Speaking Out On Stress

06 July 2006

There are 10 seconds to go in the game and the team with the basketball is trailing by one point and has no timeouts.

The point guard, unable to speak directly to the coach, must decide about the offensive set to run and then lead the team to execution.

Stress and pressure are a part of basketball, just like in life. It should therefore come as no surprise that former basketball players can deal with the stress that comes with executive management and administration.

In our latest Speaking Out segment, four former basketball players and current administrators share their perspectives on stress in basketball and in the office.

Betty Cebrian (Spain)

Elisabeth Cebrian

Elisabeth Cebrian (ESP)

Playing career: 1988-2004

Currently: Spanish Basketball Federation Technical Member, President of the Women’s Basketball Players Association

During the year there are lots of activities. Most of my work is centered on the youth, so after the school year ends my schedule gets quite busy and I must travel a lot. But I am used to this because having played in big event like the Olympic Games and the World Championships, I had to deal with pressure. Playing in these types of situations help me in my job and I can better manage stress in my current job. As a player, you have to manage stress to be effective.


Esther Wender

Esther Wender

Esther Wender (NED)

Playing career: 1985-1995

Currently: Year of Women's Basketball Project Manager, Dutch Basketball Federation Public Relations

As a player, I would get quite nervous before games but once the action started, I was free of stress, and had only the desire to do my very best. As an administrator most of the stress comes from a very busy agenda and wanting to do too many things (at the same time). In order to be at my best, I must be able to oversee and plan everything efficiently.


Yannick Souvre

Yannick Souvre (FIBA Europe 2006 General Assembly)

Yannick Souvre (FRA)

Playing Career (1984-2003)

Currently FIBA Europe Properties Managing Director

As captain, I always wanted to make sure there was a good ambiance. I always tried to make sure people are doing well and I try to do the same as managing director of FIBA Europe Properties. I believe that if you are fine mentally and if you are as close to happiness as possible, you can perform your job better. From a basketball standpoint, you have to deal with stress, especially for big games. As point guard, I had to make decisions and then take responsibility for those decisions. In my current position, I also have to make decisions and take responsibility for them.


Lea Hakala

Lea Hakala

Lea Hakala (FIN)

Playing Career (1975-2001)

Currently member of the FIBA Europe Women's Commission  

On the court as a player, I totally focused on executing for that particular moment, whether it be a practise or game/tournament. As an executive one probably has to think more long term and generally and to take into account 
several points of view.




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