Bobby Merryman '10 is a tri-sport coach who believes in commitment to the game and playing with integrity. He pushes his players to be the very best and is an advocate for organization and honesty. He also is a Norfolk Collegiate alumnus who is extremely excited to return to his alma mater as a coach of the sports which he once played.

Bobby sat down with the Oak Connection to talk organization, coaching multiple sports and how to treat every practice like a game.

What does it mean to you to be selected as the Coach of the Month?

It is something truly special. I take a lot of pride in coaching for Norfolk Collegiate, and I want to make sure the student-athletes are getting the best experience possible.

It’s been noted that you coach multiple sports at Collegiate. How do you maintain the responsibility?

I coach JV soccer, JV basketball and will begin coaching lacrosse in the spring. I really enjoy being around the student-athletes. Organization and honesty are two tools that I use to maintain the responsibility of coaching during three seasons. One thing that I find very interesting is that I might learn something while coaching one sport that I can use in another sport. One important thing that I often stress to students is to be multi-sport, because you may learn things in one sport that you can use in another.

How did you get involved in coaching?

I have always been a leader on each sports team which I’ve played. It is what sparked my interest in becoming a coach. As a player, I usually took on the role of the coach on the field because it came natural to me.

What is your goal for the team this season?

Obviously, as a coach, you expect to compete and win in every game you play. It is important to have this mentality because the players are watching so you cannot show any signs of doubt. My goal is to make sure I am providing the students with my very best every day and to make sure the players are progressing from the first day of the season to the last. There are life lessons that are learned in sports, which cannot necessarily be learned within the classroom.

What lesson do you strive to impart on your students and athletes?

To treat every practice like a game; if students practice as if it’s a game, when game day comes they shouldn't have to change how the game is played. Preparation and attention to detail are the keys to a great game. These things will allow the players to be confident and know they are ready to compete against any team.

Is there a piece of advice that you were given that you try to impart on your athletes?

The best advice I received as a player was to focus and concentrate on the things that I can control. If something is not in your control, then you should not worry about it. Another piece of advice I try to stress is to focus on the next play. If you make a bad play, you can’t worry about it. Student’s have to stay focused and worry about making a better play the next time around. It’s important to always be present and pay attention to what is going on at that very moment.

What is something that people may not know about you?

I have never watched any Star Wars movies. I was not a fan growing up nor have I had the urge to watch the films as an adult. However, I have read all the Harry Potter books and I watched each movie during my sophomore year of college.