Coming from Talladega, Alabama, is PUC’s Men’s Soccer manager, Santiago Hernandez. Majoring in Religion, with an emphasis in Health Professions, school keeps him busy but that didn’t stop him from becoming interested in his position as soccer manager. Santiago knew he wanted to help coaches be ready during practices and be a part of the journey of creating a better team, sharing great memories, and making new friends through soccer.
Tell us about being a team manager. What does a typical day on the job look like?
Being a team manager has been fun. If there are 2 practices in a day, there is a morning session (2 hours) and then an evening session (2 hours). Some morning sessions are used for soccer athletes to be in the weight room for strength and conditioning for approximately 1 hour, and then the second hour of the session is used for futsal (indoor soccer). The general typical day on the job, if the sessions are at the soccer field, then I arrive at work 30 minutes before the session starts to set up for practices. I bring the mannequins, ball bags, training pinnies, cones, and fill up the water jug in order to ensure soccer athletes can stay hydrated while at practice. During practice, I may help with some of the training drills, or maybe standing behind the goals and collecting any balls that may go past the goal in order to make sure no ball is lost and to make sure there is always plenty for practice. Once practices have ended, I stay approximately an extra 30 minutes to clean up, put all the training gear back into the storage room and pick up any trash that may be around the field.
Can you share some examples of how you keep your athletes motivated during the season?
One of the things I do most is follow up on the athletes throughout the season, that may be once a week, or once every 2 weeks. I will have conversations with them and ask how they feel, after game day, talk to them and ask how they were feeling during the game, and just find ways to improve. I feel that by talking and listening to them, it keeps them motivated cause it shows that I care and support them. I may give them advice at times, not only that may be needed for the game, but also for life. Another way to keep them motivated is to ask them what goals or objectives they want to accomplish for each game, and for the season. Letting them know that if they need my help with anything is also another way to keep them motivated as I remind them of the goals each individual wants to accomplish and merging that with the team goals.
What is your favorite thing about being team manager?
Being a part of this journey, helping create a better program, and being able to enjoy great experiences with the team.
What do you like most about being part of the Pioneers family?
The diversity of the Pioneers family is one of the things I like most. Seeing different people of different backgrounds, and just coming together not just as a team, but becoming a family is one of the things that excites me most and knowing that each member of this family is willing to work excites me and makes me have a desire to work harder everyday.
What advice do you have for someone interested in being a team manager? What skills are needed?
An advice I would give someone if he or she is interested in being a team manager is to be willing to work everyday. Do more than what you are expected to do. Some skills that are needed would be a strong work ethic, punctuality, willingness to possibly do extra work, good communication skills with coaching staff and athletes, and I think it’s better as a team manager to know how to play the sport so you can help athletes if they need extra help outside of practice hours
What are the values of your team?
Some of the values my team has is that they are determined, passionate, eager to win, and have a great work ethic.
Describe being a team manager in three words
Fun, exciting, enjoyable