Coaches from Jefferson County Public Schools left their whistles at home this week. Instead, they gathered as a team for a two-day coaching clinic at Valley High School. It provided an opportunity to fill out paperwork and complete required training in one sitting, rather than over multiple weeks during the sports season.
This was the first time the district athletic office hosted the clinic.
“I wanted to make sure that we had a one-stop-shop for our coaches. A lot of them said they would have to leave practices to get their requirements done, and so I wanted them to have the opportunity to do these things all in one place,” JCPS executive director of athletics, April Brooks, said.
Coaches attended both Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) and JCPS required training, such as the “Sports and Safety” and “Character First” courses.
Coaches also completed required CPR, first aid and defibrillator certifications in addition to optional trainings about diversity, practice planning and player development.
“[We’re] just making sure they have a well-rounded start and get the experience they need before the students arrive,” Brooks said.
The process of being approved to lead a JCPS athletic team takes a lot of paperwork and training before a coach can hit the field.
“Invest in yourself. That way you’re sharpening your iron, that way you can teach these kids how to do what they need to do,” Waggoner High School football offensive line coach William Currie said. “Once you communicate it, they will be able to reciprocate it on the field.”
Currie is a first-year coach at JCPS, but even for returning coaches, the clinic proved helpful.
“It’s very informational because every year things change on how you deal with parents and how to deal with the kids,” Westport Middle School football head coach Dandre Bean said.
Some schools sent multiple coaches to help team building.
“We want to all be on the same page as well, so that helps our student-athletes,” Central High School head football coach Marvin Dantzler said. “And then you just get all your paperwork done, everyone is in compliance come next week, we can all just get started.”
Having one place to get all the necessary paperwork turned in was important and helpful for several coaches.
“It’s not just coming out and just coming to a field and saying ‘I’m a coach’,” Bean said. “You learn on and off the field. Just like the students go to school every day, we do tests every year.”
Brooks hopes that coaches left the clinic feeling prepared to build and strengthen their teams.
She said that with the success of the first clinic, she hopes to have three offerings by the end of the year, one for each season of sports.