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Sylvan Lake’s Nathan Geib wins atom/ pee wee Coach of the Year

He has coached in Sylvan for four years
Atom football coach Nathan Geib from Sylvan Lake won Football Alberta’s atom/ pee wee coach of the year award. (Photo by Sylvan Lake Minor Football)

Sylvan Lake’s Nathan Geib has been recognized for his years of dedication to football.

This week Football Alberta announced Geib was this year’s recipient of the atom/ pee wee coach of the year award.

For the last four years and counting Geib has coached the Sylvan Lake Atom Tigers and as described in a media release from Football Alberta, he has become known as one of the best youth coaches and mentors in Central Alberta.

Speaking with The Advocate Geib explained winning the award has been great but it’s also bittersweet.

“Football is a team sport and even from the coaching side of it, it’s a team effort,” he said.

“I have five other coaches that helped me all year and I wouldn’t be half the coach I was without their help.”

Geib is originally from Moose Jaw, Sask. and played football growing up and into high school on the offensive line. He eventually moved to Sylvan Lake to pursue job opportunities.

In atom football, they don’t officially keep score but Geib said they won the majority of their games last season.

“It was a successful season. I think all the kids learned a lot and they all made huge strides. At the end of the day that’s the most important thing is that the kids are getting prepared to move up to a more competitive setting,” he said.

He and the rest of the coaching staff are tasked with introducing the sport to young kids aged eight to 10 years old. His coaching style requires a lot of consistency while building up his players.

“The hardest thing about coaching at this level is that most of these kids are brand new to football… Especially when all of them are learning at different levels. You’ve got kids who have older siblings who’ve played or kids who are on the third year of their atom journey,” he said.

“The most important thing is bridging that gap between challenging the better players on the team while not leaving the newer players behind. It’s a lot of building up what you can and a lot of delegation on my part to be honest. I had a wonderful team this year that played to all of our strengths.”

He explained when the kids do grasp what they’re teaching it’s rewarding and that he has dozens of stories of kids who impressed or surprised the coaches with their abilities.

“Just to see things click for a kid or to see them finally get over that hump they’ve been struggling with it’s been very rewarding,” he said.

“I do keep tabs on the kids who’ve moved up. Some of them are pee wee or even high school now so it’s interesting to see the progression through their entire careers.”

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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