Lynx guard Aerial Powers walked media members through a scenario recently.
You’re at home. You’re doing something well — maybe cleaning the kitchen, mowing the lawn, making dinner, whatever.
Your spouse approaches.
“And says, ‘Hey, babe, that was good. I’m excited that you did that. I’m proud of you,’” Powers said. “What do you want to do? You want to do more of those things!”
That’s exactly why Powers approaches her teammates with the same type of positive reinforcement, delivered with as much energy and enthusiasm as possible.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said if a player is in a drill and maybe gets a deflection or something positive to that effect, Powers is the person they’re going to hear from.
“She’s the first one there to let somebody know how great that small thing was,” Reeve said. “I think what she gives you is her energy, her passion, her intensity of celebrating the smaller things.”
The 5-foot-9 dynamo will give Minnesota a scoring punch — that will be particularly important early in the season, which the Lynx will start without Kayla McBride and Napheesa Collier. The 27-year-old is a do-everything guard who can rebound, share the ball and hit triples. Powers will be a featured player this season for Minnesota.
But as much as anything, she will bring a needed confidence and energy to the floor every night.
“I’m always hyped. That’s just the way I am,” Powers said. “If you watch me play video games, watch me on Switch, I’m just that type of energy player. And I think your team needs that, right?”
“I think anytime AP walks into a room, she’s saying something, bringing the energy, and that’s what you love to have in a teammate,” Lynx wing Bridget Carleton said. “Someone on the roster that’s always bringing positive energy. It’s just fun to be around and brings energy to everyone, livens everyone up, makes everyone want to work harder, get that defensive stop, get on the glass, do those little things that take energy. Super fun, great teammate, super fun to be around and be on the court with.”
The Lynx will be better for her presence. If anyone does something well, they’re going to hear about it, just as you would at home.
“As a teammate, you also encourage your teammates that way. ‘Yo, good defensive stop! You got the steal! Good rebound!’ And showing them that you do notice what they’re doing, it’s like, ‘Dang, OK, let me get more of that.’ And they feed off that energy,” Powers said. “I feed off of it. If I’m doing something good, I want my teammates giving me my flowers, too. I’m going to keep getting it done, and then the energy just bounces off each other, and the next thing you know, you have possessions on top of possessions of good defense or good offense, whatever it might be, and then, there comes the win. So that’s just me.”