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Episode 129: Cori Close, Mental Performance Plan
Episode 12916th September 2020 • The Basketball Podcast • Chris Oliver
00:00:00 01:00:39

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Guest: Cori Close, UCLA Women's Basketball Head Coach

In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, UCLA women's basketball head coach Cori Close joins the Basketball Podcast to discuss their mental performance plan. Cori Close was named UCLA Women’s Head Basketball Coach on April 21, 2011, and is currently 198-104 (.656) overall. The 2020-21 campaign will mark Close’s milestone 10th season at the helm of the Bruins.

2019-20 was a historic year for Close and the Bruins. UCLA won its first 13 games of the campaign, setting a new program record for the most consecutive wins to start a season. The Bruins’ win over then-No. 6 Stanford marked Close’s 100th-career Pac-12 victory. A win over the Trojans in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals won the Bruins the season series over their crosstown rival. UCLA would, ultimately, finish the year 26-5 and was set to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The national postseason schedule, however, was canceled due to COVID-19.

Cori Close helped the USA to a gold medal as an assistant coach for the 2019 USA women's team that won a gold medal with a 7-0 record at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand. Previously, she served as an assistant coach for the 2018 USA Women's U18 National Team, which she helped lead to a 6-0 record and a gold medal at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, and she was a court coach at the 2017 USA Women’s U23 National Team Training Camp.

Before UCLA, Close spent time as an assistant coach at Florida State University and her alma mater, UC Santa Barbara. In total, she has worked as an associate head coach or assistant on teams that have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 16 seasons, won at least 20 games in 16 of the previous 18 seasons, and won or shared a total of 11 conference championships.


1:00 - Programs in Mental Performance Development Philosophy

3:00 - Importance of Integrating Programs into Practice and Games

6:30 - Teaching Mental Skill

9:00 - Coping Skill

13:00 - Rare Leadership

17:00 - Teaching Mental and Physical Skills as a Whole

19:00 - Developing Mental Skills Development

22:00 - Mental Toughness

25:00 - Normalizing the Struggle

28:00 - Creating Discipline Without Demeaning Others

32:00 - Intervene when Mistakes Occur

36:00 - Meeting Standards

39:00 - Independent Performers

42:00 - Interactions and Interventions

45:00 - Be the Best Basketball Player You Can Be

47:30 - Tangible and Subjective

49:00 - Applying Mental Skills in other Program

52:30 - B.D.C = Blame, Complain, Defend

56:00 - Conclusion

Cori Close’ Bio



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