The impact a coach can have on an athlete


Penny Klingler

Head Coach Jose Lara and Peggy Klingler pose for a picture after winning the 2018 state softball championship.

Ilah Perez-Johnson, Sports Editor

A team’s success is often determined by their overall record. However the amount of wins are only a small part of a team’s success. 

The fear of being good is often seen in many athletes today. In an article written by Richard A. Lovett and Holly Hight interviewed a very successful Oregon coach who admitted himself he was afraid to succeed because he didn’t know if he could do it again. A coach can change an athletes perception of competition, hard-work and even of themselves.

Senior Peggy Klingler explained why head softball coach Jose Lara has impacted her in a very positive way. “He always had faith in me and pushed me to my max and even beyond that.” Klingler has recently committed to Kirkwood Community College to continue her softball career. 

Many coaches will often begin to build a bond with their athlete that no one can ever experience. “He didn’t treat me as any other player, but as his daughter,” Klingler said. “He’s like a second dad to me and I know I can always go to him for anything. He never stopped believing in me.”

As a positive athlete-coach relationship develops, many athletes begin to see their coaches as role models rather than strictly a coach. They begin to look for their coach in times of distress or just as someone to talk to other than their parents. 

Another athlete that was strongly impacted by their coach is senior Ben Wilson. The St. Ambrose track and field commit said that Coach Bryant has helped Wilson out in many aspects. “He has been there for me as a person and a coach. He critiques what we could be doing better so it makes it obvious that he cares about our success on track.”

Understanding that if coaches begin to be more positive at a younger age can also keep the athlete in that sport. Many athletes will quit a sport mainly because of the coaching. However, many will stick with a sport because of how the coaches have impacted their lives. Making sure the athlete has a safe place to go if their home life isn’t the greatest.

Head Coach Jennifer Goetz of the girls basketball team praises that in the gym all of the time. Goetz wants her players to take their minds off of anything going on outside of the basketball court so they can have a place to escape and give it their all on the court.   

High school athletes- parents as well -need to understand that what they are going through now are life lessons that will prove to be guide posts along the way. And coaches continue to develop student athletes to improve their self-concept to make them better both on and off the field or court.