Coach’s Corner: Bullitt Central’s Matt Kuehn

Coach’s Corner: Bullitt Central’s Matt Kuehn

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic is proud to sponsor the weekly “Coach’s Corner”, featuring a high school coach from women’s athletics in the local community. Since 1974 the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic has served the local area for orthopaedic problems and musculosketal issues. The sports medicine program has team physicians for local high schools which provide sports physicals and urgent care for athletes. Click here for details on SPORTS INJURY URGENT CARE.

This week’s “Coach’s Corner” feature is Matt Kuehn, head girls’ track coach at Bullitt Central. If there is a coach you’d like to read about, email suggestions to ashli@louisvillewomensports.com.

1) What is your history with athletics in your personal life?

I played sports all throughout high school at a 6A school in Texas. I lettered in track, basketball and football. I have been coaching for 10 years. This is my first year in Kentucky at Bullitt Central. The previous nine years I was coaching football and track in Texas.

2) How did you obtain your current coaching position?  

The head coach resigned and I was asked if I would be interested in being the head coach, so I took it.

3) Who do you look up to? 

My parents. I am one of 10 kids and they have been together for 49 years. They have taught me everything about how to live a purposeful life.

4) What are two primary goals you have for your team this season?

The goal in track is constant improvement and building towards the end of the season to be at your peak. Ideally, every meet we should get better individually and, in turn, it will benefit the team. My other goal is try and get more kids involved in the program. That is a work in progress.

5) What is the hardest part of coaching for you?

Realizing you can’t reach every kid. I have unfortunately had some kids who have chosen the wrong path after trying to steer them in the right direction. Life is a serious game and getting them to understand the consequences of actions can be hard.

6) What qualities do you hope to instill in your players that they can take with them to their families, careers, and society?

My goal with every kid I coach or teach is that they turn into a productive member of society and a tax-paying citizen. I have two rules: don’t be lazy, and be respectful. Life becomes a lot easier when you follow those.

7) How do you motivate your best athletes to work even harder?

Constantly challenging them. Create a workout for them. Track is unique because you really have an individual sport morphed with a team sport. My better athletes won’t and never have gotten the same workout as others. We preach about how you can maintain your level or achieve the goal of constant improvement.

8) What is one mistake you’ve made in your coaching career, and what did you learn from it?

It was a football coaching mistake. I was defensive coordinator and I took too long to make an adjustment to what the offense was doing. We lost a close game and had I caught the adjustment earlier, we would have won. I don’t sweat the mistakes. If you have never made a mistake, you have never coached or played. I told my kids that night that the game and result was on me. I admitted my mistake, learned from it, and it won’t happen again. Mistakes are oddly enough the best teaching tools.

9) How do you handle criticism from parents, athletic director, the media, and others?  

I guess I have been fortunate to stay away from too much criticism. Parents are looking out for their kid and you have to respect where they are coming from. Just sitting down and listening to them and having an adult conversation usually helps. I never do anything electronically. Face-to-face is the only way I will talk about issues like that. I guess I am old school in that regard, but more problems arise when you try to handle things remotely. I have never paid much attention to what outsiders say or comment about my performance. It has always been my belief that if I can look myself in the mirror and be satisfied with the job I am doing, then I am okay.

10) What is the greatest philosophy you live by?

I preach “Control what you can control.” So often we get wrapped up in things that we have no control over. It consumes our minds and thoughts and takes us away from being productive and handling our business.

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