Greg Schnute is the fun but tough loving Head Coach for the 18U East Cobb Bullets. We had the chance to sit down with him yesterday right after his team advanced into the Semifinals of TC/USA Nationals. Schnute had a bright personality and was willing to share some laughs with us in-between games. Here is a little bit of what he had to say not only about his team, but also giving advice to players looking to make it to the next level.
Q: What is your favorite memory from coaching this particular team?
I think they have great attitudes, and I think they never quit. That’s the one thing about this group, they love to play the sport and sometimes you don’t always have kids that love to play. They are ready to go every day and play all day long and that’s the thing that sets them apart from a lot of other teams. And they love to compete and so far we’ve done a really good job of competing and these kids are getting better, and that’s what its all about.
Q: How does your team benefit from playing in TC/USA Nationals?
Well, we get to play the best teams and that’s what we’re all about. We travel all over the country- we go to Southern Cal in June, we go to Boulder and play there. We are here at TC/USA Nationals, we play 23U teams in the Summer. We want to play the best teams and we want to be challenged by other teams we want these kids to have to play against them to have to get better. We’re not afraid of anybody.
Q: How do you motivate your team?
Well you know with this age group, 16, 17, and 18 it’s not easy. I have three daughters and a son and my daughters were always the challenge (Schnute said laughing). And so now I’ve got 18 young women that challenge me all the time, but this is a group with a great attitude and they always show up ready to play and they want to play. It’s not a hard group to motivate that’s the good thing. If you spend a lot of time trying to motivate, motivate, motivate then you probably aren’t going to accomplish any goals. So this group here has been really easy to work with.
Q: What advice would you give to a player looking to play at the top 10 level?
Well if they want to play at this level, they need to start now fortunately or unfortunately at a young age. They’ve got to start playing at nine or ten years old. Colleges are now recruiting kids that are 14 and that are eighth graders or freshmen, which we never saw four or five years ago. I think we are becoming more like college football and recruiting is going to get tougher and tougher, kids are going to be recruited right up until signing day. It’s a very very competitive environment. If you want to play at our level you have to start young and you just have to keep working at it.
Coach Greg with his team and Tournament Director, Krista Judge during the awards ceremony following last night’s Championship Game.