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THROUGHOUT the year, many of the island’s sports clubs and organizations host different levels of events, tournaments and leagues which end up being successful mainly because of the outpouring of support from volunteers.
Whether it’s action around the diamond during Little League baseball, clinics or tournaments for volleyball, jamborees for soccer and football, or an organized summer tournament on the basketball courts, to name a few, volunteers ranging in many ages come forth to donate their time and effort in various capacities.
Guam’s great pool of sports volunteers come together in hopes of creating a successful program for their athletes and as a way of giving back to the community. Whether it’s refereeing, umpiring or simply scorekeeping a game, volunteers do what they do to promote a good cause.
More importantly, they also perform because of the love and passion they have for sports. One special group of volunteers who sacrifice hours, days and months of their time are coaches.
“As a coach I enjoying doing what I do for the young athletes. Running a club is not an easy task, but knowing that kids have another outlet or option to turn to is a gratifying feeling in itself,” said basketball coach John Taitague. “Basketball is also a sport that I have a drive for and I want our youth to experience all it has to offer as well.”
Just about every sport in the island community owes a debt of thanks to these men and women who take on a challenge as coaches. As the leaders and guides of their respective teams, coaches are the people responsible for helping athletes become good at what they do, while promoting the understanding and basics of a sport. Determined to make a difference in an athlete’s life, many coaches are committed to building confidence in many athletes and on the same token enhance character.
“Making an impact on the athlete’s lives on and off the playing areas and in their education is what we as coaches are called to do,” said Benjamin Leon Guerrero II. “We want and strive to better the athletes in our programs to not only excel in the sport they are playing, but also to help them be better productive citizens as well as educated ones at that.”
Despite always wanting nothing but the best from their athletes, coaches recognize that not all things are smooth sailing as there are times when the waters will get rough. Many times coaches are taken for granted or talked about in a negative manner. According to Taitague, all that comes with the job and it’s about remaining composed and knowing how to handle the situation.
“It’s in everyone’s nature to defend their team or family member; as coaches we learn to listen and move on. We just remind ourselves that we are there for the athletes and although winning is nice, we want them to have fun,” Taitague said.
A member of the 2012 Little League Girls Fast Pitch Softball All-Star team, Jestyne Sablan mentions that coaches are people who give their time and efforts freely, and in most cases their efforts go unnoticed. “I’m sure being a coach isn’t easy and we tend to take full advantage of them. They put so much effort in making us better and I believe athletes and their families should thank and appreciate them a lot more.”