Trust and Commitment

Insight of the new coaches at Liberty and how they have shaped their teams

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Trust and Commitment

Coach Clements’ love for coaching has brought a new dynamic to the baseball team. He notes specific improvements the team can make on a daily basis.

Coach Clements’ love for coaching has brought a new dynamic to the baseball team. He notes specific improvements the team can make on a daily basis.

Bri Corgan

Coach Clements’ love for coaching has brought a new dynamic to the baseball team. He notes specific improvements the team can make on a daily basis.

Bri Corgan

Bri Corgan

Coach Clements’ love for coaching has brought a new dynamic to the baseball team. He notes specific improvements the team can make on a daily basis.

Alyssa Bailey, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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Playing a sport in high school only lasts for so long, but the memory of who inspired you to grow as an athlete carries throughout the rest of your life. For many athletes, their inspiration and determination comes from their coach. A coach has various jobs, which range from giving advice and guidance to acting as a trustworthy, supportive figure.

Coaches always have your best interests at heart and they know your capabilities. They often see the potential in each player before the player sees it and it shows how much effort they are willing to put into a team. Mr. Clements, the varsity baseball coach and Ms. Althage, the swimming coach, both demonstrate that through their first seasons coaching at Liberty.

I view our players as much more than just baseball players. They are a group of talented individuals on and off the field and it is my motivation to help mold them into the best young men they can be. It truly is the greatest job in the world.”

— Coach Nick Clements

Clements has been coaching baseball for a total of five years. Previously, he was a freshman baseball coach at Holt High School in 2015-2017 and then he began coaching the JV baseball team in 2018. He has been teaching and coaching in the Wentzville School District in those five years, which has prompted his desire to coach at Liberty.

“I loved how new the school is and how it is still creating its own identity. I always have had a great impression of the school and enjoyed being around here,” Clements said. “I viewed this as a wonderful opportunity to build a culture that makes the kids want to play baseball and want to come to practice and be around the baseball program as much as possible.”

Clements’ love for coaching has brought a new dynamic to the baseball team. With a record of 6-2 to start the season, there’s been an evident development in how the team has improved. For each practice, he spends about 45 minutes composing drills, stations and situations that he thinks will benefit the team. Clements also spends an hour preparing lineups, stat sheets, scouting reports and game plans against the opposition for each game. He notes specific improvements the team can make during the games and spends one to two hours checking and entering statistics, as well as pros and cons, after each game.

Within his five years of coaching, he has experienced challenges and obstacles that have taught him the importance of trust and leadership.

“You want players to trust your game knowledge but you also need to show them your leadership capabilities and instill confidence in them that you will do everything you can to put them in a situation to succeed,” Clements said. “You also need to develop a relationship with your players, they need to know you are there for them and are always putting them first. Players don’t care how much you know, unless they know how much you care.”

Clements had to learn these lessons through experience but he’s had some great coaches to influence his style of coaching as well.

“I coach for my players, they do not play for me. I consistently tell my players I am there to help them get better and I thank them for allowing me to be a part of their team,” Clements said. “I view our players as much more than just baseball players. They are a group of talented individuals on and off the field and it is my motivation to help mold them into the best young men they can be. It truly is the greatest job in the world.”

In a similar way, Ms. Althage, Liberty’s swim coach, demonstrates the same dedication to her team. This is her first year coaching swim and teaching in the Wentzville School District. She had heard about this position through her swim coach when she was in high school. Prior to Liberty, she coached club volleyball for St. Charles Stars for two years and had coached at Fort Zumwalt West for one year.

Like Clements, Althage ensures that she’s always prepared to be the best coach for her team and loves the environment each athlete brings to the table.  

“Practices last between one and a half to two hours. But they are never the exact same. Between the different strokes, sprints and long distances, drills…there’s lots of variety,” Althage said. “I want to be the best coach I can be for these athletes so I just wanted to make sure I was well prepared. Being around motivated, hard-working (and very entertaining) athletes makes it a blast.”

Abby Jordan
Coaches often see the potential in each player before the player sees it and it shows how much effort they are willing to put into a team. Danielle Althage is in her first year coaching the swim program. “Coach Althage is such an inspiration. She is so positive to become better, every day,” junior Dessa Outman said.

Through a student’s perspective, having a new coach can raise skepticism. Adapting to another coach’s style can be difficult since you don’t know who they are. Junior Dessa Outman, at first, experienced concern then joy when Ms. Althage first began coaching swim.

“When we heard we were getting a new coach, I was really skeptical. But she pushed us to be better, made us want to commit to this. Her coaching helped me improve more than I ever had before,” Outman said. “Coach Althage is such an inspiration. She is so positive to become better, every day.”

Althage not only assisted Outman on her techniques but this year, Outman swam her fastest 50 free. Althage has helped tailor every workout for how each swimmer wants to improve, prove what kind of competitor they are and what kind of competitor they want to be.

“She found the perfect balance of challenging us and giving us space to breathe. I’ve been swimming for a long time, but her coaching helped me improve more than I ever had before,” Outman said. “Coach Althage was different from all the coaches we had before because she really listened.”