September | Blue KC Coaches with Character
Megan Schmidt, Sumner Academy, multiple sports
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and the C You in the Major Leagues (CYITML) Foundation have announced Sumner Academy of Arts & Sciences girls’ tennis, basketball, and soccer coach, Megan Schmidt, as the Blue KC Coaches with Character honoree for the month of September.
As a multi-sport coach for the past six years, Megan Schmidt has navigated its many challenges to perfection, all while continuing to provide top-notch care, teaching & coaching to her student-athletes.
When she was contacted about helping coach the girl’s tennis program, Schmidt had zero tennis experience, but showed no hesitation toward diving in with a positive attitude and optimistic outlook on the future.
“I was able to build that program up to almost 30 girls and grew to love the sport myself,” said Schmidt. “In an attempt to gain family support for the tennis program, I started a senior/alumni end-of-season cookout. By the second year we had more than 50 people attend, including about a dozen Sumner Academy alumni members who returned to show their support.”
Schmidt is also an assistant coach for the girls’ basketball and soccer programs, but she isn’t stopping there! After learning about the growth of girls’ flag football in the Midwest, she’s taken on the project of starting a flag football program at Sumner Academy. While currently in its beginning stages of building a team and locating opponents, significant progress is being made toward unveiling yet another sporting opportunity for girls at Sumner Academy.
“My school is unique in that it is a magnet school that pulls in students from all over Wyandotte County,” said Schmidt. “Our lack of facilities forces student-athletes to ride a bus, or walk, to various practice locations, and play home games at other stadiums. Our student-athletes still show up, compete and support one another. The athletic culture at the school has grown tremendously and it’s been a blast to be a part of that.”
As a coach who has learned through past experience, Schmidt is always reminding her student-athletes to worry about the things they can control and block out all of the external factors. While it may be easy to get caught up in the frustrations of ‘what if’ or ‘why not’, she’s been able to find ultimate success in taking charge of the things that she can control and focusing on making an impact in that way.
“Lead by example and always remember that energy and effort is contagious,” said Schmidt. “You don’t always have to be the best player, or the most vocal player on the team. Do the little things right, show that you care, and others will follow.”
While being part of a team is beneficial in numerous ways, Schmidt goes the extra mile to ensure everyone in her programs understands the importance of putting on a Sumner Academy uniform and representing everyone who has come before them to help lay the foundation.
“I always stress to my student-athletes that they represent our school and community,” said Schmidt. “Standards are important in that aspect because we want to create a positive image and culture amongst the athletes at our school. I want my athletes to understand what our shared expectations are and how that correlates with the goals that we are trying to accomplish.”
“Megan is a coach who constantly goes above and beyond for her athletes,” said Schmidt’s nominator, Brad Oxler. “She is the most dedicated and involved coach in the building, coaching three sports and also handling the school’s social media pages. She helps to bring attention to our athletics and makes people realize that we are more than just an academic school.”
“Coach Schmidt’s ability to lead and assist numerous sports is a testament to her character, commitment and love for Sumner Academy and its surrounding community,” said Christina Lively, Blue KC Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We all know the challenges coach’s face in each particular sport, but Coach Schmidt is able to navigate multiple sports, while maintaining a positive and optimistic outlook, demonstrating her true devotion for all of her student-athletes. It’s our honor to recognize her for this prestigious award. Congratulations!”