Sports Q&A with Klark Sammis – Boys varsity soccer coach for Helena High School
Published 5:10 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Q: How long have you been the head varsity boys soccer coach?
I have just finished my fifth season at Helena High School.
Q: What made you get into coaching?
Definitely my experiences as a player growing up made me want to continue being around soccer. I am very passionate about the sport, and coaching was a way to fully immerse myself. Also, part of what drew me to becoming a teacher were the possible opportunities for coaching. I was lucky enough that my AD at my first teaching job in Tampa gave me a chance to be an assistant. It was the very next year that I was hired on as a head coach at a different school, and I have been a head coach ever since.
Q: What is a moment in your Helena coaching career that stands out to you?
If I were to pick one moment, it would be this past season winning the Falcon Fest tournament up in Huntsville. Our first game of the tournament did not go like we wanted it to but in our post game conversation the players decided that the rest of the tournament would be different. We went on to win three games straight handley, including a top 10 6A team and a 7A school. It was amazing to see the team decide they wanted to do something and then go out there and accomplish it without looking back.
Q: How does the Helena community compare with other school communities you’ve worked with in the past?
The community is definitely more tight-knit. Some of the players have been playing with each other since they could kick a ball in the back yard all the way up through club and playing for their school. It is really cool to see them reminisce about going undefeated on their U7 team or a goal they remember from middle school. The parents are the same way, some have been coaching their kids and the other athletes on the team since they were 5 years old.
Q: What is the key in building a strong bond between players?
To me, there are two main factors that have been successful in helping a team come together. First, creating accountability by setting standards from the beginning and never wavering. Players begin to hold themselves and their teammates accountable for their actions and form a certain set of expectations. For example, it is not enough to show up to practice, you have to be there on time and practice with intensity. Secondly, taking opportunities to hold team events outside of training and games. Eating a pre-game meal together, having a FIFA tournament, going to a Legion game together. Those moments make a difference.