5/3/2012 1:27:03 PM
Name: Eric Schofield
School and sport: Goodhue High School baseball
Subject(s) you teach: Fourth grade
Education: Undergrad at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Family: Wife: Jennifer, daughter: Madalynn
How would you explain your coaching philosophy?
I believe that a coach is first and foremost a teacher. It is the responsibility of the coach to create an atmosphere within their program that helps their players grow and mature as athletes and as young adults. Athletes need to be given opportunities to discover their strengths and weaknesses and practice skills in authentic situations. My role as a coach is to help guide these young athletes in their development as baseball players, students, and members of our community.
What memory(s) from your career sticks with you the most?
I have had a short career thus far with this only being my second season as a head coach, however, I would have to say that what has stuck with me was the growth in last year's team. We went from a team who really struggled at the beginning of the year and trying to find our identity as a team, to a team who won a majority of their games in the second half of the season and secured a home playoff game for the first time in a while.
What is the biggest challenge in coaching?
The biggest challenge in coaching has been having the ability to get a group of 15 individuals, who each have their own personal wants and needs, on the same page and working together as one cohesive group. We have kids coming to us from a variety of different backgrounds and playing experiences. It is your job as a coach to understand and identify each players strengths and weaknesses and to know what is the best way to communicate with each and every player.
What hobby or activity do you most enjoy during the offseason?
I really enjoy traveling and hanging around with my family and friends. I have been trying to get into golf over the past couple of years, however, that is still very much a work in progress!
Please relate an occasion when your athletes learned something they could carry with them off the field.
Baseball is a game that is full of life lessons, especially about failure and perseverance. As a team, last year, we learned the importance of perseverance. Our players had experienced great success in football and basketball that year, earning trips to the state tournament in both sports. They had not really been faced with the kind of adversity we saw at the beginning of our baseball season and need to learn how to deal with these challenges. We grew a lot together as the season went on and experienced some great success towards the end of our season and into our summer season. I think that the lessons that we learned together last year will stick with that group of players for the rest of their lives.
Coach Profile is a regular visit with a southeastern Minnesota coach, from youth programs to college and semi-pro. Send your comments and tips to Craig Swalboski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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