By Morgan Hume, Contributing Writer
WESTBOROUGH – Emily Williams has made plenty of transitions over the years. She has gone from being a basketball player to the one coaching the team. More recently, she has gone from an athlete to an author. The Westborough High School (WHS) alumnae recently published a book to help young women in sports.
Her debut book “Lady-thletes” is designed to be a guide for young, female athletes navigating plays on the court, as well as relationships, friendships and academics.
Williams loves spending time working as a basketball coach, but when the pandemic hit last year, many athletic programs came to a halt.
Making an impact off the court
“I missed having that dialogue. I missed connecting with players,” said Williams.
Even though she couldn’t be on the sidelines, she wanted to continue making a positive impact on young girls and help them succeed on and off the court. So, she wrote a book about the biggest lessons she’s learned over the years in the world of sports.
“Lady-thletes” tackles everything from building time management skills to finding ways to prioritize romantic relationships, along with studying, family, and of course, athletics.
Williams’ own experiences, including her days at WHS, helped add a personal touch to the book. In one chapter, she describes how players should try to form their own identity outside of sports because that’s something she had to learn the hard way.
“As I’ve gotten older and as I left being a player to transition to a coach, I had a whole identity crisis,” said Williams. “I identified as a basketball player. It was ‘Emily’s a basketball player,’ not Emily anything else.”
The book isn’t written exclusively for young girls or athletes. The lessons unpacked in “Lady-thletes” are versatile, and Williams says there is plenty for coaches to learn as well.
“I had a few coaches reach out to me and say ‘I loved your book! It was great insight for my players,’” said Williams. “Being able to understand what’s going through a player’s head helps you be a better coach.”
William said due to coronavirus restrictions and being home more often, she found herself with much more time on her hands. She said without a long commute to and from work, she was able to block out one to two extra hours a day. She dedicated her free time to crafting “Lady-thletes” and was able to write the book in about six months.
When contact sports become safe again, Williams is planning to be right back where she was – coaching basketball. She wants to help young girls improve at their sport. She also wants to mentor them through a transitional and fast-moving time in their lives, as well as form a connection with their fellow teammates.
“I think the best part of it for me is when I have a team that goes from being 12 strangers to being 12 best friends,” said Williams. “Watching a player grow and watching the team grow is the most rewarding aspect.”
“Lady-thletes” is available for purchase on Amazon. Williams hopes the book will reach other bookstores and retailers soon.