Teaching is an acquired taste that ripens over time, but is continuously avoided as a skill because of its bitter taste.
Eddie Morales, a full-time student at Delta College, has chosen the life of a basketball coach in high hopes it will one day support his dream of becoming a high school teacher.
Not only is he the head coach the junior varsity team at Sierra High School in Manteca, he is also the assistant coach for the varsity team at the school.
Though his family, friends, teachers and coaches, Morales learned to never give up on anything, a message he hopes to pass on to his players.
“Try to stay motivated, try to stay hungry for more,” said Morales. “And if you say you’re going to do something, do it.”
Morales started playing basketball competitively in sixth grade after being persuaded by friends. His sport of choice, however, was football. Morales continued to play basketball through high school.
After his senior year, Morales asked the varsity coach for a position. He became assistant coach of varsity right after graduation.
He attended Delta College, but due to financial constraint, Morales had to leave Delta for a short time to work.
One of his previous jobs was at a collection agency where he roughly made $40,000.
His coaching job only pays out at the end of the year, and the profits are split between coaches.
When adding up all the hours, time, and effort, Morales said he only makes about a “dollar a day.”
After things became financially stable, he quit working and came back to Delta to continue his pursuit of becoming a teacher. “I’d rather take less money and go do something I love than stay somewhere I’m not happy,” said Morales.
The workload for a student coach is a lot to handle, even though he is only here for two days from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., his responsibilities on the court and at home never end.
One of the important things he’s taken from coaching at a high school level is how to talk to different age groups.
“(I’m) just trying to find ways to talk to them to keep them (the players) motivated and on the right path and I’m trying to the do the same myself. So if I’m saying something to them and if I’m not doing the right thing it’s kind of hypocritical,” said Morales. “Making sure whatever you say you’re going to do, just make sure you are going to do it, and just making sure you’re being the best person you can be when it comes down to it.”
Morales says the important thing for students and athletes alike, is to be molded by their instructors and coaches.
Morales tries to be understanding and calm. He prefers to have players understand they did something wrong than punish them; something he hopes reflects positively on both his teams.
Morales’ junior varsity basketball team went 20-3 this year.