What it means to be an ASEP instructor

Author: Jerry Reeder, Assistant Director Sport Education


I hope this article finds you well and joyfully anticipating the start of spring! We have missed most of the snow, but have been fortunate to have received some much needed rain this winter.

As we look forward to the start of a new season, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for being an ASEP classroom instructor. The fact that you conduct classroom courses indicates your dedication to the professional development of your staff and your appreciation for the dynamics of face-to-face instruction.

Over the past 18 months, I have had the pleasure of training more than 260 athletic directors and sport administrators across the U.S. and abroad to become ASEP classroom instructors. During these training sessions, I spend a few moments explaining “Your three roles as an instructor” to the men and women who are joining the ASEP instructor team.

Your first role begins with a very important commitment. As the face of ASEP in the field, you’re asked to embrace and extol the message of “Athletes first, winning second.” We realize in today’s sport culture of “win at any cost” this philosophy is not always popular, but in our opinion it is the best way to preserve the true meaning of amateur sport in our schools and to prepare student-athletes for life beyond high school.

The second hat you wear is that of a facilitator and teacher. To be successful as a coach, one must have the ability to transfer information to athletes. A coach spends an enormous amount of time developing the techniques and tactics that will be used during competition, and the ability to successfully transfer that knowledge is critical to the success of the athlete and the team. If transferring information is critical to success, motivating an athlete to perform at their best is paramount! ASEP has invested a great deal of time, research, and resources in the development of our curriculum, your role is to take this curriculum and “coach up” the next generation of coaches and to motivate them to provide the best possible sport experience possible for their athletes. Once again this is not an easy task, but one that will produce great dividends for your sport programs if you are successful.

Your role and impact as a classroom instructor extends beyond your clinics. Your final role as an ASEP instructor is to be a mentor and role model for the young people you train as coaches. Your coaches will look to you to provide guidance and support - we hope they will view you as a coaching mentor and role model. Your influence on the handful of new coaches that you train each year is multiplied each time they begin a new season with a fresh set of athletes under their wing. I’ve had coaches who attended my clinics years ago call me seeking my advice on situations they’re dealing with. I may not always have the answer, but I am always willing to give of my time. Often they are just looking for someone to bounce an idea off of or someone to vent some frustration that has built inside of them. The influence you have is even more profound if you’re also the athletic director at the school they coach in, but regardless you will have an impact on their careers if they will simply buy into what we are preaching, “Athletes first, winning second!”

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any of your coaching education needs. There is nothing I enjoy more than to talk shop with an AD or a coach. Maybe you have an idea that will make me better at what I do or perhaps you need to do a little venting yourself? Whatever the reason, give me a call, and let’s see if we can’t solve a few of the world’s problems!

God Bless

Coach Reeder