Coach’s Corner: Debbie Judd, Assumption Field Hockey

Coach’s Corner: Debbie Judd, Assumption Field Hockey

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 Debbie Judd. She is the head coach of Assumption High’s field hockey team. If there is a coach you’d like to read about, email suggestions to

3451-Judd-441)What is your history with athletics in your personal life?

When I was in grade school my neighborhood would have pickup baseball and basketball games.  Back then, kids were always outside and there was always a game going on. Boys and girls played together and you didn’t whine if you scraped up the shin sliding in third in shorts.  That lead me to organized competitive softball, which I played every day of the week and traveled on weekends in the summer.  I was “All World” one year.

In high school they did not yet have softball, but I played basketball, track, and a new sport they added my junior year– field hockey.  I fell in love with the sport.  It combined the ball/stick skills of softball, the speed of track, the passing lanes and defense of basketball.  I went on to play for the University of Louisville and have coached at both Bellarmine and U of L.  This will be my 27th year as head coach for Assumption.

2) How did you obtain your current coaching position?  

While assistant coaching at Bellarmine, I heard Assumption was looking for a coach and may drop the program if they could not find one.  It was the right time for a change and here I am.  I left coaching AHS for a year to go back to school so I could teach, and that’s when I assisted at U of L.

3) Who do you look up to?

My parents who taught me integrity, hard work, and to live a Christian life. Beth Anders from Old Dominion [University]. Field hockey is one of the toughest sports to learn because it requires so much skill, but Coach Anders said to keep it simple.  She’s coached Olympic teams and her motto was still the same.

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

Well, to win state.  We have the talent, but it’s a hard road because there are so many good players and coaches.  To always improve and do our best.  And to have fun…it’s a game.  (A really fun game!)

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

I wish anyone who wanted to play field hockey could play.  At least now there are club teams where girls can still play even if they do not make the high school team.

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

Teamwork. Commitment.  Strong work ethic.  Time management skills.  To always give their best because when they give their best, they can have no regrets.  Pride in themselves and their team.

1821-Judd-447) How do you motivate your best athletes to work even harder?

It depends on the athlete, but I always start with encouragement.

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

Hindsight is always 20-20.  It was the state championship game and as time was dwindling, I left a player in because she was our most talented player.  We all knew she was the one who could get us a goal, but she was tired and not getting the job done neither on attack nor defense.  I should have put in a particular reserve player who, though not of the same caliber, had worked hard all season and proven herself as a solid player.  What I learned was that I should be more objective in my observations and decisions and go with the evidence.

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

I’m always open to learn.  If it’s constructive criticism, then I’ll take a look at it.  If it’s not constructive, then I ignore it.  Our athletic director and our parents are very supportive.  They know that what I do is in the best interest of the team and that I am fair and honest with every player.  I know that I do my best and that I know a whole lot about field hockey.

10) What is the greatest philosophy you live by?  

I live by the golden rule.  I also try to stay positive and have gratitude.  Three very simple things to live by, but they have a huge impact not only on myself but others as well.


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