How Holly Warlick deals with blowback from a tough Lady Vols season (USA)
Holly Warlick doesn’t have Twitter or Facebook, but she can tell whether she’s been taking a beating on social media by how many text messages she receives from her peers in the coaching business.
Her text message inbox is getting a workout this season.
“I’ve had more of my peers and assistant coaches throughout the country reach out to me,” Tennessee’s women’s basketball coach said Wednesday during a speaking engagement at the Big Orange Tipoff Club. “So the only time I know that I’m really getting killed on social media is because everybody tells me to hang in there.”
For Warlick’s part, she said she’s kept the blinders on during a season that got sideways with a six-game losing streak this month.
“If you do listen to outside noise, you’re going to question your ability and your confidence and your thoughts,” Warlick said.
The Lady Vols (13-7, 2-5 SEC) snapped their losing skid by beating LSU 74-65 on Sunday. They will host Florida (5-15, 1-6) on Thursday (7 p.m. ET).
ESPN.com bracket expert Charlie Creme projected Tennessee as his last team in the NCAA Tournament’s field of 64 in his latest projection released Monday. Creme projected the Lady Vols would earn a No. 11 seed.
Warlick, who is in her seventh season as the Lady Vols’ coach, said facing criticism comes with the territory of the coaching business.
“But what do you do? When we lose, I try to learn and go back and just plow through film. It’s constantly a learning process for us,” she said.
Warlick believes two areas in particular have hamstrung her team this season: a lack of focus and toughness.
“I’ve been told you can’t teach effort and toughness,” she said. “Well, I’m going to prove that wrong because that’s what we need.”
She pointed to Tennessee’s win over LSU as an example of how the Lady Vols showed gains in focus and toughness.
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