Coaches are more than people who coach. They are mentors, role models and cheerleaders, offering encouragement and motivation to their athletes. At Northwood, many talented athletes have taken on this role of coaching and inspiring a new generation of disciplined, determined athletes.
During the summer, senior Aanya Jain coached a group of 5- to 9-year-old boys for a tennis training camp hosted by the city of Irvine.
During the course of the camp, Jain was able to build a close bond to her athletes through a variety of tennis related games and other athletic activities.
“I saw the kids four days a week, so I definitely built a relationship with them,” Jain said. “I still think about how they’re doing, and I hope they continue playing tennis.”
Introducing kids ages 3 to 5 to the basics of gymnastics, senior Tiana Garcia leads workshops at Wildfire Gymnastics on a weekly basis. Garcia started off as an assistant coach, but after working for a year, she began to teach her own class.
“At first I helped other coaches with their classes, and then I started subbing other classes, but I finally was able to have my own class this summer,” Garcia said. “It was a really good feeling knowing that other people felt that I was responsible enough to lead my own class.”
Senior Andrew Wraith spent his summer coaching a team of 5- to 12-year old swimmers, called the Stingrays. During the course of the season, Wraith focused on fostering the children’s interests in swimming and improving their skills through interactive drills. In the end, Wraith believes coaching was a rewarding experience.
“It was really fun to see the kids improve knowing that you contributed it,” Wraith said.
A dedicated soccer player, senior Sophia James spent her past summers as an assistant coach for her 10-year-old sister’s American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) soccer team.
“My sister and I have a large age gap, and I thought coaching her team would give me an opportunity to bond with her,” James said.
In addition to training a team of 14 girls on footwork and other skills, James inspired the girls by sharing her passion for soccer. She believes coaching is an enriching process and would recommend others to take on a similar role.
“I would encourage others to coach, not only to share their skills, but also because it’s a great leadership opportunity and bonding experience,” James said.
According to Jain, Garcia, Wraith and James donating time and effort to mentoring the future generations is both an enriching and rewarding process.