As school starts, coaches face balancing act

As school starts, coaches face balancing act

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As school starts, coaches face balancing act

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Greg Seibert is an educator.

In his spare time, he also coaches football at Catholic High.

Such is the case for the rest of the area football coaches, who spend most of their day in a classroom setting before spending their afternoons and evenings out on the football field.

Balancing the two can be quite the juggling act, but it’s something that simply must be done.

That challenge began, for the most part, on Monday as Catholic High opened the 2012-13 school year.

“I think it puts us in a position to work a little bit smarter than harder,” Seibert said. “I know I’m not going to have that much free time during the day.

“It does a couple of things: It creates some late nights, and number two, it’s made me be a lot more apt to delegate responsibilities to guys who may have time when I don’t.”

Escambia and Santa Rosa County schools open their doors to students on Monday, but teachers reported this week to start preparing for the first day.

“It did kind of kick in (Monday) with all the meetings,” said Jay High coach Kent Smith, who taught math last year but will teach physical education and weightlifting this year. “I told my wife that it’s no different for me because I haven’t had off all summer.

“Other than a week after school ended and a week before we came back (for fall camp), we’ve been working.”

But working takes on a new meaning when classes resume. Coaches have to start making time for lesson plans, as well as their game plans.

“That’s one thing that we talk about a lot in our pre-planning meetings, as far as football goes, is making sure we’re planned out,” Smith said. “As a head coach, I get that together and send (players) practice schedules by email.

“Really, it’s a matter of doing whatever you have to do to get it done. If it’s get here at 6 a.m. to be prepared for practice at 3:30, that’s just what we have to do. If it means staying late at night, we do that.”

Advanced planning is the key, Seibert says. Catholic plans its practice schedule as early as July, and has the entire season schedule ready to go when the football team reports in August.

“We typically map out our practice schedule in the month of July, when we still have some free time,” Seibert said. “We have a good idea of what we’re going to do.

“Our practice plan for the whole season is pretty much done when we get back. If there’s anything that needs to be changed, those decisions are made on Sundays when we meet.”

Seibert, who teaches digital literacy, American history, AP government and world history, said being a teacher makes him a better coach, and vice versa.

“My job is to be an educator,” Seibert said. “I’m a firm believer that to be a great coach, you have to be a great teacher. I look at the great coaches and see great teachers.

“I look at a guy like Mickey Lindsey. When it comes to coaching offensive linemen, I would challenge anybody to argue with me that there is not a better teacher of offensive linemen around here. Because of that, I think if Mickey were to walk into a history classroom not knowing anything about that, with those traits and skills he has, he could teach it.”

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