Success in sports requires teamwork, talent and coaching


Zane D'Souza

In the middle of a heated game, varsity soccer coach Chris Purgatori yells directions to his team from the sideline.  He needs to guide them, but keep a level head while doing so.

“I’m of the belief that if I’m asking players to follow me as a leader of the team,” Purgatori said. “Who would they rather follow: a coach who is hot-headed, constantly yelling at players and putting the kids under fire at all times or a coach who is calm, level-headed and is able to build a rapport with the kids?”

During the rough patches that occur during a season, coaches often shoulder the blame. Senior Tyler Schedlbauer explains why the coaches role is essential and challenging.

“Coaches have a huge impact on the game,” Schedlbauer said.  “They’re there to offer support and suggestions on how to better help us succeed.”

Sophomore Julia Kowal agrees.

“The coach has an influence on the outcome of the game,” Kowal said.  “They choose who is playing and guide us by giving tips.”

A sports season has many rigors that can make players doubt the culture around the team. Any stretch of losing can upset the balance that is set in place. Schedlbauer thinks that players should listen to and trust the coach during a tough stretch.

“When your team is losing, you want to listen to the coach as much as possible,” Schedlbauer said. “They can offer help which you may have not noticed.”

However, the difference that the relationship between coach and team makes can only go so far. There are numerous factors that influence how well a team plays. This includes communicating on and off the playing field, practicing hard, leadership and building a rapport amongst the team. Coach Purgatori concurs.

“Team chemistry unites us all,” Coach Purgatori said.  “Even if we don’t have the most gifted team, if we have good chemistry and a positive attitude, we will be in every game.”

Forming chemistry can be difficult if the team does not know each other well. However, it can be accomplished with various team bonding activities that makes the team get to know each other better. Kowal explains this.

“To connect better as a team we do a lot of team bonding,” Kowal said. “Like pasta parties, team sleepovers and games like road rallies.”

This chemistry that is built often directly correlates to the success on the field.  To continue this throughout the season, the captain must lead the team and keep an upbeat attitude. Players are more likely to follow a leader who will work hard with them.  Schedlbauer agrees with this.

“When it comes to playing on the field, I like to listen to what the captains and other players have to say,” Schedlbauer said. “They’re the ones who are on the field and working with you.”

With fall sports coming to an end, all teams will hope to end on a high note.  All players and coaches will hope for a good season. The definition of this changes among everyone, but coach Purgatori gave his take on it.

“We can gauge success from learning from our mistakes and making sure it doesn’t happen again,” Coach Purgatori said.