Maisie Elston assumed the role of assistant coach at Birmingham Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, in June 2015. She helped guide the Panthers to a 25-4 season and their first-ever Southern Athletic Association (SAA) title.
Tell us a little about your background?
I am originally from London, England. I played for the Great Britain U20 National Team in the Division A FIBA European Championship and was also a member of the U18 England National Team that competed in the FIBA European Championship in Miskolc, Hungary, in the summers of 2011 and 2012. I also played four years at Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas, where I graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to be outdoors — either at the lake or walking my dogs. I also enjoy working out and shopping.
When did you know you wanted to be a coach?
As a player I always picked things up quickly and loved the mental side of the game. During my sophomore year of college I started to take an interest in the coaching side and soon knew coaching was the career I wanted to pursue.
Do you have any pregame rituals?
I don’t really have any personal pregame rituals; but, as a staff, we do exactly the same routine every game day.
What is/are the most challenging part(s) of your role?
The most challenging part of my role would be changing the mentality of the players from a last-place team to a team that will always operate in the framework of high expectations.
How do you work through these challenges?
We stated our expectations from the beginning and made it clear what would be expected of them as individual players and as a team. We held them each accountable from day one to the expectations and were consistent as a staff, which helped build a good culture within our program.
Briefly state your coaching philosophy. What values are important to you that you try to instill in your student-athletes?
The motto we go by is championships are won today. We believe many different aspects and values fall under this one overriding statement.
- IDENTITY – We don’t become you, you become us. This includes building a family atmosphere, building character, believing in a system of play, pushing hard. academically, and giving back to others and the community.
- ENVIRONMENT – Building and sustaining a positive environment. This includes enthusiasm, always having a positive mindset, putting the team first, and hard work.
- COMPETITION – Building a competitive environment. Emphasizing doing your job better than it has ever been done, and the idea that practice is everything.
- IMPROVEMENT – The idea that we can always get better as a program — both players and coaches — and owning the offseason.
- PROCESS – The idea that this is all a process. Perseverance, commitment, excellence and preparation are all keys to success.
What is your favorite memory in your current coaching role thus far?
My favorite memory so far is winning the SAA Championship and being able to cut down the nets in front of our home crowd.
What does it mean to you to be recognized as a WBCA “Thirty Under 30” honoree?
It means so much to me. It is a huge honor, especially as it is my first year out of playing. To be recognized in the coaching field now is just amazing. I give a great deal of credit to the success that we have had as a program and the turnaround we were able to make in just one year. It also helps when you have a great head coach to work under that you can just learn new things from every day.
The WBCA recognizes annually the WBCA's Thirty Under 30 recipients. This recognition was created to honor thirty of the up-and-coming women's basketball coaches age 30 and under in the sport at all levels of the game. For more information on the award, click here.