You do not have to be a professional basketball player to be able to coach the next generation and make an impact on their lives.
Sulvi Hobson joined basketballscotland’s Regional Academy for the 2021/22 season after deciding that she wanted to learn more about coaching basketball, which in turn would allow her to be able to help the girls in her club.
Although now a firm part of the basketballscotland family, Sulvi’s journey into basketball was not the standard “fall in love with the game and decide to teach others” route.
When she was younger, Sulvi was actually a track and field athlete and not a basketball player. It was only after her children were born that she picked up a basketball and started to play a little bit for recreational purposes.
Her journey to becoming a basketball coach was more accidental and more of a ‘need’ as there were no coaches for the girls who wanted to play basketball – including Sulvi’s own children. Despite not having any coaching experience, her background in track and field made it easier for Sulvi to understand and motivate the girls. “Athlete’s mindset is the same regardless the sport, the only difference is coming from individual sport to team sport and the dynamics that brings.”
Wanting to learn more about coaching basketball to be able to continue developing her players, Sulvi got involved in basketballscotland’s 2021/22 Regional Academy at the U14 age group. Being a part of the Academy allowed Sulvi the space to learn and develop from those who have more coaching experience – whether it was learning about the physical skills and drills, or the mental and emotional side of coaching – while being surrounded by other coaches just as eager to learn. She also received support from basketballscotland’s coach developers “Emma was brilliant in challenging questions, but also knew when not to ask these questions and offer support instead.”
Sulvi was then able to put her new knowledge and skills from over the year into practice as she helped the U14 Scotland team compete in the 2022 Home Nations tournament against Wales and England.
When asked what was one thing that she learned during the year, Sulvi responded “Where do I start? I learned to read the players, learned different ways to coach, new drills, the tactical side of the game, how to challenge different levels, to trust myself a bit more and that there is sooooo much more to learn!”
The U14’s journey stopped after the Home Nations tournament, however for Sulvi, this would not be the end of her time in the 2021/22 Academy. After becoming a valuable member of the team, Sulvi was asked to join the U16 Women’s team as they travelled to Barcelona, Spain, for two weeks in June. Read more about the experience here.
Sulvi has returned to basketballscotland’s Regional Academy for the 2022/23 season with the hope to continue to create something for Scottish girls basketball for generations to come. Sulvi has also moved from the U14s to the U16s so that she can continue to strengthen the relationship the with the girls that she bonded with last season. “Working with U14s last year, these girls matter and I want to see how we can help to reach wherever they want to go with the basketball.”
When asked what she would say to a female who is thinking about getting involved in coaching, Sulvi commented: “Do it!! It might be scary to start with, BUT the rewards are amazing. If you want to make a difference somehow – coaching definitely helps you to do that!”
After working closely with Sulvi, basketballscotland’s People Development Lead, Emma Edwards, commented: “Sulvi joined the Regional Academy programme thinking she would just observe the sessions, however she quickly got involved with the players and coaching team. Her confidence when coaching has significantly increased over the past year. She took on board different drills and methods of coaching and remained focused on developing each player. She cares about them all! This year Sulvi has challenged herself and is now coaching the U16 females hoping to continue her own journey and we are delighted to have her on board.”
Sulvi: Far Right