Tag Archives: college athletics

Kickin’ It With Santiago Hernandez, Men’s Soccer Manager

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

Coaches Corner: Melissa Barton

Coming from Denver, CO., is PUC’s Men’s Volleyball coach Melissa Barton. This year was her second season coaching, with the previous coaching at Union College in Lincoln, NE. Melissa coaches to win while also having fun in the process. She believes effort beats talent, so she trains her team to always give a hundred percent.

Melissa kindly answered some questions for us to learn more about her and her team. 

What makes PUC athletics different from other colleges and universities? 

At PUC you can tell that we are in a season of growth. Everyone has the same goal in mind and that is to better our program. I believe that is what sets us apart right now. 

How do you keep your players motivated during the season? 

Motivation for my players is easy, they all have such a strong love and passion for the game, they just want to play. They are very self-motivated because they enjoy what they do.

What values do you instill in your players? 

Respect is one of the biggest values. As well as discipline, I hope people can see a difference in my team. 

What do you enjoy most about being a coach?

I love all the memories made and seeing my players light up with joy when they get that kill, or ace, or whatever good thing they did. It makes my heart happy. 

How do you support your players on and off the court? 

My players know that I am always there for them. On and off-court whether it is volleyball-related or not. They know that I will always have their back with everything, 

Outside of competing, are there activities you try to get your students involved in? 

My athletes are regularly involved in helping the sports teams out on game day. I also have several men on my team that play instruments for vespers and church. My team is very charismatic and loves to show up to the SA events. 

How do you incorporate spiritual life within your team? 

My team has worship on Monday’s lead out by myself. And on every other day of the week the players, each take turns in leading out in a quick devotional before each practice. This allows them to talk about what they believe in, and what is important to them. 

Why should prospective students choose PUC over another program? 

They will be joining a family, not just a school. 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family? 

My favorite thing is getting to know the athletes as more than just players on a court. Like I said we become a family. 

When you’re not coaching, what do you enjoy doing? 

I enjoy doing other sports, exploring random cities, watching movies, and driving around in my truck listening to country music. 

Fire It Up!

By R.A. Paulson, Professor
Department of Exercise Science, Health & Nutrition

You’re new to PUC and would like to make a few friends, get some exercise thus limiting the effect of the “freshman 15,” reduce the stress of college life and smile a lot more, and maybe win a Championship T-Shirt—well, Fire it Up and participate in Intramural Recreation at Pacific Union College. Let’s look at what we offer:

Friends—Since almost 50% of our students participate in Intramural Recreation at PUC and many more will attend games and support their friends, Intramural Recreation is a great place to meet people.

Exercise—College is where you come to develop the skills you need to be successful in life, such as how to maintain balance. The number of nights you participate is up to you, we offer activities Monday – Thursday but most teams only play once-a-week. If you are a gym rat and sports is critical to your very existence, join several leagues.

Intramurals 1

Fun—We do our best to make sure you enjoy you college days at PUC by offering a wide variety of sports in a well-run Christian atmosphere. Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions that would enhance your intramural experience!

Championship T-Shirts—Everyone who participates in PUC Intramural Recreation is a winner but those that score more points in the championship game receive a Intramural Recreation T-shirt. (A much coveted part of your PUC wardrobe!)

What sports—when?

Fall – Flagball, Co-ed 6-person Volleyball, Co-ed Team Handball
Winter – Basketball (New this year—Men’s C League), Indoor Soccer, Floor Hockey
Spring – Co-ed Softball, Baseball, Co-ed Flagball, Co-ed Ultimate Frisbee, Date Night (Co-ed Doubles in Volleyball, Pickle Ball, and Badminton)

Intramurals 2

Ok, you’re convinced and want to get involved. Fantastic—here is where to go for everything that is Intramural Recreation at Pacific Union College.  RecRadio.org is where you register your team, get information on upcoming events, see pictures of you and your friends having a GREAT time, and listen to a wonderful podcast.

If you can’t find an answer to your questions on RecRadio.org or have a suggestion on how to make the #1 Intramural program in the United States even better, stop by my office or send me an email at bpaulson@puc.edu.