by Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb
In the early nineties, Mike Krzyzewski co-wrote a book, along with Bill Brill, called A Season Is A Lifetime, and it continues to resonate with me. Especially at this time of year: the beginning.
One of the things I love most about coaching is its cyclical nature. The ebb and flow of a season are familiar. There is a rhythm that we are used to, and to die-hards like me, that familiar rhythm brings both a comfort and excitement. Each new October brings the recognizable sounds of sneakers and whistles, as well as a return to basics like defensive closeouts and outlet passes. Yet juxtaposed with the comfort of a return to what we’ve done before, year after year, is the fresh feeling of a new beginning.
Each year feels like a new chapter, a blank canvas, a story waiting to be told. Indeed, it feels like the beginning of a new “lifetime.” The thought of not knowing how the rest will unfold, and realizing that we, the players and coaches, will largely determine what this season’s tale will ultimately be, gives me chills each and every year.
Last year’s seniors are onto their post-college lives. There are new faces each fall (and let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like seeing the eager, nervous, ambitious faces of the freshmen as practice begins)! Yet just as significant as the new team members walking through the door are the ways in which the returning ones have changed. Physically and emotionally, we see the young women we coach transform, and the start of a new season is a natural checkpoint to measure how far they’ve come.
New members of the family, combined with fresh perspectives of the veteran players, and subtle to substantial shifts in team chemistry can have quite an impact. As a group, you’ve learned from the past. The experiences of previous seasons, of the “lifetime” before, never leave you. But a fresh, clean slate is welcomed, and it’s empowering.
This is the beginning of our 2017-18 Cal Women’s Basketball “lifetime,” and, as is our program’s trademark, we welcome you inside with our website, thisiscalbasketball.com . This site is unique in that it captures us in moments at the “beginning” of this season’s journey, yet the visceral images and videos transcend the moment that they were captured. We give you a glimpse of who we are. So, if you really dive in and get to know us, you will feel a part of the journey as this season’s lifetime twists and turns and develops and grows over the next several months.
I’m not sure exactly what the months of November through April will bring. I’ve been coaching long enough to know that a basketball season will throw a lot of different things at you. But I do know that I’m heading into this “lifetime” with a Cal Women’s Basketball family that wants greatness. That we are a collective group that is far from perfect, but is more willing than in years past to be held to a higher standard, to be pushed out of comfort zones, to do the dirty work that makes the end product more beautiful.
Our website, as usual, is pretty cool. Our players “slay” in the black rooftop shoot, and they could be a catalogue for the university in the campus shots! They are warm and funny and tough and powerful … and it’s all in there If you dive into the site. But as you check out the visuals and the narratives, take a moment to think about how this is a group at the beginning of a “lifetime” that matters a whole lot to those of us in the Cal Women’s Basketball family.
Check back on the site. Check back on us. Show up at games. Watch the road ones on television. We have a long way to go to reach our goals, but we have a lifetime to get there. I really do mean it when I say, I’d love for you to come with us.
This is just the beginning.