San Dixon made a name for herself in the same way that all of our favorite characters do… totally by accident in a place where no one was looking. Or as she’ll tell you, ”The community built Coach San”.
Several years ago, San was working at a boys and girls club in LA–in the video game room. After only a few days, she asked them, “Why play 2K when we’ve got the real thing outside?” The kids were competing hard and badly wanted to get better, so every day San, a former college player, poured skillwork into anyone who wanted to learn.
Riding her beach cruiser bicycle with a net thrown over her shoulder full of medicine balls, bungees, and basketballs–San rode to the outdoor courts and charged $10 for a two-hour session. “I had no idea what I was doing, I was just out here”, she’ll smile and tell you.
Soon, word of San’s name, work ethic, and mentorship got around, and a few years later, San was not just developing kids… she was developing pros. She found herself in the gym assisting and leading workouts with some of the Sparks’ and Lakers’ top players.
With all of our speakers, I’ve asked them this question:
At what point in your career did you realize you belonged here?
When I asked San, she took a pause. She teared up and said, “No one’s ever asked me that before.”
“Right before he passed, Kobe Bryant was developing a WNBA preseason camp. One for the players who were done with their overseas seasons who needed a place, a space, and a voice to help them continue to grow. When putting the final touches on it all, he knew there was one piece missing that he had to have. Kobe personally requested that I be a part of the program. We never got to put it on, because he passed shortly after. But that was the moment when I started to believe.”
San’s journey includes working with Nike Los Angeles, where she has served as the lead female trainer for the Jr. Drew League and Kobe Bryant's Mamba League. By 2016, she was the Jr. Sparks Clinic Director and Youth Basketball Summer Camp Director where she helped increase girl's participation from 300 to 1,400 participants by 2019. San continues her partnership with Nike Los Angeles as a Change Maker and Sport Impact Leader. Currently, San serves as a player development coach at St. Mary's Academy in Inglewood.
At the Changing the Game Conference San is going to discuss how to create an environment that every athlete wants to come back to–specifically in how coaches design their team/recruiting camps.
San Dixon's approach to basketball camps extends far beyond honing technical skills.
It's about instilling a sense of confidence, teamwork, and resilience in young athletes.
Her vision revolves around creating a positive and inclusive environment where every participant feels not only seen and heard but also the people around her.
She puts an emphasis on the guardians and the coaches as well, making sure they also feel seen and empowered.
When talking about camps and how she plans for them, she follows the three P’s: Plan, Pivot, and Party.
At ‘Changing the Game’ She will dive more into what those three P’s mean, and how she integrates them into this game that constantly brings us closer to who we are.