WHS students share athletic experience through coaching
Despite busy schedules, some WHS students are still willing to dedicate their time to helping our future generation’s athletes.
Sydney Sleek (11) has been spending her weekday afternoons for the past year coaching soccer to a group of girls aged seven through eight through the Wooster Parks and Recreation department.
Sleek said coaching younger girls has helped her remember the fundamentals of playing any sport, including good listening skills, following directions and having a better understanding of the importance of a good coach/ player relationship, which have been the main focus of Sleek’s coaching experience.
“Helping the younger girls has taught me a lot about the relationship between players and coaches. You really have to understand the players individually to be successful as a team,” Sleek said.
Soccer is not the only sport that is assisted by WHS student coaches.
Grayson Blythe (12) also spends her free time coaching lacrosse to younger girls. Blythe has been coaching the young lacrosse players through the Wooster Lacrosse Club, who age anywhere between second through eighth grade, for three years.
For the past three years, Blythe said she has learned much about patience, which helps her a great deal during practice, games and with her fellow teammates.
Coaching younger girls has also taught Blythe to appreciate everything her coaches do for her as a player.
“Becoming a coach lends a lot of perspective. It’s like a ‘walk a mile in their shoes’ situation, and once you do, you’ll have a lot more respect for your coaches,” Blythe said.
Lyndsey Gallaway (12) also coaches younger athletes. Gallaway has coached nine and ten year old hockey players for the past three years through the Wooster Hockey Club. Her young players have also tightened her grasp around the knowledge of hockey. She explained having to break down and explain certain skills helps her reflect on how she performs them herself in her own games.
Gallaway has also learned the importance of teamwork and helping others build teamwork in terms of playing hockey.
“Coaching makes you see things in a bigger picture instead of just focusing on yourself; you see how the team works as a whole. On a team, everyone has a role and without every single person, the team doesn’t work,” Gallaway explained.
Sleek, Blythe and Gallaway all strongly recommend becoming coaches because it allows players to grow as both athletes and as individuals.