What does it take to be a good high school coach?
March 29, 2022 by Ashley Madrigal, Arizona State University
Ashley Madrigal is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Dobson High School for AZPreps365.com.
The responsibilities and expectations of high school coaches are different from any other coaching level. High school coaches must prepare for their leadership role by finishing courses laid out for them by their state board. The Arizona Interscholastic Association's Article 17 identifies the key elements that every high school coach must obtain. Among other things, they have to abide by the rules set out and exemplify the behavior of teaching professionals.
High school coaches are not paid like collegiate and professional coaches, but the reward of their job goes further than what is left on the field or court. Many care just as much as upper-level coaches do about their teams and want what is best for there players during their season and the offseason.
“I want them to exceed their own expectations and keep working hard,” said Dobson’s girls soccer coach Jared Hunt. “We are a smaller school in the East Valley region, but I want this team to be at the top. I love coaching these girls.”
Playing sports at a young age teaches teenagers the importance of discipline, hard work, constructive criticism, teamwork, and how to take direction. While some students will further their careers and play in college or at a professional level, many stop at high school, and the effect that coaches leave on them can last a lifetime.
“The impact that my high school coach has made on me that I won’t forget is that he pushed me and the team to work harder so we can win games,” said sophomore athlete Alexis Garbiso. “He set a good example of what it means to be a good teammate by helping us in communicating with one another and playing together as a whole.”
Great coaches teach lessons which guide student-athletes into the real world by assisting in the classroom and professional careers. They want what is best for their players so they can challenge other schools competitively and overcome the obstacles presented.
“I tell my boys that we have all the elements needed to win state during our season. It is time for the rest of the state of Arizona to put some respect on our name,” said Dobson’s boys soccer coach Michael Sobek.
These coaches are coming from their full-time jobs ready to help their players reach their goals. At college and professional levels, coaching is their main job, and they are married to their coaching title. High school coaches don’t have that luxury and are putting in extra hours to fulfill their duties.
While it can be easy to get frustrated with coaches from time to time, remember all the dedication they have put into their jobs. They form relationships with their players in a way that no parent or friend can.
“It’s all about building relationships.," said the boys varsity volleyball coach, William Robinson. "Once you do, you can then be a rock that they can always count on."