Player Turned Coach Loves Sharing His Skills
All athletes strive to make it to “the big game.” In professional basketball “the big game” is the NBA Finals and for college ball, it’s March Madness. In the Thrive community, it’s making it to Special Olympics Massachusetts season-ending tournaments. For all of Thrive’s teams, Red Hawks, Sky Hawks, Wolfpack and the young Jedi team, their hard work paid off by making it to their “big game” of the 2018 basketball season. But no one makes it to the top without great coaching.
One of the major players contributing to the Sky Hawks on-court success is coach Kevin Lutz. A former Special Olympics athlete for Hawks, Kevin is now assistant coach of the team helping head Coach Dan McCarthy. Until several years ago, Kevin was an enthusiastic member of the team. As he got on in years, he decided to retire from active play. Being on the sidelines, Kevin found a new passion for coaching. He realized quickly that the talent he acquired while playing could be parlayed into helping players improve their skills.
After completing the Special Olympics coaches training classes, Kevin was certified to be a full-fledged coach in December of 2014. Under the guidance of head coach Dan McCarthy, who has 20 plus years of coaching experience, Kevin has learned much. He raves, “Coach McCarthy has taught me that coaching is not all about winning. What I love most about coaching is sharing with the athletes what I’ve learned about basketball in my thirty years of playing.” When comparing the differences between playing and coaching Kevin jokes, “you don’t have to do warm-ups!”
With a few years of coaching under his belt, Kevin is looking to the future. He aims to be a head coach of his own team someday. Thanks in part to the skillful coaching of coaches McCarthy and Lutz, the Sky Hawks dribbled their way to the silver medal at the 2018 Special Olympics Winter Games. Thrive’s Red Hawks, Sky Hawks, Wolfpack and Jedi basketball teams demonstrated to us all that “victory comes in having done your best. If you’ve done your best you’ve won!” Congratulations to all of Thrive’s winners, on the court and in life.