By Izzy Schmidt
Taking on the role of “Coach” is a huge responsibility. Some people may not think that those five letters coming before a last name would be that important and powerful, but a coach is given the opportunity to push athletes to the point where they live and breathe a sport.
Spending around three and a half hours a day sweating, running through drills, and pushing students to the edge of their physical and mental breaking point, coaches need to be dedicated to their sport and to their players. With all the time spent at practices, games, extra training sessions, and post game parties, coaches are often around students as much as, if not more than, their own parents.
No teenager listens to a more influential adult more than they listen to their coach. A mutual drive is partially the cause of this: the athlete wants to succeed and improve, and the coach wants to build a winning team, but both share the passion for the sport. This understanding makes the coach-player relationship full of respect and a bond like no other.
In general, coaches are alumni of the sport. They have taken their knowledge and previous experiences and passed them down to the players. These tactics are from years of playing the sport, watching the sport, and being taught by a coach of their own before they took on the coaching role themselves. The more experienced the coach, the better the athletes.
Amazing coaches like Bill Walsh, who led the 49ers football team in the 1980s and brought them to win six NFC West titles and three Super Bowls, and Jerry Tarkanian, the UNLV men’s basketball coach who won the 1990 national championship game, and even Scotty Bowman, who coached the St. Louis Blues hockey team to 1,244 wins and reached the Stanley Cup final four times, show just how impactful this occupation can be.
Every great coach is unique and has the ability to influence each player differently, but a few things are universal: coaches leave an imprint on the player, they will be remembered for years, and they are always striving for greatness in their athletes.
A coach that is constantly striving for greatness who instills this in his or her players, will leave a strong and positive impression on those student athletes. Years from now, the players may have taken up a different occupation or hobby, but they will always remember the respect a good coach earns for teaching them so well.