NCAA Women’s Basketball

NCAA Women's Basketball

“We TIP with Excellence and Integrity”

In the fall of 2020, the Institute and The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center partnered with NCAA Women’s Basketball to help create positive cultures on women’s basketball teams.

Intentional development of team culture is a strategic intent behind the NCAA Women’s Basketball strategic plan. Focused on excellence with integrity, team culture is the new high ground by which “winning” is defined. Culture development is the sustainable, holistic performance enhancer that empowers the next generation of female student-athletes to achieve their full potential in basketball and life.

To meet this strategic objective, NCAA Women’s Basketball created a TIP (Teamwork, Inclusion, Passion) with Excellence and Integrity initiative and engaged us to design research-based resources that would support intentional team culture development by the coaches.


In Phase One, we developed three Team Culture Practices focused on NCAA Women’s Basketball values: Teamwork, Inclusion, and Passion. Each Culture Practice addresses timely and timeless issues: teamwork and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, inclusion and social justice, passion and mental health.

The TIP Team Culture Practices feature Excellence with Integrity TOOLS™ that distill relevant research, as well as over 20 years of the authors’ implementation experience in leadership and culture development. The TIP materials guide immediate activities in Culture Practices and support ongoing team culture development.

Each TIP Team Culture Practice is built around the same framework: a Warmup, which focuses on relationship-building activities; a Practice, when student-athletes learn and experience the culture-building strategies; and a Cooldown, during which the team reviews the key information and confirms what it is going to do better or differently moving forward.

Each Culture Practice also includes Mastering Culture Fundamentals activities, or Drills, so that the team can continue to engage in important culture conversations around teamwork, inclusion, and passion — clarifying, confirming, and emphasizing the key points and strategies in light of ongoing team experiences.

The TIP Coaches Guides also introduce the Excellence with Integrity™ CHAMP Approach: four essential processes that help one coach for optimal performance – the best we can possibly do under the circumstances we are in:

First, coaches must establish CLARITY about what teamwork, inclusion, or passion looks like for the team, in the current situation. Second, everyone on the team must know what the skill looks like and act accordingly, so “do this, don’t do that” HABITS must be coached. Third, there must be ACCOUNTABILITY put in place to ensure that team members hold themselves and each other responsible to the standards that are set. Finally, the right MINDSET must be coached so that student-athletes understand the deeper why behind the habits and expectations, and can recover when mistakes are made or obstacles arise.

The Background Brief completes the Coaches Guide, providing further insights for enhancing the Culture Practice while allowing for expanded application of the core strategies throughout the school year.


Through the NCAA, Women’s Basketball coaches have perpetual free-of-charge access to these resources to impact the culture of their team and over time develop their student-athletes into leaders ready to positively impact their communities long after their basketball careers come to an end. In 2020-2021, the resources have been distributed by the NCAA to all 1,097 Women’s Basketball programs in NCAA Divisions I, II, and III.

The TIP Culture Practices have been designed for NCAA Women’s Basketball by the consortium partnership of the Excellence with Integrity Institute and The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University and made possible through a philanthropic gift from Suzie Glazer Burt who believes in the importance of women empowering women for success.

TIP Culture Practices

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