This season, many Lynn student-athletes are going beyond playing their sport to coach and mentor others on the field, in the gym or on the court.
Athletes already endure a busy schedule, juggling academics, workouts, games and practice schedules. However, many of these individuals are choosing to take on the responsibility of teaching younger kids the same skills in the sports they love.
“It was hard at first, but I think as I have continued to coach over the months, I have gotten much better at time management,” said Lauren Odom, freshman and volleyball mentor. “It is so important to plan your week so you have enough time to get proper rest, do homework and fit in a social life around [your sport] and coaching.”
Not only is the experience beneficial for the children they help but also very satisfying for the athletes. The feeling of seeing the kids improve and be inspired to succeed in the same sport they are passionate about is incomparable.
“It is pretty cool when you see your players getting better,” said Jose Porfirio Ordonez, junior and tennis instructor. “It is very exciting and rewarding seeing their development.”
Not only is it a fun activity for many, but mentoring helps give players a little perspective on what their own leaders go through when coaching them. Putting the athlete in the coach’s shoes and seeing players from a different perspective gives the athlete a better understanding of why coaches say certain things or react a certain way. In essence, it is an active learning experience.
“This is the first time I understand my coaches when they say, ‘I can’t play for you. I can teach you how to do things, but it’s on you how much you will show,’” said Sonja Udovcic, sophomore. “Coaching [club volleyball has] helped me a lot, pushing me to give more effort in my own practices.”
Though it can be hard to be in the opposite role of coach instead of player, much can be gained from the challenge. Guidance, passion and love for the game rub off on the kids and makes all the work worth it.
As they move forward, these student-athletes hope to pass on their work ethic and drive for their sport so that more kids are inspired to pursue a collegiate career, realizing success in the process.