Lake Forest College Head Football Coach Jim Catanzaro was one of nearly 50 coaches from across the United States who attended Marine Corps Recruiting Command's 2018 Coaches Workshop aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, from May 16-19.
The workshop is designed to teach coaches and key influencers from diverse backgrounds about leadership styles and characteristics, and career opportunities as a Marine officer. In turn, the attendees take this information back with them to better educate and train their athletes while serving as advocates for the Corps.
"This was a tremendous experience," began Catanzaro. "To share time with coaches from across divisions and sports and be led by some of the greatest defenders of our country was incredible. The skills and traits that the United States Marine Corps tries to instill in their soldiers are very similar to the skill sets we hope our athletes possess. Being challenged to think outside the box and help motivate the same population of elite 18-to-22-year-olds was a great professional development experience mixed with exciting activities. I left the week not only wiser, but energized and inspired to come back and put to work what I have learned for the betterment of Forester Football."
During the workshop, coaches learned about Officer Candidates School and participated in a series of simulated experiences, such as the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer, MRAP Rollover Egress Trainer, and a Virtual Combat Convoy Trainer. Attendees also had the opportunity to practice martial arts techniques, work out with Marines and speak to Marine officers attending The Basic School about their training during lunch. Additionally, they witnessed the precision performances of the Silent Drill Platoon, the President's Own Marine Corps Band, and the Commandant's Own Drum and Bugle Corps at an Evening Parade. They concluded their journey at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, decorated with the history of the Corps, including the three new Battles Won sculptures.
The workshop is the first exposure of the military for several coaches, but their mission on and off the field resemble that of the Marine Corps': make Marines, win battles and return quality citizens to society; coaches' missions are to make better athletes, win matches and games, and return exceptional individuals back into the civilian workforce.
The coaches, equipped with knowledge based on first-hand experiences, can apply what they learned to their athletic teams while dispelling myths and informing them of the several opportunities within the Marine Corps.
(Several parts of this story were taken from a similar feature on dvidshub.net)