This school year, Arizona Desert Elementary School had two championship teams, in basketball and volleyball. I set out to learn about our coaches and what makes for winning teams. After interviewing both coaches, a few things stood out to me. Our school has a culture of hope. We say the Kids at Hope pledge every morning. We say “all kids are capable of success, no exceptions.”

I asked what makes a good coach. Ms. Franki Diaz, who coaches our girls 6th–8th grade basketball, said “My love for the sport and willingness to teach it to others” is what makes her a good coach.

Ms. Chloe Broussely coaches 6th–8th grade volleyball. She spoke about the importance of encouraging her players. Both played sports when they were growing up. Diaz said she watched her big sisters play and wanted to be like them.

In order to determine each girl’s position, a coach needs to know her players’ strengths and weaknesses. Both coaches were asked how they decide on player positions. Broussely said, “I ask them what they prefer.” Diaz said she decides based on “how hard each player works and their attitude on the court.”

A winning sports team is a team effort. The coach is the expert who shares their skill and experience with the players. Broussely feels that knowing when to regroup is important, and Diaz talked about the importance of hard work, dedication and growth.

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Karen Golden