Happy Gilmore and Controlling the Controllables with Daniel Steigert

By Jill Mitchell, Social Media Director

What keeps you up at night?

Watching comedy shows like South Park, Family Guy and The Office! I love humor as you can see. But from a coaching perspective, it depends on the time of year. During season, its' game planning most of the time. Literally speaking, I am up all night watching film. Figuratively speaking, making sure I have the right match-ups set, or the strategies I’m implementing. A lot of other times, it’s just my mind running thinking about what I can do to make our program better and making sure all of our guys are enjoying their experience as part of the program.

What’s your favorite sport?

I love lacrosse. I love playing, coaching and being a spectator. I am also a big golf fan, and I try to play as often as I can. Hockey and football are two of the bigger sports I enjoy watching and attending. I’m a New York Rangers and a Jets fan, so I’ve been waiting for breakthrough seasons!

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned from being on a team?

In order to be successful, you have to be able to work and communicate effectively with everyone on that team. You also have to be willing to be coached, to be held accountable and to be a great teammate. Secondly, you have to be willing to be a small piece that’s part of a bigger puzzle. You might be the small corner piece and not the big centerpiece, but without you, the puzzle won’t be complete.

What’s your best memory as a coach?

You want my best memory? I have so many! I’ll start by saying I got into coaching to help players become better athletes, but more importantly, to be better people and help players get ready for the next chapter in life.

I never got into coaching just for the X’s and O’s. So, at the end of my first year as the head coach, one of our players graduated as the valedictorian of the school and he gave the senior speech at the baccalaureate awards night. He started his speech by saying during his freshmen year he was struggling with the transition to college and managing everything and he was really stressed out. As he tells the story, I had a conversation with him and told him, “Everything will be okay, everything will work out. Just control the controllables and focus on what you have to do.” He told everyone in attendance that in that two minute talk we had, that changed the course of his college career and his outlook.

His next words in his speech were “My message to the class of 2018 is exactly what my coach told me, everything will be okay and to control the controllables.” I damn near fell out of my chair. Sometimes you don’t realize the impact you have on players. While not an actual coaching memory, that’s something I’ll never forget. That season, we also made our conference playoffs for the first time in program history, but making the playoffs was a close second.

What coach inspires you the most?

Growing up, my Dad coached a lot of the youth sports I played, so it has always been my father. I was very fortunate he was very involved and pushed me to become better. One thing he always said, “We’ll keep doing what’s working until someone can stop us,” and I use that to this day. I remember so clearly that there were youth football games that we literally ran the same play on every down and we won a lot of games! His philosophy worked and it’s something I like to try and live by. I’ve played for and worked with some great coaches through my years, some of which were very inspiring, but I don’t know if I can say I have one coach that has inspired me more than others.

Outside of coaches, I also have other influences, one of which is my favorite authors, Jon Gordon. I’ve read all of his books and he speaks a lot on positive leadership, which has helped me both in coaching and the business world.

What’s your favorite sports movie?

My favorite movie is Happy Gilmore, and if you’re ever in an ice breaker group with me, expect me to say that. Technically, it’s a sports movie. Outside of that, Rudy has always been a favorite about overcoming odds and having persistence.

I’m a big fan of documentaries too. The recent documentary “The Last Dance” about the Chicago Bulls was very eye opening. Even with one of the greatest teams ever, it showed how you don’t have to be a 5-Star Recruit out of high school or one of the biggest names in college to make it to the next level and to be successful.

Hard work, and the willingness of players to be part of something bigger than themselves, can make a team great.

Also, from a culture standpoint, it showed that championship cultures have to overcome a lot of turbulent times and it takes strong leadership amongst peers to accomplish that.

What are you most excited about when it comes to PracticeHero?

How it can easily help me locate open facility space and quickly and easily book it with a few clicks! When traveling on overnight trips, we sometimes have to find facilities in the region we’re in and this will help solve this huge problem. Being in the northeast, and with the weather being unpredictable at times, it can help us book indoor space last minute when the weather takes a wintery turn. This solves another big problem for us!

Daniel is a college lacrosse coach for Dominican College, a DII school about an hour north of New York. We met Daniel in PracticeHero’s earliest days. We love Daniel’s enthusiasm for PracticeHero, but what we love even more is his passion for coaching and the integrity he holds for himself as a coach and his players.