Philosophy of Coaching

Coaching from a servant-leader and best evidence approach are two of my strongest areas of expertise. I believe that for student athletes to grow and excel in their abilities, they need to be in a supportive atmosphere. This supportive environment includes a knowledgeable and experienced coach who listens, is genuinely invested in the well-being of the student athletes, and ultimately helps them achieve their goals. I do not do this alone, coach Steve Balmer and others provide a great deal of wisdom, thoughtfulness, and experience to our coaching staff.

I strive daily to be positive, demonstrating my excitement to watch members of our team grow and develop their skills. I want to help student athletes believe in themselves by developing an “I can” attitude. I do not focus on winning, instead, I stress doing the little things well in practice, competition, and academics, performing positive mental imagery, learning about associative and dissociative thinking, developing reasonable goals, and peer-to-peer support and encouragement. When student athletes tap into these items, success takes care of itself.

I attempt to be aware of the student athlete’s behavior in practice and competition. This enables me to recognize student athletes’ positive behavior as it relates to the team or an individual. These successful moments, no matter how trivial, are acknowledged by me, a coach, or a teammate when we come together at practice. Recognizing an individual’s behavior has a positive effect, which can frequently boost that individual’s self-confidence and self-esteem, thus potentially nurturing intrinsic motivation. When a student athlete begins to gain confidence in their chosen activity whether it is in sports, the arts, or academics, their mentor has a window of opportunity to further advance knowledge and skill. When this is done in a fun way, it is a win-win situation. Successful coaching at the high school level is not about having a win-at-all-cost attitude. Rather, it is about teaching student athletes to do the little things well, supporting and encouraging others, and creating room for growth in all aspects of their life, not just athletics. Lastly, we talk about the 4 C’s: treating people with Care, Compassion, being Competent in the skillsets of social grace and academics, and giving back to the Community.

My coaching philosophy in addition to my experiences as a cross-country/track and field coach, exercise physiologist, physical therapist, business owner, PIAA state champion, and collegiate runner, I believe comprises a unique skill set to coach Strath Haven athletes. However, I continue to push forward to continue to learn from student athletes, parents, and coaches. I don’t know it all.

― Coach V