CEDAR RAPIDS — A good coach is defined as a “positive, enthusiastic, supportive, trusting, focused, goal-oriented, knowledgeable, observant, respectful, patient and a clear communicator.”
At least that’s what it notes at Olympic.org.
Brylee Bastian, a 2016 Xavier graduate, will get the chance to embody those characteristics as the new coach of the junior varsity girls’ soccer team at her alma mater.
“It was brought to my attention that the position was open and there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted it,” Bastian said. “Xavier is home to me and I cannot see myself coaching anywhere else.”
While at Xavier, Bastian was involved in many different activities, including girls’ soccer. Her experience in the program helped shape her into the person she is today and she wanted to return the favor.
“The Xavier girls’ soccer program did not just make me a good soccer player, but it made me a good person on and off the field,” Bastian said.
The camaraderie of the team during her years in the soccer program created an environment that felt like home. She hopes to bring that with her in her new position.
“It gave me a sense of belonging and it felt like more of a family than just a team,” Bastian said. “I will forever be grateful for that and that is what I want to pass on to my players.”
Bastian will be able to pass that family feeling to many different girls now, including her sister, Brielle Bastian. Brielle is going into her sophomore season and second as a varsity player.
“Having my sister on the sideline during our games will be great,” Brielle said. “She brings a lot of energy, which we need.”
Brylee will bring her own coaching style to the sideline, but many different coaches have influenced her style. The person who impacted her the most was Rocki Shepherd, former girls’ varsity assistant coach at Xavier.
“Rocki Shepherd was and still is my favorite coach,” Brylee said. “She always believed in me, pushed me and always saw potential in me when I did not see it in myself.
“She is a great role model and I can truly say she is one of my heroes.”
Bastian is ready to push her players to reach their potential.
“I’ve been ready and excited for this season ever since the day season ended last year,” Brielle said.
Brylee knows Brielle will be a great example for the rest of the players on the team.
“Brielle is a great soccer player and always works hard,” Brylee said. “I am very proud to call her my sister.”
The season is suspended right now by the coronavirus pandemic.