Getting the Most Out of Me
Written by Angela (Adams) Flippo
I have often thought that a great coach can get the most out of any player and Coach Halford did just that with me. She made me into the best basketball player that I could have possibly been. The first time I met Coach Halford was in the lobby of my high school gym in 1989. She came to watch me play and asked me to make a visit to Southern Baptist College. I can still remember the day I visited and had the opportunity to scrimmage with her team. I felt at home while on the campus and made an instant connection with her players. I could tell Coach Halford was serious about her program and she wanted me to be there. It didn’t take me long to realize that SBC was my college choice.
When I arrived at SBC in the Fall of 1989, I was young, scared, already homesick, and found out quickly that I couldn’t play a lick of defense (thankfully, I could shoot). With all of these insecurities, Coach Halford saw the potential in me and pushed me in ways I could have never dreamed of. Coach Halford motivated me both physically and mentality as a player. She always had a game plan, and it started in practice every day. I have never seen a coach as prepared and intentional as she was with her practices. Fundamentals played an important part in our daily workouts, and every game situation was put in front of us. She was constantly preparing us for the mental aspect of the game as well. She demanded our undivided attention, focus and intensity. When she spoke, all eyes were looking into her eyes and we didn’t dare look away. She had us in the best physical shape I had ever been in, even though I hated running the mile at the beginning of practice every day. I can remember sitting in the dorm room about two hours before every practice with my teammates talking and complaining at how much we dreaded running twelve laps around that track. She expected our work ethic and dedication to spill over into the classroom and as a result, her teams always had a high team grade point average.
Not only was she a basketball coach who knew the game better than most of her opponents, she was also a life coach. Every day in practice, she would remind us that basketball was our job, and it was preparing us for life. She expected her players to having a winning attitude and
told us the importance of being a dedicated student athlete. She warned us about being around negative people, because they would eventually
bring us down. She had high expectations of each one of us, whether it was the way we looked, acted or played. The day I graduated from WBC in 1993, I gained so much more than just my degree and a national championship. I left as a confident, independent, and strong person who was prepared for the game of life.
Last but not least, I have to mention a few things that I will never forget while playing for Coach Halford. I will remember all of the road trips we made, especially the one Coach Halford had to drive in the ice and snow around St. Louis. I will never forget all of the countless buffets we would eat at before games on road trips. We always knew we would eat well with Coach Halford, and I’m sure every player remembers the amount of salt she would use on her food. I will never forget her parents who always traveled with us. They were our biggest fans who loved to watch us play. I will never forget the midnight practices we would have because she was mad at us and now, I can finally laugh about them.
The National Championship in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was an experience I will never forget. Because of the way Coach Halford led us through that entire season and tournament, I can say I that I won my very last basketball game I played, and I was reminded by her that not too many athletes can say those words.
Thank you, Coach Halford, for your passion of the game, investing your time in so many players, and believing in me. I will always be grateful for you and the impact you made on my life.