Q&A with Richard Perez, Head Coach and Co-league Director with Holyoke Wolf Pack Youth Athletics
Updated: Aug 1
What do you love most about your sport?
What I love most about basketball are the bonds you build when a group of athletes come together to achieve a common goal. Some of my best friends to this day are friends that I met early on in my youth through playing basketball. Now as a coach, making those connections and bonding over how beautiful the game is, is still one of my favorite aspects of the game.
What was the biggest challenge you overcame this year with your team?
The biggest challenge our program has overcame this year was being the new program on the block. Everyone wants to be a part of an already established program that’s proven that they can compete. Until then, it’s not easy to recruit and get the best athletes to come join your program. We took on athletes who were getting cut, who were thought of as not being good enough and worked hard to build them up. We are competing against some of the best athletes western mass has to offer from age groups 10-15. We have more than held our own as our athletes are starting to believe and work harder than ever.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is becoming a coach/mentor to the community I love so much. I was a good player growing up with an opportunity to go play for a good college. I made poor decisions towards the end of my high school career and it cost me what I worked for up to that point. I wanted to make an impact in young athletes lives that were coming up after me and steer them in the right direction. I began coaching five years ago and now it’s a passion of mine.
Best game performance?
Best game performance would have to be our 11u boys going up to New Hampshire and winning a zero gravity tournament. As a new program we stood local for most of spring focusing on practices, scrimmages and a local league we joined. We saw the progress our guys were making and decided to partake in an AAU tournament. It was a hard fought championship game which we trailed most of the game against a good program from the Boston area. We took the lead with four minutes left in the game. After that point, the game was back and forth until about 20 secs left where we took the lead and closed it out on defense. Awesome experience for our program and athletes!
Where was your fundraising profit spent?
Our fundraising profits have gone right back into our program. We’ve been able to purchase equipment needed to build a strength and conditioning program we hope to begin in the fall. We also were able to get our teams into another league/tournament before the end of the summer.
Your favorite motivational quote:
“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail” -John Wooden
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