The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team needs a new coach after the head coach, Lisa Thomaidis and the Canadian Basketball Committee parted ways after her contract expired at the end of September.
Lisa Thomaidis helped the team in terms of them being a competitor on the world stage. She helped them win the 2015 Pan Am Games, 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Championship and the 2017 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup. She also was responsible for 2 consecutive Olympic appearances for the team as well. (2016 and 2021)
Letting go of Lisa Thomaidis means that the Team Canada Basketball committee wanted more than Olympic and Worlds appearances. They wanted to compete and win medals at the highest levels for the women’s basketball team. A new coach would be needed to do so, but who could they call on? The coach would have to well-respected, well-liked and Canadian (of course!).
It would have to be someone who has also had some success and who could game plan against the best countries in the world. Lisa Thomaidis team went 1-2 in group play during the Olympics a few months ago, after coming in with such high expectations. It was disappointing, to say the least.
I chronicled how the team fared in their Olympic run, and you could tell that this team was disorganized at times and there seemed to be some issues of lackluster play. The new coach would have to demand better from the team as well as try to get the players into more game awareness, etc.
Facing the United States, Spain and Australia is no easy task because of the matchup problems that Canada has with them. Some of the best players are from those countries and they play in top competition against some of the Canadian team members in the WNBA and in overseas leagues. They are battle tested and play hard. The team still lacks a true superstar.
So, not all of it is on Lisa Thomaidis’s head. Canada still needs a superstar. They have solid veterans, solid contributors and some young talent on the rise, but that one piece that elevates a team is still missing. The competitors just get better.
I’ve been watching this team since the 2012 Olympics and the 2021 Olympic Team was way better talent wise, but as I stated earlier, it just didn’t mesh well and ended up with disappointing results.
Coming in, the coach must learn how to handle expectations and pressure for the desire to win medals and be able to successfully manage both. That’s a tough task for any new coach coming in, let alone Team Canada’s.
Lisa Thomaidis did what she had to do. She got the team to a program high 4th place best ranking in the world, had a winning record and won some competitions. She did well. But, now is the time for the new coach. Someone with some excellent basketball IQ, who is successful and can handle multiple challenges all at the same time. It’s going to be very interesting in the next couple of months to see who Canada Basketball selects as the new head coach for the team because the FIBA World Championship starts next year and Team Canada will need a coach to lead them.