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 Charles Pearson. He is the head coach of Shawnee’s girls’ basketball team. If there is a coach you’d like to read about, email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) What is your history with athletics in your personal life?
I started my basketball career playing for Western middle school (8th grade). I high school I played five sports. I played basketball for four years, tennis for three years, cross country for two years, track for two years, and golf for two years. I continued playing basketball for Spalding University for two years in college.
2) How did you obtain your current coaching position?
While in college I took stats on the varsity level for several head coaches. I did stats at Shawnee High School under Dwight Bransford for two years and one year under Dwele French. I also served as a freshman head coach under Kevin Geary at Shawnee as well. When the job opened up I applied and got it. Dwight Bransford who is the current athletic director coached me in high School my junior and senior year.
3) Who do you look up to?
The person I look up to the most would have to be my daughter. I’m very blessed to be the father of such an amazing little girl. My daughter (Emoni) is by far the best thing that ever happened to me. If it wasn’t for her I would be in the army overseas in active duty. The birth of my daughter made me do a complete 360. She is my motivation to coach, teach, be a better man, and my importantly being the best father I can be.
4) What are two primary goals you have/had for your team this season?
Two of my primary goals are starting and running a clean program and preparing my players for the real world and college.
5) What is the hardest part of coaching for you?
The hardest part of coaching to me is not having the numbers that bigger schools have. It’s very hard to start and build a program when your numbers for girls that play basketball are so low. We don’t have the luxury of having enough girls to have a freshman, junior varsity and a varsity team.
6) What qualities do you hope to instill in your players that they can take with them to their families, careers, and society?
The qualities I think all athletes should have is character, respect, discipline, determination, and being coachable. Character is a big issue to me and was an issue my high school team struggled with. It’s very easy to mess up when a coach, adult, or parent isn’t around to keep you on track and out of trouble. Respect is one of those things you have to have in life in order to succeed. Even if you don’t like someone, I try to have my players understand you at least have to have that line of respect for one another to co-exist. Being disciplined is a trait that everyone must display to be successful in a job or career. At some point you have to be disciplined enough to do what you know you’re supposed to do without being told to do so. Determination is one of the most crucial traits for kids from the West End and Portland community at The Academy @ Shawnee. It’s easy to give up when the standards before you aren’t set high enough to motivate you and you’re not pushed to achieve certain educational levels because it’s not the norm for your school or your family history
7) How do you motivate your best athletes to work even harder?
I consider all my kids my best athletes. Everyone on our team has specific jobs that they have to perform in order for our team to be successful. We are like a well-oiled machine and even if one piece is missing the whole machine suffers and struggles to work properly. I like to have my kids understand that high school is a stepping stone to life. There will be much greater challenges in life than the struggles of being a high school Athlete. All the pain and adversity that they are going through will in the end make them better people.
8) What’s your favorite memory as a coach?
My favorite memory as a head coach was during our first game of the season and we were playing Holy Cross at Holy Cross. I remember a point in the game when we were down three coming out of a timeout with four minutes left in the game. I remember telling my girls that whoever wins this games it’s going to come down to who wants it more. Who is willing to sacrifice their blood, sweat, and tears to give their all for four minutes as a team. I ended the timeout with a question asking “what are you willing to sacrifice for the team to be successful?” Two minutes later a loose ball goes rolling and our center that I’m constantly on everyday about getting in shape and running the floor hard slides for the loose ball gaining possession back. A couple possessions later the same girl forces a jump ball, slides for another loose ball and gets a steal to put us ahead two points. At that moment we had come together to win as a team. The bench is going crazy cheering, fans are all out of their seats, and I’m all over the sidelines jumping and screaming. Holy Cross calls a timeout and in that moment all I could to is smile while the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders.
9) How do you handle criticism from parents, athletic director, the media, and others?
Being a new head coach I haven’t faced a ton of criticism. What you see is what you get. I live by the same qualities that I work hard to instill in my players. My coaches all display those same traits. From day one I’ve made myself available for parents, administration, and faculty to be a part of the program I’m working hard to build. Having a daughter, I understand it takes a village to raise a child. I believe having an open system and such an amazing support system has allowed us to have the success that we have had so far.
10) What is the greatest philosophy you live by?
I approach life as a boxing match with unlimited rounds. In order to be successful in the boxing ring you have to have a strategy and plan ahead. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Just like in boxing you must protect yourself at all times. In life you will throw punches and punches will be thrown at you. Some punches will land, some you will dodge, and some you will counter punch. In boxing everyone gets hit at some point. But it’s not the number of times you get knocked down that count. It’s the number of times you can get knocked down and get up and keep fighting is what defines your true character. You only lose in a boxing match when you stop fighting back and give up.