Over the past 39 years of being involved in athletics at Plymouth High School, I have often been asked the question, “How do I become a coach” or “What qualifications do I have to have to coach?” The answers to these questions are really quite elementary.
The two things you must have to coach are (1) a passion for a sport and (2) knowledge about the sport.
As a kid growing up, most people played multiple sports. The offerings available for kids today are extremely large even in our small town of Plymouth. Gymnastics, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis, Softball, Baseball, Volleyball, Golf, Swimming, and Wrestling are a few of the sports offered that our youth may get involved with. Some of these sports are offered in the schools, some are offered through the Plymouth Park System, and some are offered through private organizations like Jana’s Gymnastics, LifePlex, Upward Sports, or The Zone.
Coaching opportunities are available for nearly all of these sports if you have a knowledge or an interest in doing that. This is how many people get started in coaching.
On a personal note, my wife and I moved to Plymouth in 1979 after graduating from college. We both were teachers for the Plymouth Community School Corporation. I started coaching basketball and baseball at the lower levels of each sport. I coached elementary basketball at Jefferson School for two years. I also coached “B” League baseball for two years.
In 1981, Plymouth School Superintendent Ken Payne ask me to start coaching basketball, and eventually baseball at Plymouth High School. I felt very honored as I was coaching under two Hall of Fame coaches. I coached under Jack Edison in basketball for 30 years and Bill Nixon in baseball for 16 years. As I look back on that experience, I feel very fortunate to learn under two people that had great success at what they did.
A passion for the sport, and knowledge about the sport are still necessary items today to coach at the high school level. But there are some other things required of coaches today. Our governing body, the Indiana High School Athletic Association, requires that coaches take some on-line training in order to coach.
The National Federation of High School Sports offers many classes on-line. The IHSAA requires that Indiana High School coaches take the Concussion course. The course takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. The coach, if he or she continues coaching the sport, must take this course every two years.
All coaches must complete a second course of their choice. The offerings include courses about First Aid, Nutrition, Bullying, Hazing, and Inappropriate Behavior, Engaging Effectively with Parents, Performance Enhancing Drugs, Social Media, and Heat Illness. There are other courses offered I did not list here. Each course takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.
Our Rockie Football coaches also must complete a course called Blocking, Shoulder Tackling, and Equipment Fitting every two years.
In order to become a head coach of an athletic sport at Plymouth High School, they must complete another course offered through the NAIA Champions of Character Website. The name of the course is Character Driven Coaching. It is a two hour course required by the IHSAA.
These continuing education courses for our coaching staff keeps them current and up-to-date on trends in athletics and things that effect athletes today.
Plymouth High School offers every sport sponsored by the IHSAA. On the girl’s side, this includes basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Sports offered for boys include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and wrestling.
Plymouth High School also offers other sporting opportunities. PHS has fall and winter cheerleaders. Weight Training is also offered as a course during the school day. Weight training opportunities are also offered before and after school three days per week for athletes that want training during their off-season.
If you have an interest in learning more about the opportunities in coaching at Plymouth High School, please contact the PHS Athletic Office.