Helena Magazine

Sports Q&A: A conversation with Coach Mark Sanders

Published 4:16 pm Thursday, May 5, 2022

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Question 1: What do you love most about coaching?
Coaching provides me with a platform and opportunities to mentor the next generation of leaders, teach leadership/life skills through athletics and share the love of Jesus Christ to players and parents alike on and off the field.

Question 2: In what ways do you try to inspire your team, and in what ways do they inspire you?

I try to inspire them by loving them unconditionally, leading by example and always have a positive, winning attitude. They inspire me with their never ending love and commitment to each other, the game of softball and their school/community.

Question 3: What led you to coaching Helena softball?
My coaching career began in 1998 coaching football, basketball and baseball. I took the Riverchase Middle School (Pelham/Helena Middle School) Softball Coaching job in 2001 only to get in line for a baseball coaching opportunity in the future. By the end of the first season, I had no interest in returning to my baseball roots. In 2007, Jenni Goolsby (first Administrator of HMS) asked me to come to Helena and start the Helena Middle School Softball program. Fourteen seasons later, I am still here and loving every minute of it.

Question 4: From this last year, what stands out to you as a favorite moment in the season?
Having daily opportunities to work with and mentor these outstanding young ladies and student athletes. They love each other unconditionally, they want it more than their opponents, and they have more fun than their opponents.

Question 5: Describe the feelings you get before a game.
Besides feeling a little nervousness, I feel a great sense of pride and excitement about my career path and watching the girls prepare to play. The sights, sounds and smells of the game are exciting and get my adrenaline pumping.

Question 6: What makes Helena softball special?
First and foremost, the student athletes are the ones that make this program special. I could not imagine having more outstanding young ladies than we have had in our program. Secondly, it’s also the parents that make our program unique. Our parents have not only supported us financially, but they have been super supportive of the players, coaches and administrators in our school.  Finally, the community members and our many Helena city leaders and officials have made this into a remarkable place to play softball– AND work, grow and live.