Lindsay Whalen and The GOLD Standard
Some exciting news coming to you straight from the NOLN office!
Recently, the NOLN team has set up a Speaker Series, where inspiring leaders from the our homebase in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.) gives virtual talks discussing their journey down their career path, the lessons they've learned along the way, and how they got to where they are today.
For our first talk, the team tuned in to listen to special guest Lindsay Whalen talk about her journey from small town Minnesota-native, WNBA basketball star, to leading the pack as the University of Minnesota's women's basketball coach. During this talk, she discussed how one of the Minnesota Golden Gophers' team colors has shaped the university's athletic culture. Known as The GOLD Standard—because, according to Whalen, maroon was a little too long of a word for this purpose—this acronym is something she uses in order to recruit an outstanding team lineup.
As a team, you're going to go through ups and downs, wins and losses. But at the end of the day, it's important that teammates are treating each other with respect and dignity.
For Whalen, it's important to look for someone who is willing to go the extra mile and put in that extra time. Whether it's shooting after practice, running an extra sprint during conditioning, or spending more time in the weight room, a willingness to outwork their opponent is a must to come out on top.
The L, according to Whalen, definitely does not stand for 'Losing'. Whalen's team is the only Division I women's team in the entire state of Minnesota. And as the only Division I team in the state and being broadcast on TV, people know who they are. To represent the team, she needs her players to be leaders, not only on the court, but in the community, on campus, and in the classroom as well.
Time management is a big things for Whalen. Along with practice and games, this means making classes, homework, and studying a priority, especially when it means reaching the team's GPA goal of 3.2. If you're injured, it means making sure you are there an hour before practice in order to see the trainer and making appointments with the learning specialist. Collectively, all of these things take a lot of discipline to achieve. If you can't manage your time, you're not going to be a successful component to the team.