It wasn’t until one of my players called me “coach” on the first day of practice that I realized how much I missed coaching. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to coach basketball, football, and track at different points during my career, and to coach students that I work with in the classroom setting. I find that students display different characteristics on the court than they do in the classroom and I appreciate the way coaching allows me to connect with players in a way that I never can as their principal.
Athletics offer an important opportunity for our students to learn about their strengths and limitations and how to work together to achieve a common mission. Few of my memories from my middle school experience are of awesome history lectures or science experiments (sorry Mr. Brawley and Mrs. Johnson). However, I still have memories of road trips, game fouls (some might say I was an over-aggressive hack), and victory celebrations with my friends.
Middle School is still a great time to try out a sport for the first time. The Academy’s no-cut athletics policy encourages all students to participate and reach their own personal level of success. I enjoy working with the Middle Schoolers, helping them learn the basics of the game. No matter what skills a player has at the start of the season, it is rewarding to see just how far they’ve progressed at the end.
This year, both of our Middle School Basketball teams made it the Central Pennsylvania Basketball League (CPBL) Championships, a valuable accomplishment. The MS Girls’ team won its Championship game against Harrisburg JCC, and although the MS Boys’ did not meet the same fate, to make it to the Championships was a victorious end to an already successful season.
As I interview potential teachers at the Academy, one of the questions I always ask is, “Tell me about the times where you have worked as part of a team,” because I want to hear about candidates’ experiences working towards a common goal. I am so pleased with the MS Boys’ Basketball team that we built and most importantly, our common goal of supporting and encouraging one another.