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An Interview With Seth Coffing

Originally published on

Tell us About Yourself


I am a person that has been able to balance my laid-back personality with my passion and drive for competition. Those closest to me say that I can get along with anyone. I have found that I can make friends anywhere because I value listening and observing people to understand what makes them tick. I love and value my time with family and close friends, and I enjoy being active, fit and competing. I embrace challenges and am always looking for ways to achieve the next goal.


What makes you different than other professionals in your field?


I have spent my entire adult career in education. I began coaching high school basketball as an assistant varsity coach at my old high school at 20 years old while I was getting my bachelor’s degree from Spring Arbor University and playing collegiate baseball. I was able to do all of this while also raising my daughter. Over the course of the next 19 years, I finished my bachelor’s degree, taught physical education and history at every level kindergarten through 12th grade, coached football, basketball, and baseball, have been active in fitness and sports radio announcing and played competitive adult men’s baseball. I have always been exceptional at multi-tasking and completing and achieving many goals at a very high level. I have done this by being able to cultivate relationships with my students, athletes, and peers that have enabled them to be the best version of themselves.


What has been the most important part of your coaching journey?


I have been fortunate to work with student-athletes from almost every background imaginable. This has forced me to think outside of my comfort zone at times to figure out how to connect with these athletes. I have also been fortunate to work with and alongside several excellent coaches, but more importantly, excellent coaches that are wonderful people. They have reinforced the reasons that I got into coaching, to begin with. The base of those reasons is wanting what is best for those student-athletes and forming relationships with them that are far more meaningful than any game — laying the foundation for these student-athletes to be successful in life.


What are your focus areas, and why?


I always tell my student-athletes that your priorities should be:

  1. Religion
  2. Family
  3. School
  4. Sport

I try to model this with how I live my life. Like every human, sometimes our priorities get out of line. It’s important to take time for reflection at certain points and get back to those priorities.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?


I see myself working with young people in some capacity, probably coaching a very successful program. I could also see myself owning my own business and being passionate about helping people within that business. I also see myself spending quality time with my family around water (hopefully a lake house).


How would you measure success in your role?


I always find the most satisfaction when I see former students and athletes years later after I have taught/coached them, and they are using some of the things that we talked about or did to be happy and successful in their own lives. To me, this is the most important part of my position over the years, is forming that base for young people to use later in life.


What 3 pieces of advice would you give to athletes that want to compete at a higher level?

  1. Control what you can control
  2. Set small goals that lead to big goals
  3. Be humble

What drives you to keep going when it’s really tough?


I have been asked this a lot over the years, “how do you teach your athletes to be resilient?” I look at my own life (like many people), and there have been a lot of roadblocks that I could have quit or been detoured from being the best version of myself. I think you have to constantly sharpen your tools in your toolbox to be ready to take on different obstacles and stay the course. I feel I owe it to my family and those close to me to try to be my best no matter what I’m doing. I have been far more fortunate than a lot of people to have been blessed with a great family and upbringing. It’s my job now to carry that on into my own life to be my best and take on challenges and make the most of situations.

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