A Successful Transition

On November 7, 2011, in Uncategorized, by

I wanted to take some time to give the Brophy Community a personal update about my time back on campus…

I keep trying to tell myself not to blink because every time I do another week seems to go by. I am happy to admit that the time is flying by as I continue to partake in work that I am thoroughly enjoying.

Joining the ASC was an easy decision for me. It presented the opportunity for me to fulfill my desire to serve the needs of others and reunite myself with a community I deeply care for. However, with my own unique situation it also took a little extra support to make the decision a reality. You see, I am engaged to be married in June of 2012.  The idea of living in community and having LONG weeks doesn’t necessarily pose as the most beneficial method to an engagement before marriage.  But… when you have the support of family and a fiancée like Jen Spencer it turns out to be the perfect situation before we take our vows!

And so the journey began…

When Mr. Ryan asked if coaching football was something I would be interested in doing, I jumped at the opportunity. Most who know me, understand that I have a very competitive spirit, and football was always the best means of satisfying that desire.

My initial excitement was also accompanied with an anxious feeling about what was
ahead.  This would be my first time coaching and I wanted to be sure that I was prepared to make a positive impact on the players I would lead. I spent a good amount of time writing down different drills and coaching points I had learned from both my time spent at Brophy and on the team at Nevada. Football is a complex game and without attention to the smallest of details a team will struggle to have success. However, putting football knowledge and skills aside, some of the best coaches I have been taught by always presented a strong and positive set of values, ethics, and character. It is by that standard, which I looked forward to sharing my experience with the players and helping them reach their goals.

On the first day of practice, I walked over to the Brophy Sports Campus 1 hour early, and was surprised to find I had the same anxious feeling as if it was me going to be battling it out for a position on the team. I knew I was prepared, but just
unsure of how the reception from the JV players would be when I was introduced as the receivers and defensive backs coach. Setting the nerves aside, practice went very well and you could tell the players were excited to be back on the field.

After a few more practices I began getting the hang of running the drills and helping the players to understand expectations and where they could improve. The most beneficial part of coaching for me was my shared experience with the JV players.  It wasn’t long ago, that I was going through the same drills under the same head coach (Mr. Woods). I believe that the personal connection allowed the players to feel comfortable with me as their Coach and also as someone to come to with any other pressing needs.

For me, one of the hardest things to get used to again was the dreadful Arizona summer heat.  I quickly found out why just about every coach out there wears a Camelbak allowing ice cold water to always be within an arm’s reach.

The first 4 weeks of fall practice were grueling in the 110 plus degree afternoons, but the team pushed through and the hard work resulted in a season opening win against Boulder Creek 13-7. My favorite part after the game was realizing that the feeling you get as a player when you win a close game is even more satisfying as a coach. The biggest difference I noticed was that, as a player you can only control your specific job and have to trust in your teammates to do theirs. If
you try to do too much the usual outcome isn’t favorable to the team. With coaching, I had many different players’ jobs to worry about and felt the stress of trying to help make sure they all understood what needed to be done to have
success.

I quickly learned that coaching requires you to always be tuned in, and there isn’t time to turn it off if you want to get the most out of your players. It isn’t easy, but in the end it is a very rewarding experience and there will always be room
for improvement on my end.

I would rather not mention too much about our 2nd opponent other than after the tough loss the team really pulled together and finished the rest of the season on a 7 game win streak!  The 8-1 season was a tremendous success and an experience I am grateful for having.  My favorite memory will be getting to see players achieve something that would not have been possible if we had not drastically improved from week 1 in the season.

You can check out the rest of the season results by clicking on the picture below:

First TD of the season

Keep your eyes peeled because I will soon be putting out an update about the first semester of Brophy’s new Loyola Academy!

God Bless,

Matt Smith

 

 

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