Lacey Knox, St. Lawrence Vikings
Despite a perfect start to the Women’s Basketball season, Lacey Knox has encountered her challenges early on as a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association apprentice coach.
Knox is one of 15 women who were given the opportunity to participate in the Female Apprentice Coach Program this season. She’s working alongside former CCAA Coach of the Year Remy Simpson at St. Lawrence College in Kingston.
“There is so much more to learn through coaching that I didn’t have the chance to learn while playing,” said Knox, the former Vikings co-captain. “I have found it to be difficult to switch the way I think from a player’s view point to a coaching view point.”
The Vikings (9-0) do sit atop the OCAA’s East Division standings however and Knox is feeling more comfortable with each passing practice and game.
One aspect of the game she has found particularly interesting is the substitution of players and the importance of dissecting matchups on the court. She’s also starting to learn how practice plans are created.
“I’m learning about the important teaching points you need to make, the skills that need to be practiced and the drills that need to be completed, depending on the team you are playing next,” said Knox.
Through all the ups and downs in the first half of the season, Knox is extremely grateful for this FACP opportunity.
“It has provided me the chance to see that even though I can’t enjoy the game by playing, I am able to provide my knowledge, skill, and enthusiasm for the game through coaching and helping other developing players be the best player they can be,” she said.
Cynthia Perpall, Lynx d’Édouard-Montpetit
For Cynthia Perpall, the return to her former Cégep, where she is being mentored by head coach Louis-Michel Bergeron, has been a pleasant experience thus far.
“As a former student-athlete, I find it very interesting to discover the other side of the story, that is, the coach’s reality and point of view,” said Perpall, a former Lynx Women’s Volleyball player who went on to compete with the Rouge et Or de l’Université Laval and the Citadins de l’UQAM in U Sports.
There are countless learning opportunities for a new coach, but it’s during games where Perpall feels she’s acquiring the most knowledge. She is intrigued by how a coach makes decisions during a game in order to respond to what’s developing on the court.
She is also learning how to approach pep talks, in good times and in bad, as well as how to control your emotions on the sidelines.
“I’ve learned just how much work coaches take on, and that good preparation and organization are essential in order to guide your team toward a common goal,” said Perpall.
Perpall appreciates the opportunity to be mentored as a part of the FACP and has certainly experienced the highs and lows of coaching early on.
The struggling Lynx (5-6) are looking forward to the holiday break, having lost their last six straight matches. This after Édouard-Montpetit started the season on a five-match winning streak and was ranked as high as No. 2 in CCAA Rankings.