The Unsung Hero

Don Shula dies at age 90: Iconic coach left indelible mark on NFL

Don Shula dies at age 90: Iconic coach left indelible mark on NFL

When a team achieves great accomplishment, the credit often goes to the players, and rightfully so. However, a coach’s playmaking and strategizing techniques are often underappreciated.

For some players, motivation comes when they know that they are the underdog. When told that you are not at the top level or that there are better players, it drives them to become better than what they already are. Shaquille O’Neal, “Inside The NBA” critic and former world champion, attempted doing this with upcoming NBA star, Donovan Mitchell, by giving “motivational” criticism.

“You are one of my favorite players,” Shaq says, “but you don’t have what it takes to get to that next level,” on Inside the NBA.

While it is debatable whether or not O’neale was effectively coaching Mitchell, the media responded to his comments, some people siding with Shaq and others supporting Donovan Mitchell. It was an undoubtedly awkward exchange between the two, but Mitchell responded by saying, “I’ve been hearing that since my rookie year, you know, I’m just going to get better and do what I do.”

Coaching is a skill that involves personalization and creativity. Different coaching styles may are possible depending on the coach and the players or team. Aggressive styles can emerge when there is a bigger reward on the line; however, lenient and forgiving coaches exist more often in youth sports when less is expected from the players. It’s most common to hear of the extremes, meaning a coach is “too mean” or “too nice,” but is there a happy medium?

Hillcrest’s very own boy’s soccer coach, Brett Davis, approaches coaching as a responsibility. He understands the age of the high school team and teaches his players skills to use in life to ultimately become “great young men.”

With over 40 years of experience, Davis has understood that soccer is more than just a technical sport and that it must be understood on a mental level. By creating specialized drills, he demands a level of focus and awareness in order to successfully complete it.

From playing ball tag and simultaneously dribbling a soccer ball to throwing rings while passing in a square, you must learn to be aware of your own space and position while playing the game.