Assistant coaches key to success


Madeline Dauphin

Photo by Madeline Dauphin

Many adults would come to the minds of parents when asked who greatly impacts their child’s life. Themselves, other relatives, teachers, and head coaches would account for the majority of the answers. But when the same question is asked to high schoolers, nearly all who participate in athletics would bring up an assistant coach.

Assistant coaches are much more than just a helper for the head coach. They make practices run smoothly, and can specialize with certain athletes when the head coach is busy with the entire team. Ms. Kirsten Nozime, a counselor and assistant track and field coach, spoke about her experiences and responsibilities.

“I usually take the team through a warm-up, lead the sprinters or hurdlers through a workout, and finish with a core routine,” Nozime said. “I, along with the other assistant coaches, help with the little things that makes the overall season run smoothly. This specialization allows the head coach to focus on the bigger picture of the entire team and makes our program successful.”

Ms. Nozime also spoke about the lasting impact that her high school and college assistant coaches had on her.

“My high school assistant coaches were amazing,” Nozime said. “They made me mentally tough and as competitive as I could be. They also set me on the right path to compete collegiately, where I also had great assistant coach. He was invested in the entire person, not just the athlete on his team. Today, I try to model their coaching style due to the positive impact they both had on me.”

Assistant coaches can be seen as the backbone of an athletic team. Senior Mark Duffy, who competes on the varsity volleyball team, explained this concept.

“From my experience, assistant coaches help create a bridge between the head coach and players,” Duffy said. “The assistant coach is usually younger and less removed from competing at the player’s level than a head coach is. This allows them to be more personable, while also helping athletes with problems related to school or that sport. This personable relationship strengthens team chemistry and can lead to a successful season.”

Senior Olivia Moorman, who has committed to play women’s lacrosse at Central Michigan University, additionally spoke highly about her assistant coaches.

“Coaches have always been some of the most genuine people I have ever met,” Moorman said. “For me, my assistant coaches have always done the nitty and gritty stuff so the head coach can watch film and prepare for games. Assistant coaches further assist the team by helping everyone be on the same level during practice. So, when gametime comes, everyone knows their role.”

The next time you see an assistant coach, remember to thank them. Their dedication and care for their sport should not go without recognition. The saying that behind every good coach are great assistants could not be more true, and it is time to show assistant coaches the love and gratitude they deserve.