Over the weekend, Beat the Streets held its third annual Coaches Seminar at the United Parcel Service (UPS) Customer Care Center in midtown Manhattan. Nearly 50 coaches from across New York City attended the day-long training that included sessions on techniques, fundamentals, recruiting, and matriculation.
Legendary Oklahoma State wrestling head coach and honorary Beat the Streets trustee John Smith was this year’s special guest, returning to New York to share valuable insight into his coaching methods and philosophies as he has done for BTS in years’ past. Smith covered a wide variety of techniques – with BTS coach and Junior League Director Penn Gottfried serving as his sparring partner – that have helped him earn NCAA, World and Olympic titles as both an athlete and a coach over the past three decades.
“Beat the Streets is a program I got involved with back in 2005 and it's something I really believe in,” Smith said of working with the organization. “I love to see coaches that are enthused about learning, want to get better and want to help young people. I’ve been coaching for 28 years and these are the most fun things I do – being around coaches that are driven and want to make a difference. The coaches that are a part of Beat the Streets do make a difference and I’m proud of them.”
Southold High School athletic director Steve Flanagan also returned to his BTS roots by once again sharing his keys to recruiting within the city and building a well-rounded culture within your program. Flanagan. The former BTS coach spent time on staff at Stuyvesant, Wingate and Brooklyn Tech before recently transitioning to his current administration role on Long Island.
“Personally, Beat the Streets was responsible for a lot of my training through the years,” reflected Flanagan. “It gave me opportunities like these, to work with Coach Smith. In addition, going to the Olympic Training Center and other things really helped me develop as an educator. Also looking back and seeing the impact I’ve had on a lot of my student-athletes. Life is a lot better because Beat the Streets is around. Taking a morning to help BTS is my pleasure.”
The biggest benefit of the seminar for someone like Harlem Jets head coach Eric Palmer was the chance to get so many like-minded individuals in one place to connect.
“It’s really just an opportunity to be with your peers, to see what they’re learning or see what they know and to be around people that have done it a lot longer than you,” said Palmer of his motivation to attend the seminar. “It’s fun to gain more knowledge and see how others are modifying their practice styles and adjusting to the kids that we’re working with and how they’re getting results. I like to collaborate, and this is a great collaboration space. I’m glad that Beat the Streets put this on again for another year.”