'Posting Up' with Sarah Beth Barnette

UKathletics.com wants to give you an inside look into the UK Hoops program straight from one of its players. Lexington native and 2010 Kentucky Miss Basketball Sarah Beth Barnette is a freshman forward on the UK Hoops team and she will provide a weekly inside look into her daily life as a Kentucky Wildcat. Check out "Posting Up" with Sarah Beth Barnette each week for all of your UK Hoops scoop!

January 18, 2011

I cannot think of a single person who has achieved great things without having great passion. How do they keep that passion alive? How does that passion grow? One common denominator I have noticed is that passionate people usually have a motivation bigger than themselves. If it just involves personal achievement or focus on self it is hard to keep passion healthy and alive. MLK Day is a great example. Martin Luther King only lived to be 39 years old but his legacy lives on today because of his passion for civil rights. His passion was bold and authentic because it wasn't just about him! He saw a major injustice and he wasn't going to give up until he did everything he could to make a difference. One man inspired an entire nation. If that doesn't get you to believe that you can be a positive influence, I'm not sure what will.

Passion. We all have it inside of us, every single one of us. Passion is like a gigantic monster at the core of our being. The question I'm wrestling with is how to keep that "monster" constantly awake. Some of us go through a day, or even a lifetime with our "passion monster" sound asleep. Others of us have tried to wake up the monster, but didn't try hard enough, so we go through life "passionately sleep walking"--which isn't passion at all. Everyone is passionate about something, but a majority of people have lost the key to unlock it; the greatest monster inside of us sits alone and untouched in captivity. It's extremely rare to come in contact with someone who not only has the keys to unlock this "great monster", but also will do anything to wake it up. These kinds of people know passion at its best. When all the "monster" wants to do is sleep, these people will shake it by the shoulders, slap it in the face, kick it in its shins, or even put a freezing cold wash rag on its face when it is sound asleep (my mom has used this trick a couple of times on me--IT WORKS).



Even though at times it is possible to feel passionate, passion is not a feeling at all. It is something that has been hard-wired differently into each of us. It is something planted deep within our hearts, ready to explode like a once dormant volcano. All we can do, everyday, is work our hardest to keep our "monster" awake. This allows us to find purpose and focus on our goals; it brings us joy. No one on this earth right now is perfectly passionate--it's impossible to be. So, what happens when we fail to live at our highest passion? You have to keep going.


One of my passions is the game of basketball--particularly Kentucky Basketball. My teammates, coaches and I all have this in common. As players, one of our struggles is being consistently passionate. We have great spurts, but then at other times we put a leash on our "monster" and try to tame it for another time when we'll really need it. Or, sometimes we expect it to automatically show up. See, that's the thing I'm learning about passion--it grows. It's not meant to be turned off and on. It comes from a source that doesn't ever fail, but it needs to be exercised. A tree grows the most, and roots emerge even deeper, after a rainstorm--a strong tree, that is. Likewise, after a few stormy losses (most of which we caused on our own), we must allow growth to take place while our "monster's" passion is ignited.

It's time we all do our part in keeping our team's "monster" absolutely and completely awake.

Pursue Passion,
Sarah Beth Barnette

December 9, 2010

Hello everyone!

It's the thick of basketball season and with that comes many lessons learned, but more than anything--the will to keep plugging along. There's been a lot going on this holiday season with UK Hoops and through it all we are becoming a closer-knit team. The week of Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) our team and staff traveled down to New Orleans. We were there for a couple of days for team bonding, exploring the city, and of course we got some good practices in. I loved the atmosphere and that it was such a festive city. It's also the story behind the city that made it so attractive and interesting.

When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, we all know that it altered and damaged so many lives. We know that much of the city was ruined and many parts were flooded. Homes were destroyed and lives were taken. The city was grief-stricken and nothing that happened was expected. People were thrown into circumstances that simply seemed unfair. It may sound funny, but when tragedy strikes, there is almost always one common denominator--gratitude. When I got to thinking of how people respond in times of trouble and what makes hearts reach out to those who are in need, the one common thread was a change of perspective. What may seem to be the smallest tragedy or a large one, like Katrina, both give us a wake-up call and we begin to remember what's important. It's in moments like these that life is simplified and we can come to a better understanding that the best is yet to come.

The fact that Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans is not what made it a great story. What made it a great story is how the city chose to respond. When they were in over their heads (literally) and adversity was staring them straight in the face, they CHOSE to fight back.

Really grateful people always seem to be the "thermostat" in the room--they set the temperature. Being grateful involves humility, courage, trust, surrender and I'm sure many other things. The combination of all these sets you up for the opportunity to show resilience--like New Orleans. As a basketball team, we want to be the "thermostat" in the gym and set the temperature for every game--and that starts in practice. Coach Mitchell always says, "Our formula is simple, but that doesn't mean that it's easy." Life is the same way; it's simple but we so often do things to complicate it. When you're living a lifestyle of simplicity you automatically harvest joy. Simple is what we're after.

I'm so thankful for my team. Each and every one of them brings something different to the court or conversation.

  • Vic--I love that she always sings, encourages me and teaches me on the court.
  • Amber--I love her energy and passion. She can always make anyone laugh and get any crowd hyped.
  • Carly--I love that she is so personable, relatable and encouraging.
  • Keyla--I love how sweet she is, but can still make our whole team laugh. She works hard and stays motivated.
  • Crystal--I love how she really cares about people and takes time to say a kind word. She leads by example.
  • Brittany--I love that she is so humble, so encouraging to me and is always ready to help anyone.
  • A'dia--I love how she wants the best for everyone and how hard she works.
  • Maegan--I love her energy for life and her competitive spirit on the court.
  • Bernisha--I love that she can make me laugh at any point. She is humble and unselfish.
  • Sam--I love her positive attitude and the fact that she wants to make a difference when she's on the court.
  • Jen--I love that she can start a conversation with anyone. She is an encourager and passionate.
  • Kastine--I love how caring she is. She gives her best effort at everything she does.

It's the simple things,
Sarah Beth Barnette

November 5, 2010

Do you have dreams? I hope you do--it's important. Do you ever catch yourself imagining something and then quickly "snapping out of it" because you don't think you have what it takes to actually live it out? Can you tell when that fear creeps in, forces you to think logically and numbs your passion and imagination or have you just gotten used to it? Don't get me wrong, it's healthy and necessary to be grounded in reality, but what if you're holding yourself back from something more? I don't know about you, but when I look myself in the mirror I want to be able to say, "I did everything I could." Sure, we all mess up and make things more challenging for ourselves at times--we blow opportunities. Other times, things happen that you don't expect, even things that might cause a few speed bumps or even road blocks. The question is - do you keep going?

The greatest technology ever invented, the cutest dresses ever designed, the most beautiful violin symphony ever composed, the tastiest apple pie to ever touch the tongue, a game-winning play drawn up on a dry-erase board--none of this just happened--someone imagined it first. These things might seem a little insignificant, but in the big picture, all these little experiences are bits and pieces of our lives--and let me tell you, life is more than significant if you let it be.

I wonder how different our lives would look if each day when we woke up, we were given a chart that told us the potential that could be reached that day. I would argue that our energy would be unbelievable and our passion wouldn't be easily hindered. We would have proper perspective. I don't think we would have such near-sighted vision and we would have a lot more pep in our step knowing what we had the potential to accomplish. The thing about potential is that it never ends. Whether you like it or not, you have potential. People who try to reach their daily potential most likely have really big dreams. Everyone's imagination is wired differently therefore, there are many different dreams. When you maximize your dreams and pursue them, you stand out.

UK Hoops has a dream. We also have a time limit. We're hungry and putting in pieces of the puzzle every day. A dream backed up with a plan to succeed is a recipe for success. The thought of structuring a plan if you're not even certain of what your dream is, could be a little overwhelming and frightening. Don't be discouraged. It's never too late to start dreaming, but don't waste time just thinking about it--do something. We're not holding anything back, don't you either!

Until next time....


Sarah Beth Barnette

October 20, 2010

The mystery of seasonal change is interesting to me. Fall, winter, spring and summer are all predictable. Yet, when they each arrive in their own time and fashion, there is something about them that brings refreshment. I wonder if we would enjoy summer as much if we thought it would last forever and had no anticipation for fall? Would fall be as appreciated if there wasn't a hot summer before it and a harsh winter to follow? Would we look forward to spring if we hadn't been through the thickness of the snow and literally felt a chill in our bones? Even though each season is expected, there is still ongoing thanksgiving for each new season. I have to think this is caused by mainly one thing--a fresh start.

With this new basketball season, that is exactly what we have, a new beginning. We have a schedule and none of our games will be unexpected, but each one will bring something new; new challenges, a new approach, hopefully even a new victory. Right now as a basketball family, we are able to see the forecast of what's to come. When you can see the "storms", and ultimately the "sunshine" ahead, you're able to prepare more efficiently and you know exactly what you need. When you test yourself and practice "going through the storm" then it's much easier when you actually get there. Our coaching staff puts us through something every day that will prepare us for the real thing.

We want to be honest with ourselves and be real about where we are as a team. Not only do the hard times bring us together closer, but the good times do also; which leads me to BIG BLUE MADNESS!! Friday night was one of the most fun nights of my life. I've always watched Madness, and this year it was my team that was a part of it! Rupp Arena was filled with so much energy! This is the loudest the crowd has ever been for the women's team that I can remember. From getting cheered for by 23,000 people, to Coach Mitchell teaching everyone how to "dougie", and getting to play the game we love; it was a memorable night to say the very least!

Coach Mitchell has been talking to us a lot lately about how everything is earned in the Joe Craft Center on that hardwood. When we run, it's for each other. When we clap and encourage, it's for each other. When we focus on ourselves, or simply have ourselves in mind, that is when we are building our own blockage for our trail. The trail is long and hard enough, so we are working on being better teammates so we can reach our destination (the Final Four) on time.

Although everyday-- like every season-- brings a fresh start, we can't afford to waste one. We know what's ahead and preparation is vital on a daily basis.

Until next time....


Sarah Beth Barnette

September 23, 2010

Hey Everybody!

It's amazing how much you can learn if you're willing. Learning is a choice, but you don't always get to choose the circumstances in which you learn. There are so many scenarios, environments and situations that we would like to find ourselves in, or even expect, that never actually come into reality. We believe--until experienced otherwise--that we will benefit and learn the most, if our surroundings are comfortable. When we are in our "comfort zones" we become stagnant, complacent, dull; and most importantly, there is no growth taking place. It is OUTSIDE of our "comfort zone" that you give yourself the mere opportunity to flourish. When you believe you can be a part of something bigger than yourself, it starts to get uncomfortable.

It's impossible to make things possible when you have fear in the way. Fear paralyzes, chokes out life, and hinders passion. Here, at KENTUCKY, we are on a mission. On an almost daily basis, we are being pushed out of our comfort zones physically, mentally and emotionally. We are ready for growth. It is one thing for an individual to step out of their "comfort zone," but when you have a whole team jumping out TOGETHER, you better watch out! The potential of what can happen is unending!!! We are becoming a team and it's almost time to start growing together, too. We are striving to take ownership of FOCUS, DRIVE and HUNGER. We are preparing ourselves!!

Our first team practice was last Friday. We, the freshman class, didn't know what to expect! Coach Mitchell told us to focus on the HOW and he will take care of the WHAT. He wanted us to work as hard as we could because he knows that is the one thing we can control. The coaches have been taking turns traveling and recruiting this week, finding us some awesome teammates! We are back at it again tomorrow for two-a-days.

Sarah Beth Barnette

September 10, 2010


What a week it was for UK Hoops!!! The first thing that comes to mind from this past week, are my legs telling me they are SORE. It was a tough week of individual practices, running, agilities and weights. The intensity level is picking up at a fast pace and I'm learning how important it is to dwell on the positives of the week and not to forget the importance of sleep!! Coach Mitchell always reminds us how important the little things are; they are necessary for champions. Similarly, as individuals part of the Kentucky basketball program, we are serving a greater purpose, we are becoming a TEAM. This isn't an easy task, but after our first "Team Bonding" experience, we are well on our way.

Expert April McDivitt Foster came to the Joe Craft Center to teach us more about our personalities and enlighten us on how to relate and communicate with one another better. First, through a series of questions, we found out which "color" we are. There are four different colors and you're a mixture of all, but the test provided which color is most dominant for the individual. It was really fun to see who had the same colors and learn how every teammate responds differently to the same things. We are all wired so differently and this was designed to help us understand how to approach, communicate, and encourage each and every player. We gained new appreciation for one another and it was truly a bonding experience. You may think this sounds like the perfect day of bonding, but wait, it's not over yet!

We extended our bonding experience at the team's favorite place to eat on campus, BLAZER! Stir Fry Friday is my personal favorite,; not to mention they have low-fat PEACH soft serve ice cream!!! There is no better way to bond than over a shared meal, with the exception of serving one. To top off our day of bonding, we packed grocery bags full of food from God's Pantry. These meals will be delivered by UK athletes to local elementary schools to children in need of food over the weekends. It was a humbling experience and reminded us of all of the MANY things we have to be thankful for.

Speaking of being thankful, I can't think of one person who isn't thankful for the one and only Amber Smith, WHO JUST TURNED 21!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HER!!!!!

Until Next Time....

Sarah Beth Barnette

September 1, 2010


Last week was a HUGE week for your UK Hoops team. We started off the week with a lot of fun....picture day! We had a professional make-up artist, brand new jerseys, and we got to dress up for some of the pictures, too! (You'll get to see them soon!!) Taking pictures lasted about three hours, so by the end of it, we were ready to be done. From goofing off during team pictures, taking individual glamour shots, Victoria making everyone laugh with her "unique" poses, and talking when we weren't supposed to; the photographer probably took a few more shots than he would have liked, but we definitely had fun while we were there.

Throughout the week we had several different meetings. One of the most important things in this program is communication, so Coach Mitchell makes sure we do it often. You may wonder what all of these meetings are about?? The bottom line is getting ourselves prepared for the journey to Indianapolis (home of this year's Final Four). One of my favorite things about how this women's basketball program is run, is the authentic accountability and consistent follow through in every area. Speaking of EVERY area, let's talk about the first week of class!

The thought of the first week of class was pretty overwhelming. There's something about getting that first day under your belt that relieves a lot of pressure. Monday and Tuesday were days filled with frantically running around campus trying to figure out where all of the classes are and getting all of your books and supplies together. Summer school was such a big help in making me feel comfortable on campus. I felt like I had a head start already, being aquainted with the in's and out's of living on campus and going to class.

Even though Student comes before Athlete, let's not forget about workouts!!! For four weeks we will have the same workout schedule. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we lift weights. Tuesdays and Thursdsays we run sprints. Also, three days out of the week we have individual workouts. We are WORKING HARD. Individual workouts are split up into groups based on position and are run by Coach Mitchell and the rest of the staff. It's a great time for individual evaluation and improvement. UK Hoops is also in the gym making shots for our shot challenge that ends in October when practice begins! We have to make a certain number of shots for the challenge to be complete. This is important so that we will pull the trigger in a game with no hesitation. During all of this, ice baths are KEY. :)

Until next time.....

Sarah Beth Barnette