All about attitude!


Ava Kitzi, Copy Editor

The National Football League (NFL) combine may feel like the pinnacle for many football athletes to show off their skills to potential coaches. However, beyond the flashiness of the 40 yard dash and max bench press, most coaches are looking for a different set of skills in their athletes. Coaches are looking for something that can’t be exhibited by metrics or analytics, but that must be worked on and proven over time. College recruiters and coaches are increasingly more interested in an athlete’s mental abilities, like toughness, effort, and confidence, over speed and strength. The Battle athletic coaches are no different. The top traits they look for in potential athletes include determination, loyalty, and discipline. 

“You don’t have to be born fast or strong, you just have to be dedicated,” head football coach Atiyyah Ellison said on what he values in his players. “If everyone does what they’re supposed to, the ball doesn’t get past us. That’s what practice is for.”

Head softball coach Joe Henderson says that everything he teaches his players has a bigger meaning in their life. Loyalty, teamwork, leadership, and perseverance are daily expectations at practice. 

“I hope that after they play with me in high school, the one thing they learn is to do something, to be great, to do something that impacts themselves and those around them,” he said on the values that he looks for in athletes.  “Our team gets stronger every year because of it. We have fun, but we’re constantly getting better.”

Student athletes at Battle feel that this style of coaching, personality over physical skill, has helped them break barriers and become stronger athletes and students. 

“He teaches us that softball reveals character and what we do in practice translates to our daily life. We always give 110%. We always respect each other. We’re always lifting each other up because of what he teaches us,” sophomore softball player Aubrei Roland said about Henderson. “He’s helped me gain a real perspective on life.”

These traits that coaches cultivate in their athletes day after day have lasting effects not only in their personal and athletic lives, but also in their school careers. Whatever manners they practice on the field have a direct correlation to their success as students, according to Henderson. 

 “Our team GPA is 3.58. That’s directly correlated with what they’ve been taught on the field,” he said on how softball translates to real life.“The integrity and credibility you learn on the field shape who you are as a young person, and that’s what really matters.”

You can find where to watch Battle coaches in athletes at upcoming sports events at