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Q & A with Cal Baptist Head Coach Wes Schneider

Schneider on Coaching

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Q & A with Cal Baptist Head Coach Wes Schneider
California Baptist University

Why did you want to come and coach at Cal Baptist?

I didn't really want to come here. It was kind of a weird, wonderful opportunity that kind of came out of nowhere. My wife and I were in North Carolina and we were doing well out there. I got an email and a call from the athletic director here and he expressed interest. So we got talking and I told him I wasn’t really interested, but I am not an idiot, I am not going to turn down an opportunity if it is a great opportunity and I feel like God is leading me in that direction. I would take a look at it, but it would need to be something pretty awesome. They flew me out and when I got on campus I called my wife and said this is where I am going to be working. Even before they offered me the job I just felt like this is the right place for me. It's me in a nutshell. This place allows me to be me in the way I want to be me and coach the way I want to coach and mentor the guys not just athletically, academically but you get to be more spiritually-based as well. It just felt like I was home.

What is your coaching philosophy?

I like to let a lot of the players have their feedback and their input on how things go because I think as a coach if I'm always dictating I'm not growing. I always want to be growing and giving them what they need as well so I allow a lot of feedback and open communication between players and staff. So they expressed early on a lot of things that they liked and disliked. We tried to cater to that as best we could with things that I thought would fit with what we wanted to do and the direction that we wanted to go in the future, while at the same time maintaining a certain level of comfort for them to do things in a way that they felt benefited them at the same time.

How did you get into coaching after your collegiate playing career was over?

I got into all sorts of different stuff. I became a personal trainer and befriended a kid who played high school ball who worked out at our gym. We just got to chatting and we started open gym and we’d play a little bit here and there. His high school needed an assistant coach. He knew I could play and he talked me into going out and assisting them and I think I volunteered for the first couple years just for fun. Then I became the assistant for a couple years, then I became the head coach for a couple years and it just kind of happened. It wasn't something that I intended to do until I became the head coach and realized this is pretty awesome. I like this. My first year when I took over as the head coach I realized how horrible I was a coaching and I went up and met with Marv (Dunphy) up at Pepperdine and we chatted because he remembered me from when I played. He spent a lot of time talking to me about coaching philosophy and what it is to be a coach and all that kind of stuff. We got to hang out and talk a lot. I had my first daughter around that same time and I just had this epiphany that how I train my teams should be the same way that I train my daughter and raise my daughter. I don’t want to let things go because bad things happen because we let them happen. I just felt like they're the same thing. So I really just became this crazy, goofy, fun dad to my kids. But they also know that I'm very strict and you have to do things a certain way. I kind of took on that role as a coach as well where they know that I like to goof off and have fun and tease. But I am also extremely serious and disciplined and we have to do things a certain way.

What do you enjoy about coaching?

Even as a personal trainer I loved to help people discover themselves and find themselves in the midst of where their challenges are. I used to work with a lot of extremely obese people or who have a lot of handicapped needs or issues and things like that. Just helping them discover little things that they never knew about themselves. It just kind of fit with what my mentality and what my drive is in life. I can't see myself doing anything different. Every once in a while I have these weird horrible thoughts like what if I were to be let go or something happened where I couldn't do this and it’s a scary thought. I can't picture myself doing anything different. Maybe I’d get back into personal training or something but this is what I love to do. I get to work with a bunch of great kids and a great staff and a great school and just watch kids grow up and become great people and there's nothing better than that. And I get to win and play volleyball and compete at the same time so it’s a win-win.

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