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Coaches Play the Same Role (At Times, Regardless of Sport)

Coaches Play Same Role - https://flic.kr/p/hrdPPt - TheSeason - GameChanger

Chris Snee rode determination and his athletic skills to fame and fortune on the football field. Now that his playing days are done, Snee has returned to his roots during the early days of a budding coaching career in other sports.

Snee now spends his time in the gym coaching basketball and baseball, two sports that were a crucial part of his athletic development. He also still makes his way to the football field as a volunteer offensive line coach on the high school level in northern New Jersey.                

The two-time Super Bowl champion and four-time Pro Bowl participant as a right offensive guard for the New York Giants coaches his sons’ youth teams in basketball and baseball.            

“I’m not one to say I have a vast knowledge of basketball or baseball,” said Snee, who gave up baseball as a high school junior to concentrate on weight lifting for football, but continued basketball until graduation as a two-time all-star and captain on a championship team. “I played both, so I know the basics.” 

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Snee said some of the key components of coaching are the same regardless of the sport. He hopes to share the lessons from coaches who were major influences in his life.     

“I know how the game is supposed to be played,” Snee said. “I can speak to them a lot about just hard work, practice habits, sportsmanship, which I’m noticing is lost at times. It needs to be preached more. I’m there to reinforce that.”         

Snee offered those observations in an interview Dec. 17, the day he was back home, as part of a National League Football Program to help celebrate the upcoming Super Bowl 50.                

The NFL is presenting commemorative golden footballs to each of the more than 2,000 high schools from which one of the Super Bowl players or head coaches graduated.            

Many of those players or coaches are making the presentation personally, as was the case with Snee at an assembly in the school’s auditorium.             

Snee made his appreciation for Tom Lucenti, his high school coach, apparent in his speech that day as he has done throughout his professional career by remaining in frequent contact with Lucenti.                

“High school coaches have a profound effect on the lives of children,” said Snee, who also acknowledged his high school basketball coach, Todd Smith, who was also in attendance. “Aside from the obvious hours they spend with each other, they teach you about the fundamentals: teamwork, accountability – ‘you can count on me. I can count on you’ – hard work, discipline and integrity of the game; all lessons that are valuable to your futures.”                

Snee turned his attention specifically to Lucenti to finish the thought and perhaps provide insight into why he has long known he wanted to continue as a coach on the high school level. He told of the days when Lucenti would return to open the football team’s weightroom so that Snee could get in a weightlifting session on his own after completing basketball practice.

“Without you coach, I firmly believe I would not have achieved the football success that I did, so thank you,” he said.                

Snee, the son-in-law of New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, coached at Indian Hills High School in Oakland, New Jersey in 2015. He is coaching teams that include his 12-year-old son Dylan and 9-year-old son Cooper.

From GameChanger and Tom Robinson.

Basketball, Baseball