Our newspaper staff had the opportunity to interview David Bascome, the head coach of the Baltimore Blast, which is Baltimore’s professional indoor soccer team.
Staff: How did you become head coach?
Coach Bascome: My best friend was the head coach and when he could no longer coach I became the head coach. I was the assistant coach first. I was the assistant coach for 8 years.
Staff: Was coaching always something you wanted to do?
Coach Bascome: Because I was only focused on playing, when I got older I couldn’t play. But I still wanted to help others win, so I became a coach.
Staff: What do you like about coaching?
Coach Bascome: Oh, I love yelling at them, I'm just kidding, what I love about coaching is that if they don't know how to do something I can teach them or show them how to do it.
Staff: Is there anything about coaching that you don’t like?
Coach Bascome: I could get fired at any time! And I can’t get on the field. The one thing I have to do as a coach is to teach them to teach themselves.
Staff: What is the most interesting part?
Coach Bascome: The most interesting part is that my players have to trust me by default. It’s my job to prove to them why they can trust me. I can mold them into better players.
Staff: What is it like firing people?
Coach Bascome: Very tough. Professional players do it for a living. If they don’t meet the standard I set, I will bring them to my office and talk to them about what they’re not doing and say that things aren’t working out. I tell them not to get confused with me as a person and me as a coach. I will fire you as a coach but as a person, the friendship will still exist.
Staff: Is coaching Baltimore Blast your only job?
Coach Bascome: Uh, no. It is enjoyable for me. I coach social development. I work with educators and I own a company. I’m even a leadership coach.
Staff: Is soccer your favorite sport?
Coach Bascome: Yes, very much so. I live and breathe this game. I grew up on this game in Bermuda. I played soccer, which we call football, and cricket. Every Christmas I got socks and a soccer ball.
Staff: What is your favorite movie?
Coach Bascome: I like cartoon movies. You cannot watch movies with me because I will spoil it. “Don’t go into the shed you're gonna get attacked” Ninety-Nine percent of the time I'm correct.
Staff: Do you like listening to music while playing? If so, what genre(s)?
Coach Bascome: Reggae! I also like all types of music. I even try to get into Trap and RnB. If I want to get pumped, I listen to something upbeat.
Staff: What is your team doing this season because the season was canceled for Covid-19?
Coach Bascome: We can’t play. We were supposed to play in November, but we didn’t have a facility and we needed to follow Covid guidelines. It’s disappointing, but Covid safety comes first.
Staff: What are your players doing because you can’t play?
Coach Bascome: Since we could not play this season the players are trying to keep in shape.
Staff: Are your team friends?
Coach Bascome: Yes, they are friends! We have to build a culture and a climate; it’s so crucial. Each player has to understand each other.
Staff: What are ways that the Blast are involved in the community?
Coach Bascome: We get to be in the community, during Covid, through social media and Zoom and speaking engagements. Before Covid, we also go to schools and do talking at schools. I also have worked with the Police Athletic League for six years. It’s very important that we are embedded into the community. We have to understand the importance of education. We have to guide and leave people with some tools and leave some substance behind.
Staff: What do you look for in a player?
Coach Bascome: They must be able to work hard. I want them to have a purpose.
Staff: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a soccer player?
Coach Bascome: Let’s say the person I would talk to was nine. First, I would ask them what is their favorite thing to do and they said soccer. Then, I would ask if there is anything else you like to do and they said well I like math and science. Finally, I would say, well when you know what you want to do then we will come back and have this same conversation and understand what you’re doing, relate what you’re doing, and have the nerve to do it.
Silas P.: Do you prefer virtual or in person class more?
Mrs. Schnirel: Well, um, I do not like sitting in front of a computer all
Silas P.: What would you be if you weren’t a teacher?
Mrs. Schnirel: I think that I would be an event planner.
Silas P.: Are there any pros to online learning?
Mrs. Schnirel: I do like that there is some flexibility like seeing classes
faster or seeing multiple at once.
Silas P.: Did you always want to be a teacher?
Mrs. Schnirel: No, I did not always want to be a teacher.
Zoey Marie: What secrets are in the teachers’ lounge?
Mrs. Schnirel: Usually, there’s chocolate.
Zoey Marie: What’s your favorite video game?
Mrs. Schnirel: Oh, what if you don’t like video games?
Silas P: THEN YOU’RE AN INSANE MONSTER THAT EVERYONE HATES.
Mrs. Schnirel: Does just dance count?
Zoey Marie: Yes.
Zoey Marie: What do you do in your spare time?
Mrs. Schnirel: Would it be surprising to say I like to read? My son plays baseball and we see him play. My daughter is really into musicals.
Zoey Marie: How old is your daughter?
Mrs. Schnirel: She is almost 18.
Zoey Marie: How long have you been teaching in general?
Mrs. Schnirel: This is year 20 for me, so 20 years.
Zoey Marie: Do you appreciate working with students?
Mrs. Schnirel: I do like working with students. I like helping them find books they love and I like when they share books with me. And, when they have that lightbulb moment when they’re like, “oh!”
Zoey Marie: In what way would you like a part of your job to change?
Mrs. Schnirel: There is a pillar in the library that really annoys me. The rest of the library is fine, but if that one pillar would go, everyone would be able to see.
Zoey Marie: On August 18th, 1986, John Bebebebe went missing. Does this sound familiar to you?
Mrs. Schnirel: John Bebebebe? No, it doesn’t.
By Silas P.