Sahar Nusseibeh: Assistant Coach at Manhattan College

 Sahar Nusseibeh

Assistant at Manhattan College

Coaching Journey

Assistant at Bowling Green University (3 years) • Assistant at the College of the Holy Cross (2 years)Ÿ • Graduate Assistant at the University of Cincinnati (2 years) • Internships with the Atlanta Dream (2007) and Washington Mystics (2009) • Worked with USA Basketball • Played at American University

Why coaching?

When we began talking with Coach Nusseibeh, it was evident that she has invested a significant amount of time into becoming the best leader and coach that she can be. Her high school coach still resonates as one of the best motivators she’s ever met, responsible for lighting a passion in her for coaching. “He was extremely committed to us. I felt as if he would run through a wall for me.” She views coaching as the best way she knows to help influence as many people as possible, the same way her coach influenced her. Her passion is in the development of people and that is why she coaches.

Professional Development and Preparing for a Coaching Career

Having known since high school that she wanted to become a coach, she prioritized seeking out pursuing coaching and professional development opportunities whenever possible. During her undergraduate career playing for American University, her head coach was able to connect her with the Washington Mystics, acting as an assistant volunteer to the assistant coaches on staff. Later, she was an intern for the Atlanta Dream, giving her more experience with the WNBA. Coach Nusseibeh is also a graduate of the WBCA’s “So You Want to be a Coach” program (2009), which ultimately led to her first job in the college coaching world as a graduate assistant. While at the “So” program she struck up conversations that in turn developed into long term connections. Upon graduating from American University, she attended the USA Trials, again thanks to some of the prior connections she had invested in. “The coaching world…it’s amazing how small of a circle it is…it makes you feel like everybody is connected.”

Coach Nusseibeh has also carved out time to attend professional development-related events. She attended the Center for Coaching Excellence run by the WBCA, and in 2014 she graduated from the NCAA Women Coaches Academy, run by The Alliance. In 2015 she also attended the “A Step Up” Assistant Coaching Symposium, run by Felicia Hall Allen & Associates.

Current Roles

At Bowling Green, Coach Nusseibeh is mainly responsible for working with the post players, being heavily involved in individual player development. She is responsible for creating scouting reports along with the other assistants and also has a large part in recruiting. Each assistant on staff at Bowling Green is assigned an evaluation period to organize, a unique way of delegating recruiting obligations that we had not heard of prior to our conversation with her. While she has a hand in all aspects of coaching, she is largely in charge of helping the associate head coach with the defensive side of the game. The other assistant works with the head coach on the offensive game plans for Bowling Green as well as the opponents they face. Additionally, she assists with the budget, equipment, and has a passion for leadership development in her players.

Sustainable Success

“For sustainable success, you have to put the person before the player.” To best prepare her athletes, Coach Nusseibeh has invested her time into reading countless books, watching TED Talks, and finding resources to better educate herself. She gets ideas from those resources on topics such as confidence, overcoming adversity, and conquering the mental game. She then has a library of resources to provide to her players. Along with the resources she designs activities for the players to help apply the concepts that she is looking to emphasize. For example, if a player is struggling with confidence in her ability, she may find a TED Talk on confidence that the player might relate to. She also has provided summer reading to the team as a whole, to help them connect with each other and collectively study a particular theme.

“Every girl is different and struggles with something different. You have to have something that you share with them that is special…it’s different for each player.”

This idea of having something special with each player and developing those relationships is extremely important to Coach Nusseibeh. She takes pride in her coaching especially when she sees them grow into leadership positions and develop skills that will propel them to success throughout their entire lives.

Women in Coaching

In a field where the majority of women’s sport coaching staff positions are filled by males, Coach Nusseibeh is a dedicated advocate of supporting female coaches. When she participated in the Women’s Coaching Academy, run by the NCAA and the Alliance of Women Coaches, she was introduced to a collection of female coaches across a variety of sports who were dedicated to helping females in coaching. They focused on the importance of keeping women in coaching comes from the philosophy that, “You cannot be what you cannot see.” Female players need positive female role models and what better platform is there to do that than to coach?

Suggested Resources:

  1. Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown
    1. The Power of Vulnerability: TED Talk, by Brene Brown
  2. InsideOut Coaching, by Joe Ehrmann
  3. Finding Your Zone, by Michael Lardon
  4. The Servant, by James Hunter
  5. Leading with the Heart, by Coach K
  6. Relentless, by Tim Grover

“I highly encourage any young woman who has a passion for helping developing individuals as people, to pursue it…when you know what your purpose is, pursue it with everything that you have. It’s one of the most rewarding things you can do. To me, living your purpose is true fulfillment. There’s a difference between being happy and living a life fulfilled. If you want to coach to impact others, don’t let the fact that it may take a while to get into coaching or that you may fail early on discourage you. “

Check out her roundtable handout!

Sustainable Development: Person Over the Player

You can follow Coach Nusseibeh @bgsucoachsahar


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