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    Coaches Learn What it Takes to Become a Marine Officer

    Coaches Learn What it Takes to Become a Marine Officer

    Photo By Sgt. Shaehmus Sawyer | Marines and coaches stand at attention for a promotion ceremony during their visit to...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Shaehmus Sawyer 

    Marine Corps Recruiting Command       

    MCB QUANTICO, Va.-- Coaches from across the United States participated in the 2017 Coaches’ Workshop aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, May 17-20. Throughout the week, coaches experienced what candidates endure at Officer Candidates School to earn the title Marine and what they experience at The Basic School to develop essential skills to be an effective leader.

    “The purpose of the workshop is to have these coaches come to Marine Corps Base Quantico so we can talk to them about what we do as Marines and what we do that is successful so they can take those ideas and translate it back into their programs,” said Lt. Col. Brian Proctor, the assistant chief of staff for the office of diversity. “This way we can provide them a frame of reference to dispel myths, rumors and have peer-to-peer conversations of current issues within the Corps and their programs and discuss the solutions for those problems.”

    During the workshop, attendees learned about OCS and participated in the Leadership Reaction Course, a tactical obstacle course that challenges candidates with difficult tasks designed to test their leadership capabilities. They also observed and practiced martial art techniques, combat life-saving procedures and learned the basics of patrolling with Marines. Additionally, the coaches witnessed precision performances by the Silent Drill Platoon, the President’s Own Marine Corps Band and the Commandant’s Own Drum and Bugle Corps at an Evening Parade. They concluded their journey at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, where they witnessed a promotion ceremony, toured the museum and received certificates for their attendance.

    Sedrik Solice, a coach for women’s basketball at Syracuse University in Lima, New York, explained he was thrilled to come to the workshop.

    “My overall experience has been phenomenal,” he said. “The setting of the workshop placed the coaches in an environment where we can all be our competitive selves. It was awesome to get into the ring and get physical with other coaches, but at the same time learn what Marine officers go through during their training. We want our athletes to be aggressive, but to be able to think under duress too, and to see that Marines train under duress—let alone for us to experience that for ourselves—was a truly eye-opening experience and a great aspect for us to take back to our athletic programs.”

    Solice had some knowledge of the Marine Corps prior to the workshop, and said he came to learn while looking to affirm all the preconceptions and beliefs he had for the service. He said the workshop and the Marine Corps exceeded all expectations and preconceived notions.

    For many of the attendees, the workshop was their first exposure to the military; however, the Marine Corps and coaches share similar missions. The Marine Corps makes Marines, wins battles and returns quality citizens back to society, while coaches’ goals are to create successful athletes, win games, and return graduated and exceptional individuals back to the nation’s work force.

    “We need these coaches because when they come in and see what we do as Marines, we develop advocates for the Marine Corps,” said Proctor. “These advocates return to their colleges, which are peppered across the United States, and share their knowledge with the students on campus, faculty members, other coaches and their athletes—our primary target audience. In the long term, it opens the door for recruiters and officer selection officers to access these schools and open dialogue to talk about opportunities within the Marines.”

    Equipped with the knowledge and experiences gained throughout the workshop, coaches can now return to their institutions and positively influence their athletes’ decisions during and after college.

    Julia Rafalowski, the head of Coker College’s women’s volleyball team in Hartsville, South Carolina, described her experience during the Leadership Reaction Course to Solice, explaining that she was the youngest member in her group, but was the leader and had to tell more experienced coaches how to tactically negotiate an obstacle.

    “I really wanted to know what my teammates would do in that situation, but the Marine told me that I needed to take charge of the situation and get my team through the course,” she said. “I want to take that back to my players and have them switch roles as the captain, and I would love to have them try out a course like the LRC.”

    Throughout the engagement, several coaches explained how they would recommend every coach to attend the workshop; some even said how this event was the best workshop that they have experienced.

    College coaches, teachers, counselors, deans or equivalent can attend next year’s workshop. Email mcrcpa@marines.usmc.mil for more information.



    Date Taken: 05.22.2017
    Date Posted: 05.22.2017 09:05
    Story ID: 234648

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