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Q&A with Pinewood Coaches: How the Pandemic has Affected Them and Their Work BY KATE MAGLIARO

Photos courtesy of Pinewood Smugmug

Craig Corfield - tennis

Corfield has worked at Pinewood as a tennis coach for 16 years. He coaches both the boys and girls varsity teams and also helps out as a substitute for Middle and Lower campus tennis activities. He has been playing, competing and coaching the sport for 45 years.

Q: How have you been staying active during quarantine?

A: I have been riding my bike, playing tennis, and doing projects around the house.

Q: How has the quarantine most affected your work?

A: It has been very difficult keeping in touch with all my clients. Some want to play/take lots of lessons while others feel more comfortable staying away from people. Finding a place to teach has been most difficult.

Q: How have you adjusted to the new practice schedules for this fall and the coming sports seasons?

A: The practice schedule has been no problem. I would be coaching the girls team now anyways so it all works out fine. The social distancing definitely changes teaching styles.

Q: What would you advise students to do to maintain their skills in your sport and their fitness overall?

A: PLAY TENNIS! It is one of the safest sports: easy to get courts, you don’t need lots of people, it’s outside and social.

Yong-Chan Kim, football

Kim, football coach and physics teacher, has worked at Pinewood for four years. Kim went to UCSD and later received a job at Pinewood. Shortly after, Kim began working with other coaches for the football team and became the Head Coach.

Q: How have you been staying active during quarantine?

A: It's tough but doing little things like daily stretches, rolling and body weight exercises have helped. Between classes, I try to walk around as well.

Q: How has the quarantine most affected your work?

A: Definitely makes it difficult to connect with the students, getting to know their learning styles, personalities, likes and dislikes. Zoom makes it tricky to informally assess their progression with the course content, so instantaneous feedback or adjustment is harder to come by. Hybrid has allowed me to get a better sense of their learning styles, which is a huge help as an instructor.

Q: How have you adjusted to the new practice schedules for this fall and the coming sports seasons?

A: The athletes have done a great job making the most of the opportunity. They come wanting to improve themselves and their teammates, and the camaraderie is palpable. The guidelines do limit the type of development we can do as a football team, but we've looped it into a chance to refine other aspects of the game. They definitely exhibit a sense of urgency to improve and have become one of the most accountable and responsible group of players I've seen.

Q: What would you advise students to do to maintain their skills in your sport and their fitness overall?

A: Remain active when safe to do so, but really is about taking care of themselves as student-athletes. They have a choice of using these trying times as a justification to drop their performance (athletic and academic), or view it as an opportunity to bond and become a team. I'm already proud of the group that they've become.

Kyle Riches - volleyball

Riches is the Director of Communications for all three of the Pinewood campuses. He has worked at Pinewood for four years, three of which he has spent as a coach for the girls volleyball team. Despite not having a men’s volleyball team at his disposal during his high school years, he joined year-long clubs during college and from there furthered his love for the sport by coaching here at Pinewood.

Q: How have you been staying active during quarantine?

A: Luckily, we have a dog at home so that's been forcing us to go outside! But really, in the beginning, it was pretty tough to find the motivation to stay active, but Suzie and I have been able to create fun workouts at home that we do together and even my daughter pretends to do them with us!

Q: How has the quarantine most affected your work?

A: Honestly, I feel like my job is just a never-ending to-do list. You should see my desk! It's covered in post-it notes and as soon as I get to cross one thing off, I have to add 4 more. I would say it's just a completely different job description than what it has been in previous years. That's probably been the biggest effect. I can't complain though, because I'm lucky enough to still have a job and have great colleagues who are making it through this pandemic right along with me!

Q: How have you adjusted to the new practice schedules for this fall and the coming sports seasons?

A: This has been pretty tough. First off, I'm used to coaching volleyball indoors and we haven't been able to do that on a regular basis. It's hard having volleyball practice when you can't really use a net. Also, it's been challenging to only see my team twice a week rather than every day like I'm used to. I really miss having a regular schedule!

Q: What would you advise students to do to maintain their skills in your sport and their fitness overall?

A: I would say stay outside as much as possible. Right now, our lives are centered on screens because that's the way we're able to go to school and work and to be able to communicate with one another. I think if students just step away from their phones/ipads/computers and go outside, they're automatically going to have to be creative and they'll find fun ways to stay active. Getting outside has helped me calm down when I'm stressed and it just gives me a good break during the day.