The past few months, I’ve spent every afternoon and most Saturdays out at the soccer fields. Ever since I was three years old, I’ve been an avid soccer player. This past year though I changed my perspective on the game by accepting a coaching position at Harrison High School, a local Lafayette high school. I was hired to be the head Junior Varsity coach, and had two other staff members working under me. Since I’ve played the game my whole life, I’m very knowledgeable with the sport. However, coaching has showed me that there’s a difference between having knowledge on a subject and being able to convey your knowledge to someone else, let alone 20 other girls. Along with being a fun release from the daily stresses of college life, being a coach helped me prepare for my future in many aspects. I was required to design lesson plans for practice every day, and research new drills and coaching techniques in order for the team to improve throughout the season. Once I graduate college, I aspire to become a physical therapist, and being in that profession will require plans drawn up for patients as well as researching new methods of treatment. Being held accountable for the performance outcome of someone else was a big responsibility to have on my shoulders, but one that I need to learn to carry throughout my future job. Coaching also taught me lessons on being assertive, and on acting like a proper authority figure. There’s a difference between holding a leadership position in a club where your peers are looking up to you, and holding a leadership position in which people of different ages are looking to you for guidance and the right answer. Lastly, coaching gave me the chance to have fun with athletics. It’s sometimes hard to find the time amidst everything else going on to go out and enjoy the things that made you happy when you were younger. Working with a sport that helped shape who I am today was great reminder of my youth and why I chose the career path that I did!
— Aryelle Murray, Junior, Movement and Sport Sciences