Lindsay Whalen takes on double duty as player and coach

Lindsay Whalen is attacking Lynx training camp knowing she has a full plate as both professional basketball player and Gophers women’s basketball head coach.

“She’s always thought the game a certain way, but there is something different about her now having a coaching hat that makes her see things differently,” said Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve.

Whalen's dual role of Lynx player and Gopher coach has already changed her everyday approach to life with the Lynx.

“Now when she comes in here, she’s not coming in here as just a player executing the drills, she’s kind of understanding the why, the how, the when, when to leave a drill, you know, how to make a drill better,” said Reeve. “The other day, we were running a drill, right in the middle of the drill she came over and said, ‘I need that one.’”

“Now I’ll probably be asking her lots of questions and be listening even more than I had before,” said Whalen. “Not that I wasn’t listening before, but I’ll be listening more and asking even more questions. That’s the great thing about this is I’m here every day learning from her. Should be a pretty good transition into the fall and into the season.”

New teammate Tanisha Wright was also a coach herself. She says she knows what advice to give Whalen.

“For her she has to build her culture,” said Wright. “Like, what does she want her culture of Minnesota to look like? Go get good assistants because they are going to be really, really important to your success at the school and just have fun. Remember what it was like when you were there and enjoy it.”
“I think it’s in some ways it’s rejuvenated her, you know, she’s got this challenge this summer of doing both and she’s got a lot of people watching her, so I think in some ways it rejuvenated her to be an even better player,” said Reeve.

“You can see her excitement kind of switch a little bit in her in the way that she’s leading us a little bit,” said Rebekkah Brunson, Lynx forward. “I think that’s because she’s preparing to, you know, move forward with her coaching, but it’s also a key tool that we can use throughout the season. I think it’s going to be helpful.”