I believe that we are all called to contribute to society in some meaningful way. Ten years ago, I was fortunate to realize that I was called to teach and coach students. When I realized my calling, one of my ultimate goals became to eventually be the head coach of a varsity program.
That goal became a reality this spring when I became the head coach of the the Academy’s Varsity Girls’ Basketball team. My seven years coaching at the Middle School level taught me to become a “student of the game.” Also, how to manage the up and downs of a long winter season. Most importantly, I learned that in order to become a good coach I need to take risks and learn from those mistakes. Last year as the Varsity Girls’ assistant coach, I learned what it takes to win at the varsity level. Year around open gyms and summer league play are only a couple of examples of what it takes to build a program. Through the observation and advice of veteran coaches around me, I realized my “type B” personality needed to become “type A” when it comes to preparing for practices and games.
This past spring, I went to the Nike Championship Basketball Clinic in Pittsburgh. I listened and took notes from the likes of Bob Knight, Jay Wright (Villanova) and Chris Mack (Xavier). When it came to strategy of the game they had great things to say. Interestingly enough, the most common theme in all their messages was that the most important aspect of coaching is caring about the kids off the court. When I heard this, it was reassurance that I’m following the correct path. I believe that our team will be successful this season on the court. However, what I care about the most is getting to know the players off the court and teaching them the lessons on the court that translate to life. Each season will have its own triumphs and challenges. I’m very excited about what the future has in store for me as a coach.