Shauna Smith is a dedicated coach for the Southeast of Saline girls basketball team. Her husband also coaches and teaches in the Salina area, at Salina South, and she says that they have both enjoyed being part of the Salina community.
Smith graduated from Hope High School where she played basketball and volleyball all four years. Her love of the sport plus her father’s influence resulted in her desire to coach basketball.
“I grew up being around sports with my dad always coaching something and also teaching,” she said. “I saw the relationships that you build, short and long term, with your players. I chose it because it is the sport I love and feel like I’m knowledgeable about it.”
Every good coach has a goal that they want to instill in their players. Smith’s is to help each girl grow individually as well as learn the value of teamwork.
“I hope that each of these girls learn something about themselves, each other, and the importance of a team – all disguised by ‘basketball.’ Few things teach you more about life than sports. I am blessed to have a great group of girls at SES. As a mother of two young girls, this is a great environment to raise your own kids in,” said Smith.
Smith remarked that this year’s team has a lot of potential and they are hungry for success. If they can master a different playing style, she believes they will make great strides.
“We are athletic and deep. The girls were able to taste a little bit of success last season and I think that they’re a group that will be hungry for more,” she said. “This is a group that will challenge each other every day at practice. We are going to be a very undersized team this year so we will have to play a different style then we have in the past.”
Smith perfectly sums up what makes a successful athlete and if her girls share this mindset, they will be great indeed.
“I believe athletics teaches you lots on and off the court and how to work as a team,” she said. “Sometimes things might not go your way but you still have to move on. You have to work for what you get and things are not just handed to you. As cliché as it is, success is about the journey, not the destination. Wins, League Titles, and State Championships are always the goal. But working together, learning about roles and accountability, and life are much more important. Success is will be determined years from now to see how these young women have grown and how they are contributing to society.”