Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Fall 2012 Banquet

Coach Carawell Speaks to Project Coach Staff at Banquet 

       On Tuesday, December 18th, many of the staff members of Project Coach including our teenage coaches, Springfield Public School teachers, co-founders, and youth community leaders gathered in the Brightwood Health Center Community Room to celebrate a successful first half of the year. Together, we enjoyed some good food, heard Loeb Rosario and Joseph Wray share some of the highlights of the semester, listened to Coach Carawell talk about how he became a coach and what he has learned coaching Duke and the Armor, and watched a video made by one of our graduate students with clips and pictures from our first semester. It was an excellent way to cap off a semester filled with new adventures, recognize the hard work of our teenage coaches, and thank all of our staff members for their dedication all semester. 
       To begin the night, Loeb and Joseph shared many of the great things Project Coach experienced from August to December. In just that short frame of time our coaches went on tours of 5 colleges, attended multiple college application workshops, ran 8 weeks of soccer games and tournament play, were trained by Smith College Volleyball team, ran 8 weeks of Volleyball for the first time in Project Coach history, and worked hard with their Smith College personal academic coaches to raise their GPAs. Many of our coaches also received G and F level trainings from MA youth Soccer and our veteran coaches took a trip to NYC to see Project Coach in action at the Boys Clubs of NY. With more elementary students than ever before, more coaches, and great literacy lessons on sports-themed books, this semester truly was a success. Loeb and Joseph also gave out three awards for perfect attendance to all Project Coach events in the first semester. These went to Coach Priscilla Morales, Coach Xavier Rosario, and Coach Brian Arroyo. The group cheered their accomplishments before welcoming our guest speaker for the night - Coach Carrawell from the Springfield Armor. 
        Coach Carrawell, who began coaching as an assistant coach for Duke and is currently the assistant coach of the Springfield Armor, shared many great lessons with the group. Having played college basketball all four years at Duke, been drafted into the NBA and then retiring and becoming a coach, Carrawell had many great experiences to share. Perhaps the most profound and relevant for our staff, was his story of moving from player to coach. He spoke openly about how difficult it was to let go of being an NBA player and become a coach. He shared something he learned from the great Coach K while working at Duke. He said that they were always taught to let go of whatever just happened in the game and focus on "the next play". By doing this, they didn't let any disappointments from the last play interfere with whatever came up next in the game. He explained how he tried to apply this to his life and took the opportunity to coach at Duke while getting his graduate degree. He also spoke about how important his education was in order to allow him to transition into coaching. After his speak, our teenage coaches asked a lot of excellent questions about his experiences coaching and in life. All of the staff members really enjoyed his speech and were great-full he came. 
          After enjoying the video of our first semester and having some desserts, we all went out separate ways thinking about how great this first semester and first experience with volleyball was. The leadership team, graduate students, and the purple shirts (veteran leaders in PC) have already met to discuss many ways we can continue to improve, grow and impact the lives of youth in Springfield next semester. In a little over a week, we will kick off our rowing training in preparation for our pilot program with the Pioneer Valley Rowing Club. 

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