Coach Stefan Waits: The Importance of Team Mottos
Every year, I come up with a team motto. I make my own jerseys and shirts for the team and will put our team motto on there. This past season, our team motto was ‘naturally shocking’ because they were not supposed to be good, but we came out with a lot of intensity every practice and game and shocked a lot of people. Extremely defensive-minded as well.
Team mottos are critical for Coach Stefan Waits. In past seasons, his team mottos have been “success starts with me”, “built different”, “never tired”, and more. Ultimately, the team motto helps narrow the athletes’ focus throughout the season and brings them closer together.
Coach Wait’s Journey (so far)
Coach Waits has been coaching for about 7 years. Growing up loving the sport of basketball and being around coaches, it seemed like a natural next step for Coach Waits. Plus, he wanted to give back to his community. Thus, coaching was a no-brainer. The hardest part for him was figuring out how he was going to implement all of the things he has learned over the years and teach it.
After graduating college, Coach Waits was able to get a job as a teacher at a middle school. After becoming acclimated in his first few months as a teacher, Coach Waits was asked if he would want to be the girls’ basketball coach. He gladly accepted this opportunity. At first, Coach Waits was worried that he was going to have a hard time relating with the athletes.
This quickly faded away as he was reminded of his experience growing up with several sisters. Coach Waits was able to help bring the team much success, but it was the relationships and player development that he will remember from those seasons. After a couple years coaching the middle school girls, Coach Waits became the director and head coach of the Rocket City Ravens, a high school girls travel basketball program.
All In Takeaway #1: Team Mottos – Every Player has a Role
One of the most important things that Coach Waits learned when he was the middle school coach is that everyone has a role.
Everyone has a different skill level. And having them understand that just because they may not be a dominant scorer, does not mean they can’t go out there and rebound, does not mean they can’t go out there and play defense, does not mean they can’t go out there and be the best passer, and so on.
Coach Waits is the opposite of someone who just plays the same 7 players every game. In fact, he will mix things up every game. Why? Because he feels that everyone can contribute something. Coach Waits likes using his team mottos to remind his team that each athlete is crucial to the team’s success.
All In Takeaway #2: Team Mottos – Allowing the Athletes to Make Mistakes
Many coaches will get frustrated when their athletes make mistakes. Instead of being like most coaches, Coach Waits embraces it. If his players make mistakes while they are learning and trying their hardest, he encourages it. At the end of the day, it is all about developing your players and getting them to the next level. Mistakes are a part of that growth process. Coach Waits hopes that his team mottos can help encourage athletes to not be afraid to fail.
Currently, Coach Waits is in the midst of another travel basketball season with the Rocket City Ravens! As Coach Waits looks to use his player-centered mindset to help his team, it will be exciting to see how the team performs this summer! Go Ravens!
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