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Coach Sydney Carter On Her Game-Day Style, Handling Negativity, And The Future Of Women's Basketball
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Coach Sydney Carter On Her Game-Day Style, Handling Negativity, And The Future Of Women's Basketball

Whether she’s calling the plays or serving the looks (or both), Coach Sydney Carter shows us she’s got game on and off the court. Holding the esteemed title of director of player development for the women’s basketball team at the University of Texas, Sydney is right where she knew she would be. Basketball has always been a part of her life, and she has welcomed much success.

While playing for Texas A&M University, Sydney won a NCAA title during her junior year in 2011. The next year, she was drafted into the WNBA and played in the league for four years and internationally for seven years.


Many people would see Sydney’s career as a professional women’s basketball player as a dream job, and while that may be the case, her true calling has always been coaching. The Dallas native opens up about her coaching aspirations in an exclusive interview with xoNecole.

“So when I was a little girl, I always told my mom that I wanted to be a teacher. And so when you think about it, coaches are also teachers because we're teaching them so many things. And so I've always been on track with that,” she says.

“I've always wanted to help younger people, unknowingly, when I was a kid, and then when I got to college, and I realized, like, I'm a talker. I was a leader on the team. I led by example, and I led verbally. So I knew that that was something that I was going to do, just because basketball has always been like a true, true passion for me.”

\u200bSydney Carter

Courtesy

Another passion of hers is fashion. Over the last few years, Sydney’s game-day fits have become a trending topic, with many people praising her classy style. From her powder blue tweed suit with over-the-knee Gucci boots to her salmon pink suit with feathers on the sleeves, the three-time Latvian/Estonian champion is solidifying herself as a style maven. She sees fashion as a form of self-expression and hopes to expand on her fashion efforts by one day creating a suit line for women.

“Yeah, that is my goal. I want to have my own fashion line one day. I want to have my own suit line that's affordable for a lot of coaches that are inspired by my looks that maybe can't afford some of the things that I wear. I want a very affordable business wear line,” she says.

“I want to have my own line that kind of touches everything casual, work out. There's so many things that I want to do because clothing and looking my best is obviously a passion of mine as well. So yeah, I believe I'm gonna have it because I tell myself I'm gonna have it.”

“Yeah, that is my goal. I want to have my own fashion line one day. I want to have my own suit line that's affordable for a lot of coaches that are inspired by my looks that maybe can't afford some of the things that I wear. I want a very affordable business wear line.”

While the coach’s style has gained its own following, she has also faced criticism for her fits due to her curves, something that many Black women have unfortunately been subjected to. However, Sydney lets the negativity roll off her back because, “at the end of the day, this is how I look.”

She credits her mom for instilling confidence in her as a child, and whenever she’s faced with adversity, she reminds herself that she can’t please everyone. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Sydney shares her best advice to others who may be struggling with their confidence.

Sydney Carter

Courtesy

“I think the first thing is positive self-talk. Where do we get in life when we are speaking negatively about something? What can we ever achieve or solve with negative talk? So I think in the morning or whenever it is, if you're ever feeling like you're not feeling your best, I think you have to look at yourself in the mirror and just tell yourself these things, or maybe you don't want to look in the mirror. Everybody has their own way,” she explains.

“But for me, I look in the mirror, and I tell myself, ‘I'm beautiful,’ ‘I'm amazing.’ ‘I am confident.’ I am all these things. And I think after a while when you tell yourself that so many times, then it becomes something that you begin to believe. And so I think positive self-talk is the number one thing that you can do to kind of ensure yourself that this is really who I am. Because I say this is who I am.”

As a leader in women’s basketball, Sydney’s future is bright, and she is equally excited about the future of women in sports. Over the last few years, we all have witnessed an uptick in interest in women’s college basketball, which has translated over into the WNBA after many of the college athletes were drafted into the league. While she names Angel Reese as her favorite rookie to watch, her favorite teams include the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty, and she is looking forward to what else is in store for women’s basketball.

“But for me, I look in the mirror, and I tell myself, ‘I'm beautiful,’ ‘I'm amazing.’ ‘I am confident.’ I am all these things. And I think after a while when you tell yourself that so many times, then it becomes something that you begin to believe. And so I think positive self-talk is the number one thing that you can do to kind of ensure yourself that this is really who I am. Because I say this is who I am.”

“My hope is one that we continue to expand. I hope that people continue to watch college basketball, which I think will happen. But you know, those rookies that are in the WNBA now were the ones that really were like the headlines. They were seniors last year. So there was so many eyes on women's basketball in college, and now those eyes have gone to the WNBA, so I hope that we can continue to have the support of women's basketball all around and in women's sports in general, continue to have expansion,” she says.

“And obviously, equal pay is something that would be lovely for us all. That's been a constant uphill battle. I want to continue to see the good narrative pushed about women's basketball. You know how we have such amazing athletes that are playing now. We have people that understand their dual threats, where they're not just athletes. They're so much more off the court. They can rep a brand and help the brand grow. They also have their own brands. They're paving their own way. They're young business owners, like there's so many good stories that you can talk about. So I hope that that narrative continues to get pushed and pushed, even more so than it already is.”

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