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CEDAR RAPIDS - Author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss once said, 'Focus on being productive instead of busy.”
One Xavier coach may busy, he also has made the most out of his busy schedule.
Xavier girls' soccer coach Chris Higgins also is an assistant coach for the Loras College men's soccer team and is an assistant coach and goalkeeping coach for the women's soccer team at Loras.
This may seem like a difficult task, coaching teams that are located in different cities, but Higgins has found a way to fit it all into his schedule.
'During the springtime, I start my day doing office work from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.,” Higgins said. 'I then train the men's and women's goalkeepers at Loras from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The men's team will have practice from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. I spend the next two hours commuting to Xavier and then practice is usually 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.”
In 2019, Xavier won the Class 2A girls' state soccer championship. Last season, the team had their season canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Higgins said he is happy to be busy coaching two teams simultaneously to make up for lost time.
'It will certainly be a busy time over the next few months,” Higgins said. 'The college season is usually in the fall, but was postponed due to the pandemic so we are doing a conference only season in March and April. I just have to plan ahead and be very particular with my time management.
'COVID-19 has presented everyone with all sorts of challenges, but I would rather have two seasons of soccer going on at the same time as opposed to having everything canceled like last year.”
Despite a grueling schedule, Higgins still is able to dedicate himself to coaching at Xavier. He wants the girls to accomplish every goal they have for this upcoming season.
'We have had a lot of turnover in the program from the team that won the state championship two years ago,” Higgins said. 'Those players were graduates Caitlynn Daniels, Quinn Hanigan, Sarah Cunningham, Grace Ries, Sophie Alessio and Paige Loney. I expect that we will go out every game with a belief that we are defending state champions and take it one game at a time.
'I just want every player to reach their ceiling individually and that will definitely translate to the success of the team.”
Higgins's leadership is evident to the members of the team. Senior goalkeeper Maggie Conrad said Higgins has done a great job setting aside time for the team to make sure it is working to its full potential.
'Coach Higgins has made adjustments throughout each season to figure out what works best for our team,” Conrad said. 'He works hard to make our team be as successful and prepared as possible and pushes us to get better every single day.”
This year's senior class is only the second to have Higgins as their coach all four years of high school. Conrad said this has helped the seniors trust him and his coaching.
'Having Coach Higgins be our coach all four years has allowed us to build strong bonds with him,” Conrad said. 'He knows all the seniors really well and knows the best coaching styles for each of us. Coach Higgins also supports us outside of soccer, so it is really special to have a coach that cares so much about his players.
'We are so excited and grateful that Coach Higgins is able to coach again this year at Xavier.”
The Saints opens their season against West Des Moines Dowling on April 9 at 4:15 p.m.