Passion, intensity, and positivity are three qualities that any coach needs to possess in order to motivate their players to strive for personal growth. Middle School Girls A Basketball Coach Judy Bailey uses her energetic influence and experience to show her athletes that they can improve with a bit of enthusiasm and hard work. Coach Bailey, who doubles a sixth-grade science teacher, is a KO alumna and one of the school’s most experienced coaches. While she was a student here, she played lacrosse and basketball and continued these sports in college. Throughout her years as a teacher, she has coached nine different teams. This year, Coach Bailey coached the middle school girls A soccer, basketball, and lacrosse teams. In her position, Coach Bailey brings that same zeal and experience with her to every practice and game as she once did as an athlete. “I love to share my passion for the games that I’ve played, so like basketball and lacrosse. But I also like seeing my players, especially the younger ones, develop their skills and develop a love for the game,” she said.
According to Coach Bailey, the journey of personal growth that she sees her players go through makes coaching worthwhile. “I think my favorite part is just being able to be on the sidelines, watch my team, and be proud of them,” she said, “and to know that I played a role in helping the girls get to where they are. That is just a great feeling.” Eighth-grade soccer player Kyra Dunnirvine said that the influence of Coach Bailey’s enthusiastic and positive presence has players just as eager to improve as she is to watch them do so. “[Coach Bailey] always encouraged us to work harder so we could improve and perform in a way that we personally felt proud of,” she explained.
Likewise, eighth-grade basketball player Jordan DiMauro said she feels Coach Bailey shows players that they can never go wrong by constantly working hard. “After a rough game against Foote, [Coach Bailey] taught us that one bad game doesn’t define us,” she said. “She reminded us that one loss isn’t going to kill us, as long as we were trying as hard as we could.” Coach Bailey has clearly exerted a positive influence on the KO community for many years. As long as she sticks around and keeps doing what she has been doing, her passion and love for athletics will continue to positively influence the athletes in years to come.