PLU Women’s Basketball: Sweat Equity and Tools for Success
We Are All LUTES
Our basketball program is in the process of rebuilding itself to its former position of national prominence at the NCAA Division III level. Through discipline, a commitment to outwork our opponents, and an unselfish appreciation for team, PLU players and coaches believe in pushing towards success on the court, in the classroom, and in our community.
We are L.U.T.E.S. - Loyal, Unselfish, Tough, and always give our best Effort.
By competing in one of the nation’s strongest conferences our players have demonstrated an eagerness to fight their way to the top of the Northwest Conference. By embracing the theme “Hard Work Is OUR Habit”, the culture of our program is definitely beginning to change. The student-athletes who have committed to playing this year understand we have raised the level of expectations and believe that hard work accompanied with mental toughness is the only way we will reach our goals.
As an NCAA Division III basketball program, we are governed by rules that do not allow coaches to work on player development outside of our 19 week season. Each individual student-athlete must pursue skill development on their own or with their teammates in the off-season. Our goal is to raise enough funds to purchase a new high repetition shot training machine called the Dr. Dish Pro Smart. With this hi-tech equipment our players will be able to get shots up when no one is available to rebound, train alone or with a teammate, and use the pre-programmed workouts to challenge their effort levels and sharpen their techniques. The machine also provides instant feedback on shooting precision and tracks their improvement.
The budget breakdown for our goal of $6500.00 is:
- $5400: Dr. Dish Pro Smart Shooting Trainer
- $600: Shipping and Handling Fee
- $500: 8 NCAA Wilson Competition Basketballs
Once a LUTE, Always a LUTE
While the Dr. Dish Pro Smart might only be one piece of equipment, the opportunity our team has to use it will teach us valuable lessons that extend beyond the court. Through the use of the Dr. Dish Pro Smart we will have to opportunity to put more “sweat in the bucket” than we possibly could just during practice time. We believe effort is controllable and young women must learn to push through mental barriers with confidence and enjoy the sense of accomplishment once their goals are attained. The lessons we will learn about self-motivation, hard work, commitment, and striving for a common goal will help us continue to be L.U.T.E.s even after we graduate from PLU.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about our program’s vision and how we are using sweat equity to reestablish PLU Women’s Basketball as a top NCAA Division III program.
We invite you to follow our progress this upcoming season on:
The reason for this fundraising campaign is so we can enjoy more moments like this one. Enjoy the following blog by Lacey Nicholson – junior forward from Bellevue, WA.
On December 6, 2014 at 6 p.m. the Lady Lutes competed in one of their preseason basketball games. The Lutes went through their standard game day routine, consisting of; shoot around in the morning, a few hours to relax and eat a good meal, then head to the locker room to lace up and get mentally prepared for the game. Little did they know this game would be one of the most exciting games of the season.
The Pacific Lutheran University Lutes stepped on the court to play UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs, a team from California whose stat line was full of impressive numbers. The Banana Slugs were undefeated in their season heading into this match up. They were a considered a dominant team down in California, and they knew it. The Banana Slugs warmed up in a relaxed manner, giggling and going through the motions. UC Santa Cruz carried themselves as if they had already earned the W over Pacific Lutheran University.
The Lutes recognized the behavior being displayed on the other half of the court. As they huddled up after warm ups, the players expressed to each other how they were offended by the lack of respect they were given before the game had even begun. The Lutes let this motivate them.
From the starting tip off, the Lutes came out hot, scoring 15 points more than the Banana Slugs. After the small run, UC Santa Cruz started to come back. The score was within six points almost the entire 40 minutes and the Lutes held the small lead for most of that time. Each possession was as precious as gold, every play was one that could make or break the game for the Lutes. Both teams worked hard until the buzzer sound.
With just three minutes remaining, UC Santa Cruz trails by just one point.
“Nicholson made a pair of free throws to push PLU back up three at 56-53, and Flemming and Abdo took care of the rest in the closing seconds.”
The Lutes had competed hard and defeated UC Santa Cruz.
One of the Lute’s players said, “After that win, the locker room was loud and full of excitement. I remember walking home from the game feeling proud to be a Lute”.
Thank you for your support!
I am heading into my second season with PLU Women’s Basketball and it has been an exciting experience thus far. Over the past six months I have been given countless comments about how our program is one to admire. Staff members, students and community members have recognized our attitudes and efforts to restore our program to the level that is appropriate at PLU and I feel proud to be a part of something that other people respect and appreciate.
In the off-season we have put in numerous hours of work in order to better ourselves for this upcoming season. Our team is in the weight room over six hours a week working on strength, as well as speed and agility. At PLU we are fortunate to have a strength and conditioning coach who is able to help us with form and technique in the weight room. Chris Rice has been able to see the shift in the program, specifically in our effort. In the off-season, my teammates and I are in the weight room three days a week, pushing our bodies to be physically stronger. Our strength is an immense factor that can help us in the regular season to finish games on top. Coach Rice often mentions how this is the first summer he has seen Women’s Basketball players consistently in the weight room, “It has been my pleasure to witness every single athlete that committed herself to a summer of hard work, enter the fall semester as strong as she has ever been." Coach Rice is confident in our efforts, “The work these young women put in this summer WILL have a dramatic, positive effect on the rest of the team and this season”.
Along with weight training and conditioning, we also enjoy playing open gym three nights a week. During open gyms we are able to push each other but also have fun and play free. Open gym is a time where we can come together as a team and focus on specific aspects of the game such as pushing the ball up the floor in order to get more fast break opportunities. It is also a time for players to put individual skills they have been working on into a game scenario. Our open gyms generally include ten or more players. Not all of the players are part of our PLU team because we enjoy mixing up the competition each week. Jessi Westering is a player that joins our open gyms often. Although she is not a part of the PLU WBB program, Jessi rarely passes up an opportunity to play with the team. She has been able to be a part of the competitive attitude that each of us brings to the floor, but also the energetic and motivating spirit brought to every open gym. Jessi describes our team to be like a family, “Everyone pushes one another and no one backs down from a challenge. Then once it’s all done it’s back to the fun and goofy family they have built themselves into,” Jessi said.
While our team continues to push itself in the offseason there is one more tool we could use to help improve our games even more. The shooting machine we currently have barely functions in a way that allows us to develop our skills and work ethic. If we are able to purchase this new shooting machine all of our players will be able to have another tool at their disposal that will help them not only hone their skills, but also develop a work ethic that will help us all both on and off the court.
Just three years ago, the Pacific Lutheran University Women’s Basketball program was a different organization than it is today. Not only has the face of the program changed, many faces in the program have changed as well. In the spring of 2013, the Lutes gained an entirely new coaching staff, and with a new coaching staff comes a new level of expectation. Coach Jennifer Childress expects maximum effort from every one of her players both on the court and in the classroom. Coach Childress defines this expectation, “The student-athletes who have committed to playing this year understand that we have raised the level of our expectations, and hard work accompanied with strong mental toughness is the only way we will reach our goals.” Being held to such a high bar has motivated this group of Lute hoopers to continue their hard work, but they know there is still room to grow. However, Coach Childress has seen positive progress taking place saying, “The PLU Women’s Basketball Program is definitely beginning to change."
Like all teams, new teammates come in just as other teammates move on. With all of the new faces and personalities, there are just three that remain the same over the last three years.
Megan Abdo, one of three seniors on the team along with Sarah Barnes and Michaela Edgers, is one face who has remained and continues to help the PLU Women's Basketball program grow. She has been the starting point guard for the Lutes ever since she joined the program her freshman year. She is a game-changing influence on the court for the Lutes. Megan has contributed to the development of the women’s basketball program and describes the culture shift as, “the mindset of the team is shifting from being satisfied with where we are at, to now having a hunger to get better and to improve." Megan, Sarah and Michaela all talk about how the team has changed drastically each new year.
The players and coaches alike are eager to see where this program is headed. With each new athlete comes great potential for the program to blossom. Each day the Lutes better themselves to reach their goals for the upcoming seasons.
Mike & Carlene Hurd
Micki and Dave Cooper
Mary Beth Dybevik
Eric and Barb Nicholson
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Getting a great shot requires a great pass. Thank you for "assisting" us in making more baskets in the future!
A great offense depends on high percentage shots, your donation helps create easy buckets!
Sound the whistle for the "AND ONE". Your donation sharply impacts our opportunity to convert a three point play the old fashion way.
Difficult to hit, but when successful this tough shot gets the fans off their seats. Your contribution helps our players develop the confidence necessary to step up and sink this shot!
Behind the Arc
Make a huge impact on a tight game and help swing the momentum back to the Lutes' favor. Assist in our off-season training by helping us develop the work ethic and motivation it takes to be a consistent and successful offensive threat.
Time is running out and we need that go to player who has put in the hours and training to develop the confidence necessary to carry her team to victory. Your generous contribution increases the amount of Lute players who have the skill and belief to ask for the ball when the game is on the line. Input truly affecting the output.