- BC Games
Coaching ‘an opportunity to give back’
After an all-star high school career, Steve Janzen was recruited to play university basketball, but failed to crack the roster.
But rather than let that hold him back, Janzen dedicated himself to getting better.
“After high school, things weren’t necessarily handed to me,” he explained.
“Basically, I had to work my butt off.
“I was told my defence wasn’t good enough for the CIS level.”
Janzen had starred at Richmond’s Hugh Boyd Secondary, earning team, city and provincial accolades for his play as a shooting guard for the Trojans.
After failing to land a spot on the University of Manitoba roster, he returned to B.C. and enrolled at Langara College, playing two seasons at the college level, and found his way to the CIS, spending three seasons with the Trinity Western Spartans.
He wasn’t done with the game either, carving out a nice seven-year career playing professionally in Germany.
Janzen said the ability to live in another country, travel around Europe, and learn about different cultures “was an amazing life experience.”
But with his professional career now over with — Janzen retired in 2011 — he is onto the next phase of his life: a teacher and coach at R.E. Mountain Secondary.
The fact he wound up in teaching is of little surprise.
“I had done lot of basketball camps, AIA camps, and that got me very passionate about working with young kids,” Janzen said.
“Through that, I fell in love with teaching and coaching basketball.”
He also coached youth teams while in Germany.
His father, Walter, is also a retired teacher.
“I got a lot of inspiration from him and the impact he had on kids,” Janzen said.
Janzen, who earned his degree in human kinetics from Trinity Western had earned his teaching certificate from UBC earlier in his playing career. He had gone back to school earlier in his career while rehabilitating a partial tear of his Achilles.
He teaches PE and social studies, as well as coaching junior girls volleyball and junior boys basketball.
Janzen has also teamed up with fellow Mountain teacher/coach Kirk Weiss, to create Elevate.
Elevate offers Thursday night basketball through the fall and spring at Mountain, as well as camps and clinics for basketball and volleyball during spring and summer.
“Right since Grade 3, I have had people investing in me and helping me out so I think now that I am done with that, it is my turn to help others,” Janzen said.
“It is just an opportunity to give back to these kids, give them an opportunity to play and to have good coaching.”
“I really think what I have learned playing overseas is that guys who made it, there was something about their character, something about their work ethic, something that was inside of them,” Janzen said.
Janzen said the camp is based on an inside-out coaching philosophy, which focuses on the character development and building of strong core/moral values within an individual.
Using sport, they hope is to teach players about commitment, work ethic and perseverance, which will set up players for success on the court, in the classroom, and ultimately, in life.
For more about Elevate, click here.