The Basketball Podcast: EP292 with Doshia Woods on Positive Culture

RELEASE DATE : 01/11/2023

University of Denver head coach Doshia Woods joins the Basketball Podcast to share insights on creating a positive culture, practice, and life circumstances. 

Doshia Woods has spent 20 years on the sidelines at various institutions, including ten years as an assistant coach at Tulane University. She is known for her positive coaching style and her ability to create a winning culture within her team. Woods is the first-ever African American head coach for the University of Denver women’s team and is currently the only Black Division I women’s basketball head coach in Colorado. Under her leadership, the University of Denver women’s basketball team has shown significant progress and growth.

The Topeka, Kansas, native has been a guest on various podcasts about leadership and team culture. A featured speaker for the 2021 The Power of Positive Summit presented by Jon Gordon, Woods discussed her transition from assistant to head coach. Additionally, Woods serves on various committees including the University of Denver athletics department DEI, DU’s Black Community Advisory Board, and Tulane University Alumni Council for the school of professional advancement. 

An active member of the WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association) she has participated as a speaker for multiple roundtables and panels at the national convention, while also serving on committees within the WBCA.

Doshia Woods

Listen Here:

Doshia Woods Quotes:

“I know wouldn’t have the same type of drive and resilience that show now as person and as coach if didn’t have that adversity growing up. So, talking about it really just gives me chance to let somebody know that they’re not alone either. lot of us are in situations where we need help, but we’re all capable of thriving. It might just take us some time to get there.”

“Sometimes, getting staff to buy in is harder than your players, right? Because you’re older, you have your experiences, and everybody has these ideas . . what I miss about being an assistant . . It’s fun being an assistant because you’re not making any decisions. You’ve got all these opinions, right? Now, it’s time to make a decision and now there’s silence. Everybody’s looking at you, and I’m like, ‘Oh, wait, that’s me. I have to decide.'”

“Every shot isn’t for everybody, there are just some people that have a better skill set. So now, clearing it up, we have a chance to isolate those people through the motion [offense] when we want to, and the right people are taking the right shots.”

“The offense is designed to get you what you earn. spent 19 years as an assistant . . and one thing that I found was difficult was, if you ran a lot of sets, I’m trying to keep you motivated because your job is to set a screen one, two, three time sometimes for a person to get the shot… Now, with our five out motion, it really is designed to get what you earn. So, are you going to exit cut hard? Are you going to run the floor hard in transition? Are you going to actually set a screen? We can do some isolations, but it’s really designed to get you what you earn. So, as things start to shape out, there’s really no one to be mad at.”

“We want to attack the world, try to get to the middle of paint so you have options to make that penetrating kick. But then we want to attack bad close outs. So, once we penetrate and kick, not everybody has a green light on the team. You have some that are slashers and attack the rim. They know to attack it and look for the finish.”

“It’s been fun way to coach and also it’s been fun way to recruit because you can tell the players . . we might have five guards on the floor, we might have four. It just depends on if you can play fast and make the right decisions.”

“Our sport, unlike football or sport that has lot more players, there are only 14 of us that are playing. You’ve got about five staff, so all of our energy impacts together. So, really try to set the tone.”

“We’ll do station work, play our minutes and be able to kind of stop and correct them in real time, play the game,  drop the film, do shooting drill, and then go back and play so we can apply some of the details . . We just kind of let them play through it. But what our players enjoy about that is they know that they need to be ready to talk when they come to the huddle and be ready to also have a plan .. Last year, I felt like we had such a young team that they kept looking over to the bench for me to kind of get them out of these situations .. I don’t have a whistle during the game. You’re going to have to figure out how to problem solve yourself.”

“Even when it comes to leadership for us, everybody has capacity to lead. And some of us might be more vocal. Some of us might lead by example. Some of us might lead in weight room. Some of us might lead in locker room. So, the program itself is designed for everybody to feel valued, heard.”

“I think back to my time as assistant and [saying],  ‘We can’t rebound’ or ‘We can’t take care of the ball.’ Okay, Captain Obvious, well, what are we going to do about it? I think now if I could take some of those phrases back that I would say, of course they can see that, but do you have a solution? Do you have a drill? Are you going to start tracking it? And so, it really has helped me help my assistants, too, with having been an assistant for so long.”

“We have one team rule, which is, ‘Make good choices.’ But really, when it comes to on the court, we have standards and expectations. So, we talk about that on the front end and we watch a lot of film and track a lot of practice.”

“I try, whether it’s myself or my assistants when we are teaching drill, to set all the expectations beforehand, talk about it. Then it just makes it very matter of fact. The standard might be high that we’re trying to accomplish, but now everybody knows as soon as the drill ends, if we didn’t reach our set goal.”

Doshia Woods Breakdown:

1:00 – The Act of Discovery
3:30 – Two Quotes
5:00 – Successful Winning on the Court
9:00 – Three-Point Philosophy
12:30 – Game Conditions
15:00 – Green Light Shooter
18:00 – Progressive Coaching
21:00 – High Energy
26:25 – Cueing
28:00 – Music at Practice
31:00 – Getting To The Point
33:30 – Value of Adaptability
35:30 – Reflecting Back as Assistant
39:00 – Evaluating Feedback
41:30 – Missing Layups
43:00 – Positive Culture

Doshia Woods Selected Links from the Podcast:

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