As the 2013-2014 basketball season comes to a close, coaches and players are now taking this time to reflect back on the season and their teams, with whom they've spent hundreds of hours together in the past three or four months.
As a coach, one has tremendous power to affect an athlete's performance level, motivation, and enjoyment of the sport. They can ensure that the team has a positive experience throughout the season and they can build a strong foundation for the student's future years in the sport.
Beyond the technical details of improving their skills in the sport, players take away many life lessons from their coaches as well.
Pictured above are the 2013-14 STC high school basketball staff (L-R) Nate Doran, Chelsea Ahrens, Bryan Anderson, Marsha Keahna and Larry Rohach.
"My coaches have taught me that to become what you want to be in life you have to put in hard work. They have pushed me to become the best that I can be, and even when I thought I had given my best, they pushed me farther to help me reach my true potential," said senior Trisha Walz.
Coaches working with high school students often develop close relationships with them over time. The STCHS basketball coaches - varsity girls coach Marsha Keahna, varsity boys coach Nate Doran, JV girls coach Larry Rohach, JV and freshman boys coach Bryan Anderson, and freshman girls coach Chelsea Ahrens - all agree that throughout the season, the athletes that they've coached have impacted their lives in many ways. Together these six coaches have mentored over 60 kids in the 2013-2014 season.
"The girls remind me to enjoy the little victories, whether it's someone making her first three-pointer of the season or getting a difficult rebound. It may not be a big deal to me but it's a big deal for them," said Coach Keahna. "These girls work so hard between school and practices and open gyms and game nights. They never bad-mouthed each other when they lost and they were very positive throughout the whole season."
Coach Doran agrees, adding, "I enjoyed getting to know some of the players better than I knew them before. As a coach, they made me want to work harder to get better for the them so they can improve too."
For some seniors headed off to college in the fall, the wisdom and insight received from their coaches is cherished. For senior Paige Van Dyk, who is attending the University of Northern Iowa after graduation, coaches have taught her to push herself to get the results she wants.
"I have learned from my coaches that if you try hard and push yourself, things will come out the way you want them too. I have also learned mental toughness, work ethic, and dedication," said Van Dyk.
While the season may end, the influence and impact that coaches have passed on to their players and vise versa continues to live on with each individual long after they leave high school.