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Three Cheers for the Coaches

A glimpse into two JCHS coaches' playbooks

Kirk Call

Math teacher and varsity women's basketball coach at Johns Creek High School. He has coached the basketball team for six years and also coached the women's volleyball team for four years.

What are your go-to snacks?

Peanuts, cashews and occasionally peanut M & Ms.

You are busy!

We practice daily after school for the basketball season. Practices are usually 90 minutes - 2 hours in length. Our weekly schedule, once we are in season, is practice daily, with games on Fridays and occasional Saturday conditioning or games.

Enjoying Johns Creek

I like Tropical Smoothie Cafe for smoothies. I enjoy the Patio, Jersey Mikes and Subway for sandwiches. My family and I enjoy Lazy Dog and Mellow Mushroom for dinners, but my childrens' favorite restaurant is Chilis!

Working with teens has to be as challenging as it is rewarding. What motivates your athletes and how do you stay positive?

I wish I knew what motivates them. It is always a moving target with what will inspire or motivate a student-athlete to strive for success. I enjoy the process of getting to know each one of my athletes and learning what they respond to and how to help them be successful. One of the many joys we get as coaches is when you see that player achieve something and you know how hard they have worked for it. Seeing players accomplish more than they thought they could and watching a team grow together to accomplish something is the most rewarding experience.  

For me it is easy to stay positive. We are blessed to be able to play a sport with teammates and have an opportunity to grow as individuals and learn about giving up your own ambitions to achieve something greater. There are definitely days when it is more challenging because it feels like everything is going wrong or maybe we aren't seeing the success we want. However, when you keep in mind the process of what we are doing, it allows you to keep it in perspective and not get caught up in results.  Celebrating the daily successes and growth helps us stay focused and driven towards our ultimate goals.  

Coach Mary Byrne Desing

Assistant Athletic Director, Varsity Girls Soccer Head Coach, Director of Football Operations, Boys Lacrosse Strength and Conditioning, Johns Creek High School

What are your go-to snacks?

I enjoy smoothies, trail mix, goldfish, rice cakes, fruit, and veggies and dip. I don’t usually eat before games as a coach, but as a player I used to eat sandwiches.

You are busy!

A typical week, once season is in full swing, is practice on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, with games on Tuesdays and Fridays. During preseason we practice 5 days a week.

Around Johns Creek

I like Poke Bowl, Subway, Patio, Egg Harbor and Panera. Also, for a special meal I like Kani house, as I love sushi and hibachi.

Working with teens has to be as challenging as it is rewarding. What motivates your athletes and how do you stay positive?

Working with teens is definitely an experience. Teenagers keep me on my toes, as I never know what they are going to do next or what is going to come out of their mouths. They also will give you everything they have, lay it all on the line, and put their trust in you. Building relationship with these athletes outside of the field is what keeps me going and makes all the days worth it. Coaching is exhausting and can be very stressful, but when you see the athletes succeed and when you see the smiles, tears, and get the hugs it makes everything worth it. I love that even once my athletes graduate we can stay connected and they still want to get together for lunch on breaks.

Teams have their ups and downs. As a coach you experience all of the emotions on a roller coaster with your athletes, but when they say thank you and come to you for advice - or honestly anything and everything - it makes all those long hours and stress worth it, because you know you are making a difference. When an athlete hugs me and says thank you or how important I am to them, it makes my heart melt and there is no feeling in the world like it.

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