As I sit and listen to the coaches speak at the annual Athletics Banquets, I’m reminded of what is truly important and what makes the most impact in each season. Surprisingly, it is never the wins and losses. It is always about the players, the experiences, and the improvement that each coach witnesses.
Coach Riz Soulliard, head Varsity Girls’ and Boys’ Tennis coach, points to the tenacity and dedication of the recipient of her Coaches’ Award and how it gave her pleasure to see him so happy while playing. Our Varsity Girls’ Basketball coach, John Martin, who took the team to the school’s first run in the PIAA State Tournament, said that winning the semi-final game in District III play versus Lancaster Country Day School was one the best days of his life. It was also one of the Academy’s best wins in school history.
Coach Steve Pancoski always speaks highly of his team’s performance and was quick to point out the accomplishments of his players. However, even more importantly, he spoke about the life lessons each player learned and, in this case, the value of resiliency.
“One of the overarching themes of the season revolved around the quality of resilience. Throughout this season, our players witnessed their teammates exhibiting resilience, or the ability to frame adversity as a challenge. Players experimented with being more flexible in regard to how they dealt with adversity, moved on from it, learned from it, and grew as a result of it. In short, they learned the process of adapting well in the face of adversity by utilizing the necessary intrinsic skill sets fostered, in our case, by the game of basketball. It’s my hope that this resilience will continue to develop within each player and travel with them in their basketball lives and otherwise, serving them well during all of their future growth opportunities.”
Every coach is mindful of what it takes for each player to achieve his or her potential and works dutifully in the off-season to help nurture each player and team. It is not by accident that teams achieve greatness, it takes an enormous amount of practice and patience for coaches to foster each player’s potential. For that, I am grateful for our dedicated coaches.