WACO — Dave Aranda’s first coaching job has come with it’s fair share of obstacles after he was basically kept away from his team for a majority of the spring and summer.
He has praised his team’s ability to pick up football concepts over zoom, but spent a lot of time this off season and during fall camp getting to know his players and coaches on a deeper level, that in normal circumstances he might not have been able to.
“In the past, where it was hey, we’re going to do this, and it better look like this,” Aranda said. “I just feel like that’s not actually my personality, anyway, but I just think whether it’s COVID-19 or whether it’s striving to get social justice, I think if you look at those things, there’s a lot of questions, there’s a lot of listening, there’s a lot of listening to understand. I think all of those things are appreciating the person over the player.”
Social Justice has been top of mind for players around the country including Baylor who spoke marched and prayed for unity in our country. Aranda said his first eight months at Baylor have involved a lot of listening which has been impactful for him on his journey as a coach.
“I think the person over the coach, the person over the player,” Aranda said. “A lot of times as coaches, you don’t see that until you’re fired, until you’re out of a job. Your identity was as a coach: Coach this, coach that. And then you’re struggling to find the person that you’d like to be or at one time you were. So, the identity piece, and getting to know our people and investing in that has been much accelerated because of the time that we’re in. So, I appreciate that.”