FROM THE SIDELINES: Assistant coaches play important role
by Mason Shelton, Trigg County Student-Athlete
Aug 13, 2014 | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When you go for a typical doctor’s visit, the doctor is usually the one making the decisions while the nurses are assisting him or her by taking care of the other jobs. The role that nurses have in a doctor’s office is similar to the role that assistant coaches have on sports teams.

In most sports, a head coach cannot fulfill all the many responsibilities that come with running a team. They must share the load with their assistant coaches. For a sport like football with 60 players or so, more assistant coaches are needed to manage all of them.

In football, there is a hierarchy of coaches with the head coach on top, offensive, defensive and special teams coordinators underneath him, and then position coaches who break it down even further.

Some coaches take on multiple positions within the team. For example, head coach Coby Lewis is also the offensive coordinator, and Dixie Jones, who is the defensive coordinator, works with the linebackers. Tim Bush actually takes on three jobs. He is the special teams coordinator, running backs coach and secondary coach.

Assistant coaches run drills, teach techniques and assignments and set the depth chart for players in their position. Obviously, the head coach can suggest or change anything at any time.

As a player, there might be times where the head coach gets on to you for not executing a play the right way, and you may not understand what you did wrong. Sometimes, it might be a better option to ask an assistant coach for help so that you can learn for next time.

On gameday, a couple of the assistant coaches get a better angle of the game by sitting in the booth. Kewanis Kennedy says, “When you’re up top, the background noise goes away, the game slows down for you and you can see a whole lot more than you would on the ground.”

During halftime, coaches from the booth often talk to players about things they have seem from up on top that a coach on the field didn’t.

Two of the assistant coaches on the football team have unique situations because they are head coaches of other sports. Bush is the baseball coach and Kennedy is the track coach.

Kennedy says, “Since I know what being an assistant coach feels like, I give my assistants on the track team a lot of freedom. I’ve been in that role as an assistant where I’ve been stuck and couldn’t do some things that I knew could benefit the team.”

Usually, assistant coaches give input, and the head coach makes the final decision. Bush says, “The hardest thing about coaching multiple sports is the transition between being in charge and not.” When you have a coach who switches roles, it can be difficult for them to adjust.

“As the head baseball coach, I could not do my job without my assistant coaches,” says Bush. His assistant coaches have defined roles, like keeping pitching charts, pitch counts and giving their opinion on very important decisions throughout a game.

While the head coach of any sport is the face of the program, there are many assistants working hard right under them. To run a successful program, assistant coaches must take a share of the workload. Not only does this help out the head coach, but also players are influenced by a variety of coaching styles and philosophies. Without the help of assistant coaches, sports teams in Trigg County would not be as successful.

Comments on Mason Shelton’s “From The Sidelines” column may be sent to jmcgill@cadizrecord.com.
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