Mary Beverly

Mary Beverly looks to instill toughness and discipline for the varsity girls basketball team.

Amanda Beverly, the new varsity coach for the Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy girls’ basketball team, will look to implement discipline and grit to her team as the season is a couple of months away. 

“I want to be tough; I want the girls to be tough,” Beverly said after open gym last Thursday. “I want them to be scrappy. That’s how I learned how to play, and I think that can win ball games over talent sometimes.”

The new coach said she wants to be a team that is conditioned and running constantly, so they can wear their opponent out physically and mentally. She also said that her team will do full-court press and man-to-man defense a lot.

When asked if her team will revolve around shooting from three-point range or working it down in the post, Beverly said it will be a mixture of both and depend on the defense that the opponent will set up. 

Beverly also pointed out that there will be no “superstar” on the team, but every player will hold the same value to the team and will be treated as such. She said she wants to be able to go to her bench and be able to matchup with their opponent.

“I can’t express versatility enough,” Beverly said. “I want to be a team that is able to have a buffet of options to pull from.” 

She said that can range from how the girls are looking on a certain night to who has the hot hand shooting.

As far as coaching philosophy is concerned, some coaches are a player’s coach and some rather show tough love. Beverly said one thing that will be important to her is that she wants to be a teacher of the game to her girls and she wants them to be coachable. Because of that, Beverly said she wants to get to know every single one of her players and find out what each of them will respond better at.

There is one aspect that Beverly will hold her players to, and that’s being committed.

“I expect commitment. I want a commitment from the girls,” she said. 

Beverly believes this upcoming season will be an improvement from last season on the court, but that’s not entirely how she is going to measure the success of her team. For her, it’s more than just wins and losses. She wants her girls to know and remember what it’s all about in the end. 

“Everything that we do, how we play, sportsmanship on and off the court, in school, I just want these girls to really shine and let God’s light shine through them to other people,” Beverly said. “If I’m able to help them do that on the court, then hopefully they’ll take that off the court, and to me that’s a successful season.”

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