coaches lead, teach, and inspire. Their position amongst a team is essential for success, as they are like a compass pointing the way to a desired goal. Frequently in athletics, players don’t care how much coaches know until they know how much they care. Coach Belle understands this concept well, and will lead the Dartmouth Women’s Basketball with her passion, preparation, and positive energy. We are thrilled to welcome our new bright spark, Coach Belle, to the Big Green family.

In our initial meeting with Coach Belle during the interview process, I was immediately impressed by her respect for Coach Wielgus, our previous coaching staff, and Dartmouth women's basketball's tradition of excellence in the Ivy League. Coach Belle’s kindness was projected through her appreciation for Coach Wielgus and all she has done for collegiate women’s basketball. As the meeting with Coach Belle proceeded, we developed a sense of her core values (which she expressed were respect, attitude, and preparation), observed how her kindness and positive energy would motivate our team, and acquired an idea about the basketball style (up-tempo, high intensity) she hopes to implement within our team. Daisy’s (Jordan) first impression of Coach Belle was that she has “high energy,” while Sofia (Roman) said that “she is very positive and friendly—it’s comfortable to have a conversation with her.” Kasey (Crockett) asserted that she seems to “definitely have a plan.”

Coach Belle, since the announcement of her hiring, has been able to spend a week on campus. Changes have already been made within our strength program-- they are “much faster” (Lauren Taiclet) and “very efficient” (Kamala Thompson). In our first small groups workout with Coach Belle, we were able to pick up the intensity. “Our first skills workout with her was high paced with high energy,” claimed Milica (Toskovic). Jordyn (Turner) added that the session was “also fun.”

The team is thrilled about the potential for next season. “There’s going to be a definite positive change, and I’m excited about it,” said Tia (Dawson). Incoming seniors Eve (Zelinger) and Nicola (Zimmer), despite being off campus this term in Washington D.C., also have positive things to say about our new coach. “Although I haven’t yet met Coach Belle [in person], I am excited by her energy and passion--I am really excited for a great last season,” commented Eve. Nicola shared, “she has a contagious energy and I’m super excited to be coached by a former point guard.”

As we continue with the remainder of our “pre-pre-season” (a term Coach Belle used to describe our current workouts), we are looking forward to what is to come for our Dartmouth women’s basketball family. We have "growth opportunities" (another term Coach Belle uses in replacement of “weaknesses”—she doesn’t like negative words) that we are working to improve. With higher intensity, an increased accountability toward positive attitudes and respect, a new vision of preparation, and a giant spark of energy from Coach Belle, we have begun our journey back to a tradition of success. Ivy League Championship No. 18… we are coming for you!  

                                                                                                                  Tah Tah For Now,

                                                                                    Kaitana Martinez #21 (Hailey, Idaho)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Don't Cry Because It's Over, Smile Because It Happened

Basketball has taught me a lot, namely patience, discipline and humility. Over the course of the last week basketball has taught me more about those three things than ever.

You see, when I interviewed for my position I met a lot of people during a very short period of time. I was grilled, for lack of a better term, and the one person who really made me feel at home was basketball coach Chris Wielgus. We sat in her office and chatted about basketball and my credentials, but she also asked me about ME! My likes, dislikes, my family, dreams and all of that, it was a welcome conversation in a very hectic day and is one that will always stick with me.  For full disclosure, she did her fair share of “grilling” after I was on board, but it never lasted long:)

Coach may not be sitting in her office anymore, but her legacy will live on. From the young women that currently occupy the locker room in Leede Arena, to the banners and Ivy League Championships, to the TONS, and I mean TONS, of Dartmouth women’s basketball alumnae, parents and former staff members that show up in droves when we’re on the road and at home. Coach has impacted Dartmouth and the community in ways that can never be expressed. Coach will always have a home at Leede Arena, because it truly is the house that Chris Wielgus built.

Thanks Coach!

Jess Poole

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What A Ride

What a ride this season has been!!!   We are the second youngest team in nation and we introduced our “newbies” to college basketball by skipping the proverbial frying pan and throwing them directly into the fire.   We have played an unbelievably tough schedule.  Our competition was over the top and that is our style. --we played the best to get better. Unfortunately, our reality is that there is little or no tangible reward for our efforts, except more challenging games and more of hours travelling.   It has been tough.

Our team never gave up and continued to work hard in the belief that they were good, but needed time to grow, and grow they did.  Not to fruition, but to a very competitive level of play.   They compete and fight and they don’t back down.

We are only a short distance along our journey to becoming a great team.  There will be bumps in the road and that goes with the territory, but as long as the players continue to work hard and persevere they will be fine. 

Most importantly they are fun to watch.  There is NOTHING like fun basketball to put a smile on anyone’s face and we are all smiling because our best basketball is yet to come.

Until next time,


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Start of the 14-Game Tournament

The best thing about working with a basketball team, in my opinion, is the March Madness. Lucky for those of us that work and play in the Ivy League, every game carries the weight of a March Madness game.

For those that don’t know, the Ivy League doesn’t have a conference tournament and the winner of the regular season gets the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. That being said, every game in the Ivy League is a tournament game.

For the Big Green women’s basketball team, the rivalry with Harvard is just that, a rivalry. Head coaches Chris Wielgus and Kathy Delaney-Smith are the longest tenured coaches in the league and not surprise here, Wielgus has 12 Ivy League Championships and Delaney-Smith has 11. Let’s just say, this is always a GAME from the head coaches right on down to the players.  

Round one of the GAME, took place on Jan. 26 in Cambridge and served as the Ivy League opener for both teams.  It was a grudge match as was expected and the Crimson took the win, 88-66. Due to a new scheduling format, the teams will meet again, just 15 days later on our home turf for round two. While I personally enjoy beginning and ending the season with Harvard, I don’t expect the new scheduling to take anything away from the series, this rivalry will always be a good one!

There will be plenty of good games throughout the Ivy League slate this season. I fully anticipate the league to be a grudge match night in and night out for the next two months and I can’t wait. I can wait for those LONG bus trips to Cornell and Philly but hey you can’t win them all:)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, look out for the youngsters from Hanover, H.H., because when it starts coming together, they are going to take off! You have been warned!

Until next time,
Jess Poole

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So Long Miami:(

Today was our last morning in sunny Miami and there were plenty of long faces as we packed up our stuff and headed to the bus to begin our travel to Wisconsin for our game against Marquette on Thursday.

There were sooo many fun moments from our trip to Miami. First off, we had the best bus driver, Carl. He provided lots of funny moments and a few not so funny ones as we got stuck in traffic, LOTS of traffic, heading to practice and then there was the infamous scenic route around Dolphin Mall trying to get to the highway! Carl, you’ve earned a spot in our hearts and it also doesn’t help that you told us we’re better than the other team he drives … The Miami Heat!

There was lots of time for team bonding, but none more exciting than the team dinner that the kids cooked for us. The spread consisted of chicken, pasta, salad and vegetables. I have to admit when I saw the angel hair pasta I was a little worried (I found out later that the kids forgot the olive oil, leading to the “clumping”), but the food was good and Abbey even made Funfetti cupcakes for dessert.

There were numerous trips to the beach and the pool in between practices and we even had a group wake up to see the sunrise over beautiful Miami Beach (see picture).

We knew that we couldn’t stay in Miami forever and it was only fitting that a snow storm is heading towards us here in Milwaukee (go figure!), but I have to say spending time with this group was a lot of fun.

As we all head our separate ways after tomorrow’s game, I think we’ll all miss Miami, but the memories (and some photos!) are priceless.

Until next time,
Jess Poole

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dartmouth Women's Basketball Hits Miami Beach

Grab your sunscreen, flip-flops, and bathing suits because Dartmouth Women’s Basketball hits Miami Beach! Today was action packed—filled with fun… and sun! We loaded the boats and cruised around the Venetian Islands. During our journey to our special spot for the day, Monument Island, we saw houses belonging to Will Smith, Bill Clinton, and Madonna.

We wasted no time diving into the fun after our arrival. Some girls grabbed the paddleboards while others were quick to mark their spot on the jet skis. I chose to attempt the paddleboards first. Making my way onto my feet, it looked like I was on my way to a successful first paddle. I WAS WRONG! Just shortly after grasping my footing, I lost my balance and the board flopped sideways. SPLASH—down I went, directly into the blue salty water. Attempt two was a success:) As I paddled around, working to improve my balance, I noticed my teammates cruising on the jet skis.

They flashed by me spraying water as they passed. Kamala (Thompson) and Ziggy (Faziah) went too fast; their bodies flew off the machine and into the water. Throughout the day this proved to be a reoccurring trend, as Mitz (Milica Toskovic), Eve (Zelinger), and Nic (Nicola Zimmer) all had their share of jet ski crashes. When given my time to ride, I too got a little crazy. I spinned cookies ‘round and ‘round in each direction—my driving seemed to frighten Sofia (Roman). Lauren (Taiclet) showed me hyper-speed cruising, getting the jet skis to reach over 42 mph.

 Coach Wielgus, Coach Yo, Coach E, Coach Woody, Director of Basketball operations Koren, trainer Yuri, and assistant athletic communications director Jess all had their turn on the jet skis; it was fun to watch them have a good time!

 Lakin (Roland), Daisy (Jordan), and Tia (Dawson) enjoyed diving into the water with big snorkel goggles. Roomer has it they even saw little fish! Jordyn (Turner), Kasey (Crockett), and Abbey (Schmitt) coasted around on the paddleboard while soaking up the UV rays. Our day at Miami Beach Monumental Island was quite dandy. Memories were made, and we all had a great time! Not to mention, our skin now has a touch of golden glow. What a wonderful day! :) Tah tah for now.

Until Next Time,
Kaitana Martinez #21 (Hailey, Idaho)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Our Trip To The Florida Everglades

Hi Everyone!

We've been here in Florida for a few days and we've had a lot of fun. Our first big adventure was a trip to the Florida Everglades on Thursday!

Our day started at 10:30 when we got on the bus in practice gear and set off for the Everglades! We took a tour on a boat from a place called Coopertown Air Boats, and our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the wildlife in the Florida marshlands. The boat tour was about 40 minutes and took us through about eight miles of the everglades.

We ran into a bit of rain at the beginning leg of the trip, but that wasn't enough to keep us from having an awesome time! We saw quite a few gators on our journey: the first gator we spotted was a very curious one - he swam right for the boat.  lucky for the rest of us, he only had eyes for Mitz (he never took his eyes off her!), but coach Chris was ready with her sandal in case he tried anything sneaky!

The next gator we saw was a very old, blind gator - but don't let that fool you, because his nickname is "the king" and he runs things in the area and is considered the dominant male. We also saw a few of his 'girlfriend' alligators and their little gator babies hanging around.

 The highlight of the trip was definitely getting to hold a little three-year-old alligator. Most of the team gave it a try, and it was an interesting (and squishy) experience. Tia's reaction to holding the little gator was by far the funniest - she looked like she was about to cry! We ended the trip by getting a literal taste of the Everglades - fried frog legs and gator - and it was delicious. Tastes just like chicken! The trip was a great start to the day and sent us off to practice on a really positive note :)

Jordyn Turner '16