Learning by Example

Coaching and training younger athletes serves as a job and learning experience for high school students


PHOTO Alyssa Branoff

Tilted sideways. Senior Alexis Kontorousis teaches a toddler how to turn his head and come up for air while in the pool.

At one point or another, most students have participated in some kind of sport, whether it is soccer or swimming, football or field hockey, or even simply running around the yard in the summer. Some students even take it a step further and coach younger athletes.
“I coached baseball,” junior Evan Welch said. “The kids I coached were about 10 or 11. I got to work with the kids a lot so I was always entertained.”
Coaching younger kids is not only a productive after school activity, but also a learning opportunity for athletes. It helps teach them more about the sport and may give them more respect for it.
“It’s different than practicing with girls my age,” senior Bobbie Eastman said. “It’s taught me that everyone’s different and that different people learn in different ways.”
As well as athletic experience, these student coaches are gaining some lifetime lessons.
“I’ve learned that it takes a lot of patience,” junior Manon Steel said. “I’ve also learned how to look at things differently.”
Another athlete who has learned something from coaching is senior Ashley Bearden, who coaches 12 year-old volleyball players.
“It’s taught me a lot of patience,” Bearden said. “It’s also given me communication skills and I’ve learned to be more encouraging.”
Coaching is not all hard work and no play. According to these “kid coaches”, there are several entertaining stories to be shared.
“It was just really fun and entertaining,” Welch said. “There’s a lot of stories of kids getting hit in the head with the ball.”
Coaching has proven to be an amusing, educational opportunity for the students, and most coaches recommend it, not only for the lessons it teaches, but for the experience one gains.
“Just do it,” senior Hannah Evo said. “It’s a nice experience. It’s taught me that you have to be able to control your anger and you just have to let certain things go.”