Assistant coaches light up team atmospheres

Brigitte Larkin, Social Media Director

For those of us that participate in sports, we all know that coaches can make or break our experience with the sport. Here at Liberty, athletes feel lucky to have assistant coaches that encourage a positive and fun team atmosphere.

The Cross Country team has assistant coach Josiah Sherwood, who the runners feel adds liveliness to the team, which makes them feel more at home. The team has created the nickname “CoJo” for him.

“CoJo is very energetic, and he brings a lot of happy energy to the team environment. He’s really young, too, so he gets us,” freshman Nathan Shiosaki said.

A Liberty cross Country alumni, Sherwood used to run for the varsity team. He graduated in 2010 with his record 5k time a 16:40.2. His time is still the 15th top 5k time ever run for Liberty.

“I really try to be intentional about being positive. I believe the team atmosphere starts with the coaches. If I come to practice in a good mood, I believe the athletes will be as well,” Sherwood said.

Similarly to Sherwood, assistant swim coach Kyle Duggan also helps to create a unique team atmosphere.

“Swimming is stressful enough, it creates its own anxiety.  So I do my best to stay positive and focus on the good and fun parts of competition,” Duggan said.

Duggan has been coaching at Liberty for 10 years, and the swimmers have been able to find a friend in him.

“He makes the team way more fun, and you can talk to him about a lot, not just swim. He acts like us and he’s really funny when we hang out with him,” senior Adam Flash said.

Without the positive influence of assistant coaches, Liberty sports would not be the same. Athletes consider assistant coaches to be a vital part of creating a fun team atmosphere.