Chisholm hopes to change player mentality

POULSBO — Tony Chisholm is looking for one thing in his basketball team this season: discipline.

The North Kitsap High School coach said he wants the team’s mindset and work ethic to be more positive than the 2010-11 team.

“The key word is discipline,” he said Tuesday. “I call it the Big D.”

During preseason practice and tryouts, Chisholm tried to ensure the players making it on to the 2011-12 varsity team would put in the work necessary and work together.

The basketball program is returning after a winless season. The Vikings’ 2010-11 team ended 0-20.

Though Chisholm said the team is still in a reorganizing stage, he said this season could be different. One of the biggest changes he hopes to see in this team is the chemistry between players.

“Personally, I don’t think there was much chemistry,” he said of the 2010-11 team.

Chisholm tells the Viking players the game has nothing to do with him as a coach. It’s about them. While he will manage and coach, it’s up to the players to believe in what they can do.

On top of a changing attitude, Chisholm expects a few of the players who play basketball regularly to make a difference on the court. Players who will help the team avoid a winless season:  Jacob Hill, expected to be a solid point guard; Riley Lindsey; and David Perry, who plays AAU in the offseason.

Like the other athletes in the North Kitsap School District, most of the Viking basketball players are multi-sport athletes. Chisholm seeks those who focus solely on basketball and then surrounds those players with athletes.

“There’s not too many true basketball players,” he said. “But there are a lot of great athletes.”

When talking to coaches from around the area, Chisholm has been told larger schools are basically guaranteed a spot in postseason tournaments because they have bigger student bodies to select from.

As long as the Vikings understand this team is different, avoiding a winless season should not be out of reach.

“This year we’re not dwelling on the past. It’s a different team,” Chisholm said. “Some kids really stepped up and I think there’s room here for some greatness.”

The Vikings play their first league game today at home against North Mason. Tipoff is 7 p.m.


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