A Day in the Life of a DI Assistant Coach

By Amy Altig, Assistant Coach, Penn State University, @PennStateWLAX

The one thing I’ve learned over the years is that no day is ever the same in this profession.  We could work 4 hours or we could work 14 hours, each day brings something new.  For the sake of this blog I’ll keep it to an average day in season with average happenings!

The alarm usually goes off at 7am, which is then followed by a quick dog walk and breakfast.  I cherish my routine, especially during the season when things can be pretty hectic for everyone.    Thankfully there is little to no traffic in State College, PA so it’s a quick 10-minute drive to the office.  Every morning I brew a pot of coffee and it usually draws a small crowd of coworkers who didn’t get their fix first thing.  Once the coffee is brewed I can then start my day!

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Photo courtesy of Penn State Strategic Communications

Our staff, like most, divides responsibilities but it’s always all hands on deck for pretty much everything. Nike and STX, player awards and honors, defense, goalkeepers, video exchange, and fueling station food ordering are all apart of my daily tasks.  My main task is dealing with recruiting and all the aspects that go along with that.  Basically what that means is my inbox is constantly filled with recruit emails being forwarded from Head Coach Missy Doherty!  The morning is a great time for me to work through some of those emails and prepare for the influx that comes throughout that day.  Besides dealing with that we always meet in the late morning to prepare for afternoon practice.  During this time we figure out as a staff what is most pressing and tackle strategies for upcoming opponents.  Before we know it, it’s lunch time/workout time.  After the lunchtime workout it’s usually back to planning and going over the scout and scout film for our next opponent. This is my favorite part of our staff meetings because we can really hash out a great plan…and who doesn’t love a great plan!  The planning is often hard at times because the players like to come by our offices and create a nice distraction!  It’s a great chance for us to ask them their thoughts on upcoming opponents or the overall vibe of the team in case we need to adjust things before practice. I also enjoy this time because it gives us a chance to get to know them as people and not only players.

Practice time finally arrives, which is obviously the best part of the day.  The planning comes to life and we get to be on the field with the players!  I start practice off with the goalkeepers or the “squad” as they like to call themselves.  We do technical training and then usually go over upcoming opponents while the rest of the team is warming up and going through stick work.  Once stick work is over practice is in full swing and the next thing you know its time for the ball hunt and cool down.  My how time flies when the players are working hard and loving the competition.

As all assistant coaches know our day is not over when the lights at the field go out.  It’s only just begun!  It’s home to grab a quick dinner then hit the film HARD!!  In season means constantly preparing for what’s next while trying not to over analyze what just happened.  Oh and don’t forget about those emails Missy sent me earlier in the day, might want to chip away at those so I’ll have more time to deal with next year’s equipment tomorrow.  Always being ready at a moment’s notice to take care of any task is the name of the game.  Sleep is something I definitely cherish so once I start to go cross-eyed from watching film I know its time for bed.

My day might not sound that exciting to people outside of the coaching world.  However, we as coaches know the simple things like crossing off a task on the to do list, or the big things like impacting one of our players lives makes coaching the best career in the world.

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