PAT’S PERSPECTIVE: The meaning of coaches


For a college student, getting up at 8 a.m. is a great inconvenience. Whether it be for class, practice, workouts, breakfast, a last minute paper or studying because we were too “busy” the entire week before, getting up early for anything in college is an atrocity. Yes, I know, we’re going to have to do it when we have a job. That’s just adds to the appeal of sleeping without an alarm set at this stage of our lives.

For most college athletes, being sleep-deprived isn’t unusual. Most young people would like to have a social life that involves spending time with their friends or engaging in an activity where they aren’t being bossed around or told what to do. After all, most college athletes have already spent their entire lives being told what time to be at practice or how they need to push themselves harder in the weight room or what they’re doing wrong in their sport.

The coaching staff at Piedmont College certainly keeps that mentality alive here on campus. Between the 8 a.m. lacrosse practices on Saturday mornings and the never-ending double headers on the diamonds, athletes have a lot to complain about right?

Most athletes here at Piedmont eat, study, maybe nap, practice, complain about  their coach, eat some more, complain about their coach while eating, play video games, watch “Teen Wolf,”  then squeeze in 7 hours of sleep before starting it all over the next morning. I’m speaking from experience for a few of those examples I just listed. Those darn coaches just don’t realize how horribly mistreated we all are as student-athletes right?

Fortunately, after four years as a Lion, I’ve realized something much more meaningful. Underneath all of the early-morning practices, long bus rides, goofy team rules and long lectures is a group of men and women who put forth tremendous effort to lead and mold the athletes at this school. After communicating with many friends and peers who play sports at other colleges, I’ve learned how much the people we call “coach” at this school really love their players. Often times it’s easy to get frustrated when a coach says or does something that we don’t agree with. We as college students are at a stage of our lives where mom and dad no longer give us a curfew, and our everyday decisions are made on our own terms. Why do we still have to do what we’re told by people who are supposed to be treating us like adults?

What I’ve come to realize is that the coaches at this school really seek to have a personal connection with the members of their teams. They desire to know and care about their athletes, not just on the field, track or court. It’s very special that most athletes at Piedmont College can text their coach with questions or personal issues. A lot of other schools treat their athletes based on how they perform or how big their scholarship is. After talking to athletes from all of the sports teams here on campus, it is obvious to me that our coaches look for something more. While they might not always be happy with their last game or with the everyday paperwork that comes along with coaching, it is evident that they cherish the young men and women that represent Piedmont College’s athletic department.

So fellow athletes, next time one of our coaches gives us an early practice or keeps us late after a game and lectures us about something that we don’t think is relevant to us in any way, remember that they love us and want to see us succeed in whatever way we can.