In this edition of Reed Between the Lines: Sports Editor Scott Reed talks softball with WV Renegades Head Coach Gary Chambers.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Grafton. I’ve worked for the Dept. Of Justice for almost 23 years. I have had the pleasure of coaching bowling, Pop Warner football, Little League baseball, both rec and school soccer, rec and school basketball and rec and school softball.
When did you first decide you that wanted to get involved with coaching?
I learned how to coach bowling from my father at the age of 16 and found a love for helping young athletes improve at something they are passionate about.
Who is your favorite sports hero and why?
Pat Tillman because he was a talented athlete who chose to make the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
How do you deal with players’ and/or parents’ concerns regarding playing time?
I respectfully listen to their concerns and then reiterate my policy of how playing time is earned in practice through dedication, effort, and heart.
How do you try to make practices fun?
I like to change things up, add new drills and involve the athletes in as much of the decision making as possible while still advancing their knowledge and abilities of the game.
How has coaching affected your life?
I’ve met a lot of great people who I now call friends and family!
What is your favorite movie about sports?
The Longest Yard.
What is the best thing about Taylor County athletics?
Each sport I’ve coached has had a small (but dedicated) group ensuring their success. We have a small county, but its greatest resource is our caring and generous people.
What is the one thing you always do after winning a big game?
I do the same thing after each game, whether it is a win or a loss. I go over aspects of the game, things we did well, things we didn’t do well and things we can improve. I let the athletes know how proud I am of their efforts and then I go eat!
What are your best and worst memories in coaching?
My worst memory would be watching the unprofessionalism of an opposing coach which threatened the safety of my athletes resulting in me removing them from the field of play. My best memory was a dad/coach moment as I watched Mia hit her first home run (which was also a grand slam) followed by Aubree Collins hitting her first homerun right after that.
If you could be a successful professional athlete, what sport would it be?
Since professional trampolinist is out now I’d have to say bowling because I don’t like running!
What one word or phrase do you think describes you?
Give me one word to describe your daughter Mia, who is a player on your team.
Where is your favorite away venue to coach a game?
Recently I’ve had the pleasure of coaching at Arthur Genshaft Memorial Park in Massillon, Ohio.
What would you say to a star player who is really struggling out there?
You don’t have to be perfect. You have help, so just be consistent!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully headed toward the end of my career with the Dept. Of Justice and still coaching the young athletes of our community.
What do you think you do well as a coach?
I think I’m quick to adjust strategies and relay those adjustments to the athletes.
How do you plan on improving as a coach from year to year?
Never stop learning. I learn something new at every game, every tournament, and at every athletic camp.
What would you tell a kid who has never played organized sports but is thinking about trying out?
Being part of a team is bigger than any one person. You must always give your best effort on and off the field.
What did you think of these questions?
I believe these questions made me stop and think hard about myself and how I can improve to help make our young athletes better.
*Each week the Mountain Statesman features a coach or player from a different Taylor County sport. We hope you enjoy the chance to learn a little bit more about them.