Coaches’ Corner - 12/15/16

Amber Griffith takes a moment to reflect on sports and coaching in Laurel
By: 
By GARRETT HARR
Outlook staff writer

The Laurel Outlook recently spoke to Laurel High School head girls basketball coach Amber Griffith about nieces and niches. She also explains the neo-motion of girls basketball.
Amber Griffith has been teaching and coaching in Laurel for nine years. She taught kindergarten for the first six years and has taught fourth grade for the past three.
She started her teaching career in Stanfield, Oregon after graduating from Rocky Mountain College. While at RMC, she played both basketball and golf and enjoyed the opportunity to stay involved with sports. Physical activity and competition have always been a big part of her life.
Griffith grew up in Miles City and still enjoys visiting her family there whenever she gets the chance.
She loves playing golf, watching movies and spending time with friends and family (especially her niece Aubree).
1. What is your philosophy on coaching young student/athletes? “It is always my hope that the students I coach learn something along the way that will serve them in life.”
2. What is your guilty pleasure? “I’m a sucker for reality TV and often wonder why I waste my time watching shows like ‘The Bachelor.’”
3. What do you think scares your student/athletes the most in life? “I think they worry about what they want to do with their lives, where they will go to college, what career path they will choose and whether or not they’ll be successful.”
4. What are you most scared of? “I just want to challenge myself every day to continue to be better than I was the day before in all aspects of life … a better teacher, coach, daughter, sister, aunt, etc …”
5. What or who got you into coaching? “I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. As I grew and became more interested in sports, it became a natural fit to teach students about something I enjoyed and learned so much from while growing up. I can honestly say that I’ve learned something from each coach that I’ve played for throughout my career and they’ve all impacted me in one way or another.”
6. Why did you choose this sport specifically? Did you play growing up? “I’ve played basketball since the fifth grade and have golfed with my family for as long as I can remember.”
7. What professional athlete do you tell your athletes to look to as a positive ambassador for your sport? “I encourage my girls to watch women’s college basketball, especially UConn. Traditionally, they are so good year after year and I think it’s good for the girls to watch girls, rather than boys. Girls typically have to play together and aren’t able to play the same style of basketball as boys can.”
8. What quote do you live by? “If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it and let it become you and you will find that great things happen for you, to you and because of you!”
9. How do you deal with the many different personalities on your team? “I try to appreciate our differences and realize that each of us has strengths and weaknesses that we bring to the team.”
10. Why did you choose to coach in Laurel? “I wanted to be back in Montana and closer to my family. I was excited to be able to get a teaching and coaching job in Laurel. I knew Herb Townsend from my high school playing days and was also excited to work with him. He was always a great supporter of athletics and his coaches.”
11. What are your hopes and aspirations for this season? “I want the girls to enjoy the season, learn from their experiences and hopefully have some fun along the way. I want them to always set a good example for the little girls in the stands watching them and wanting to be just like them when they grow up.”
12. What is on your bookshelf? “I just finished the book” ‘You Win in the Locker Room First.’”
13. What song do you use to inspire and/or motivate your athletes? “I don’t have any specific songs, but we like to listen to music during practice on occasion.”
14. What is the best advice you have ever been given? “I’ve always been told that if you work hard every day and that if you believe in what you’re doing, then that in itself is a success. Also, my grandpa used to always say to be charitable and I try to live by that as well. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone.”
15. What is the last movie you saw? “I recently watched ‘Bad Moms’…not the most family-friendly movie.”
16. What is one thing people would be shocked to know about you? “Not sure …”
17. Who was your role model or a person you looked up to when you were growing up? “I’ve always looked up to my parents. They instilled a lot of values in my sisters and me that have served us well in life. They’ve always been our biggest fans and have supported my sisters and me in all that we’ve chosen to do. They’re great role models and great people.”
18. Who were the most popular bands when you were in high school? “Not sure …”
19. What are your team’s strengths this season? “I think I mentioned this already in your pre-season preview.” Sidenote: she did.
20. What is the favorite part of your job? “My favorite part of the job is the girls. I enjoy being around them and helping them reach their potential. I also feel very proud when they go on to become teachers, nurses, hair stylists, or go on to grad school, etc. I love seeing them have continued success in life!”

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