USC’s Andrea Gaston – Keeping the Faith in Coaching
By Liz Hanson and Kate Roskvist
Whilst coaching itself is a demanding profession, University of Southern California’s Head Women’s Golf Coach Andrea Gaston is confidently assured in how to succeed in this tough but profoundly rewarding line of work. Her dedication, poise and professionalism draw you in when you meet her, and her long-time relationships with those she’s coached are testament to her authentic generous spirit.
With over 18 years of experience and on the heels of winning the 2013 NCAA Championship (along with two previously), Andrea believes in the importance of building trust with her players, and of fostering relationships within teams. “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Once they know that I really care, that opens the door for players to be more candid and unafraid to talk about issues that concern them.”
She also speaks about the best ways of overcoming insecurities and being the best at your role.
“Be very patient and don’t rush to conclusions or make decisions too quickly. Stay strong, have persistence and follow your passion.”
An Exercise Science major, Andrea says she didn’t really choose her career in sport but gradually reached her now chosen profession. “My path to becoming the coach at USC was actually a long and winding road. I spent 14 years away from golf and worked in business.”
Drawing on her experiences, she says the best advice for those starting out is that it’s never easy when you’re going through the trenches, but if you find your passion it will anchor you.
“Keep the faith that you will find something that enables you to use your gifts. If you’re not in a career that you are passionate about, bloom where you are planted and realize that you are learning skills that prepare you for the next part of your journey.”
In looking to the future, Andrea says she is inspired to continue to develop young players in the USC program and coach championship golfers. “I would love to continue our streak of being in the hunt.”
This article was featured in People+Sport Magazine: Education and Professional Development Edition which is available to read online here.
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