The WBCA celebrates MaryLynn Skarzenski, 2016-17 Thirty Under 30 presented by Marriott Rewards honoree, as she begins her first year as head coach at Nichols College.
Before returning to the Bison, Skarzenski coached four seasons at Mitchell College where she led the Mariners to the New England Collegiate Conference semifinals as well as recorded a program-high 16 wins.
Skarzenski graduated from Nichols and was inducted into the Nichols College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
Get to know Skarzenski as she works to grow our sport.
Take us through the moment you realized you wanted to be a coach.
I realized I wanted to coach in high school. I valued the impact my coaches had on my life, and I wanted to give back to the sport I love. There is nothing I enjoy more than watching my student-athletes develop and grow throughout their careers into empowered adults who will have a positive impact on the world.
What is your technique for establishing respect among student-athletes — being close to their age?
I build relationships with my student-athletes throughout the year. It is important to note relationship building isn’t a one-time thing. They (relationships) are always being developed and strengthened.
Student-athletes require different approaches when it comes to motivation. How do you reach everyone where they are?
Again, building relationships. If you do not know your student-athletes, you will not know how to reach them where they are or how they like to be motivated.
Motivation is similar to communication and learning styles. If you do not understand the way your players learn best, you are going to struggle getting the best out of them. Once I get to know my student-athletes, I try to incorporate different motivation tactics into practice.
How do you balance your work life and personal life?
I don’t try to balance the two. I manage my time so that I can enjoy all areas of life. I utilize my calendar to schedule everything, which helps me map out free time. If I need to be somewhere for work and family or friends, I try to make both, but if that isn’t possible, I prioritize.
What does it mean to you to be recognized as a WBCA Thirty Under 30 presented by Marriott Rewards honoree?
It is an honor to be recognized by my colleagues for my efforts as a coach. Being recognized only motivates me to continue striving to be the best person I can be, while following my passion to inspire others.
The WBCA recognizes annually the WBCA's Thirty Under 30 honorees. This recognition was created to honor 30 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.