Volunteer coaches give time to mentor young athletes on, off field
September 15, 2011
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- For the past three years, four Soldiers have made time in their busy lives to coach multiple sports programs for the Youth Sports leagues.
The garrison's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Child, Youth and School Services hosts the Youth Sports leagues.
"It's incredible how dedicated to the players each of (the Soldiers) have been over the years," said Brendyn Agbayani, youth sports director, Schofield Barracks. "Their positive influence and direction have really made an impact on the sports programs, their players and the families."
Staff Sgt. Brandon Wollet, 396th Signal Company, 30th Sig. Battalion, 311th Sig. Command, coaches flag football, basketball and soccer at Schofield Barracks. He took up coaching so he could become more involved in his own children's activities.
However, he quickly discovered coaching's rewards.
"I would encourage others to coach because there is no greater feeling than when I see my players demonstrate good sportsmanship and work together as a team," Wollet said.
Sgt. 1st Class Chad Shier, an instructor at the Noncommissioned Officer Academy Hawaii, coaches baseball, basketball and football teams to give children a path into a successful life.
"Everything I do is with an eye for their future," Shier said. "School first, sports second. Education gets you where you need to go."
When coaching, Shier's greatest thrill is when he sees the expressions on children's faces change after they finally understand what he is trying to teach them.
Warrant Officer 2 Bill Swoveland, 25th Infantry Division, started coaching because he wanted his son to grow up having fun in sports while also learning the fundamentals.
"I also wanted to show the kids a good role model, somebody who does the right thing, especially under pressure (of game time), and plays by the rules, while still having fun doing it," Swoveland said.
He continues to coach because it is his family's link to the community.
"I see the kids I coach on Schofield, and they say, 'hi, coach,'" Swoveland said. "My son has made great friends with his teammates. (Youth Sports is) a big part of our lives."
Master Sgt. Justin Fordice, 18th Medical Command, believes that youth have a small window of opportunity to learn teamwork and social and sports skills, so Fordice coaches his baseball, soccer and football teams with that idea in mind.
"Sports is so much more than just the sport; it creates a sense of belonging, camaraderie and desire to be part of something successful," he said. "It teaches children how to be humble when losing and winning, and also that it is not just about them. It's about how they participate as a team."
Every year, Fordice returns to coaching his three sports. He sees how the children develop skills and values, and he wants to continue to build on those ideas, as well as teach them to the new players.
Volunteer coaches needed
Youth Sports is always looking for additional coaches. To volunteer, call (808) 655-6465 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.