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Girls Varsity Basketball · Girl power: Midway players responding to coach’s ‘tough love’ approach – Article by Bryce Cherry

When Ben Holder took over as Midway’s girls basketball coach prior to the 2016-17 season, it didn’t take him more than a practice or two to realize that girls responded differently to things than boys.

Holder had served as an assistant on the Midway boys’ hoops teams before making the switch. And, of course, much of coaching the game of basketball was the same – same rules, same principles, same fundamental techniques.

Different gender, though. Sometimes, a different way of looking at things. And, thus, Holder found it necessary to tweak his tactics.


“It’s always a difficult transition going from boys to girls, I imagine if you asked any coach,” Holder said. “It’s just different in how I approached it. I came to it just as I did the boys, and I figured out in a hurry that I had to be a little bit different. So, I’ve adjusted some things, but definitely kept some things as well. I coach them hard, and most of them respond to it really well.”

You see, for Holder it wasn’t necessarily about dialing down the volume. He’ll still rip into his team when he senses they need it – loudly, in fact.

But once he gleaned how to better communicate with and motivate his girls, the Pantherettes really started making some noise. Tradition-rich Midway is 30-4 on the year and ranked 11th in Class 6A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches heading into the start of the UIL state playoffs, which get going on Monday.

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