The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Coaching: the glue to a successful sports team

Coaches often determine the caliber of a team’s performance and the individual attitudes of players.

The coaching staff can make or break a team. A coach must understand how their team learns best and how they respond to success and criticism, on top of a whole slew of other responsibilities that make the job difficult. Coaching is all about balance.

Brookline sports are an important part of student culture, and the coaches often determine how successful the team is. Throughout the season, students and coaches alike must work together to win as many games as possible.

Boys varsity swim and dive coach Robin Ross said that a good coach must be able to teach and understand the sport.

“The coach needs to know the fundamentals of swimming and [have an] understanding of how to create sets for the swimmers from sprinters to distance swimmers. To be a good swim coach, you need to be observant of your swimmers so that you can critique their strokes,” Ross said.

Ross said a coach should also understand their players and communicate with respect.

“Other qualities that make a good coach are [being] empathetic, good with communication, confident and a good role model. Be someone that your swimmers can confide in and be part of their support system. I also like to add humor into my coaching and communication with my swimmers,” Ross said.

Senior and boys varsity baseball player Harrison Sigel said that a good coach must have traits that players can look up to.

“A good coach instills a sense of discipline and hard work in the players and the team—someone who can manage a team through their struggles and winnings, someone who is a role model,” Sigel said.

Communication can also be a breaking point. Ross said that when a swimmer underperforms, she tries to focus more on why what went wrong happened rather than focusing on the single fact that the swimmer was slow.

“The challenge of coaching is when swimmers get upset that they haven’t gotten a personal best time in an event that they have been focusing on and getting the swimmer to understand why and talking it through with them and coming up with a plan on how to swim that event next time,” Ross said.

But with adversity, there comes success. According to Ross, a successful coach should know how to lift their team as a whole and individually.

“Good coaches respond to success by celebrating good performances by the swimmers. Myself and the assistant coach pick a swimmer that we have deemed swimmer of the meet, whether it’s based on getting a personal best time, swimming an event that they typically don’t swim or just someone that stood out to us,” Ross said. “Winning is great, and we like to win, but we also like to point out individual successes.”

Senior and boys varsity baseball player Ben Doctoroff said that as a player, it is especially important to hear the positives.

“After a win, it feels good when a coach congratulates you or points out the good plays you make. I think even though it’s easy to focus on the things that went wrong, lifting the team is what motivates players to come back every day,” Doctoroff said.

Ross said she works with her team to help them learn from their mistakes and improve. She said working with her swimmers is one of the most rewarding parts of her job.

“I really enjoy coaching the boys, they are a great group of swimmers and it’s been fun being back on the pool deck,” Ross said.

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