Congratulations to Coach Nate Horton for being nominated by his peers and selected as the March 2016 Coach of the Month for Saluda High School. Coach Horton is the Head Varsity Baseball Coach and the team currently has a 10-2 overall record and are 3-1 in Region II-AA play. We caught up with Coach Horton to ask him some questions.
Please give a brief history of your educational and coaching experience.
I graduated from Byrnes High School and Presbyterian College. After I graduated from PC, I stayed one year as an assistant coach in charge of catchers. I then became an assistant baseball coach at Saluda High School in 2012. I was an assistant for my first three years and this year is my first year as head varsity baseball coach.
What does it mean to you to be a coach at Saluda High School?
It means a great deal to me. I have always loved baseball and it is one of the greatest opportunities in the world to be able to share that passion with our student athletes. I look forward every day to not only coaching the game of baseball, but also helping our young men become better people. Coaching is by far one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had in my life. The athletes at Saluda High School are a big part of that.
In a sentence, what is your coaching philosophy?
Every time my players step on the field, whether it be practice or a game, I want them to play like it’s the last time they will ever get to play again.
In your opinion, why is it important for students to participate in sports?
I believe that it is important for students to participate in sports because it builds character and teamwork. Obviously athletic skills are enhanced and improved through playing sports, but I think a lot more can be gained from those experiences. Athletes are able to build character through facing adversity and having to work together. A lot of times in sports you are faced with similar challenges that you see in life. Sports can help you learn how to handle those situations, learn how to work with others to accomplish a goal, and learn how to be a better person in general.
What is the most important lesson you have learned through coaching?
I think the biggest lesson I have learned so far this year is that it is more about the process than the immediate results. In today’s world everyone wants to see instant results. Sometimes in athletics you don’t get to see that instantaneous growth. In sports you have to dedicate yourself to a process and buy into working hard towards that end goal. It is essential that you take it one practice at a time, one game at a time, and in our case one pitch at at time. I think that I have learned that if you and your players immerse yourself in the process, the ultimate goal is much easier to obtain.
Again, congratulations to Coach Horton and the best of luck to him and his team on the remainder of the season!