Published on Friday, November 18, 2011 by Davis Downey
Former coach Eric Eike has been bringing sports into the classroom for 25 years, teaching with the same philosophy he applied on the field.
His method of teaching reflects the style of a former coach, with the same lessons he learned being utilized in the classroom.
“In whatever you are involved in, you get out of it exactly what you put into it,” Eike said. “In other words, the harder you work the better athlete and student you will become.”
Eike’s sons and daughter also participated in many different sports during their high school career, which acted as one of the main factors in ending his coaching career.
“I stopped coaching when my own kids were old enough to start competing in sports,” Eike said. “I wanted to have the opportunity to be involved as a fan and a coach.”
After coaching his children throughout their childhood, Eike now has the opportunity to put on the hat of a fan, as his sons play football for Texas A&M University.
“Being a fan and a parent is tough because you want them to do well,” Eike said, “but at the same time you worry about them getting injured. They like doing it though so I support them in every way I can.”
Teaching is Eike’s focus, using the patience and knowledge of how to coach to be a better teacher.
“He allows us to work in groups which helps us learn better through collaboration,” student Steven Moehring said.
From dealing with the quick-paced thinking that being a basketball coach requires, students say that Eike is good at handling questions and explaining Chemistry topics.
“He explains everything really well,” Moehring said, “when you ask him questions he’ll actually answer them, and be nice about it.”
Eike sees the classroom as a place for student to collaborate, much like on the court.
“There’s a whole lot to be said about team work, everybody can bring something to a group,” Eike said. “As far as basketball goes, if you can’t score you can still play defense, [and in the classroom], if you’re not good artistically you may be a good writer.”
Students aren’t the only ones noticing Eike’s teaching being affected by his prior coaching experience. His co-workers have seen it too.
“He lays out the material in such a way that brings about understanding of difficult content, and shows the parts and how it makes up the whole.” Science Department Head Colleen Holmes said. “Along with that he creates lessons that builds upon each skill to better help students apply to other areas.”
Coach Eike sees the importance of catering to individual students strengths in the classroom just like coaches do with athletes.
“Everybody has different talents, everyone has something to offer,” Eike said.