When a person’s passion for what they do extends beyond the boundaries of “have to” and into the realm of “want to,” good things – really fun things – happen. We at Spartanburg Day School are fortunate to have a faculty that exemplifies what it means to “be more” every day.
During the academic year, Nick Buxton is a PE teacher, a soccer coach and athletics operations manager (and more). By summer, he leads athletic camps and programs for players looking to get a leg up on the next season. Since becoming a Griffin in 2014, Coach Buxton’s passion keeps him on the soccer field and beyond all year long.
What will you be doing at SDS this summer?
I have a couple of things going on this summer. First off, I do a summer training program, which involves speed and agility, as well as soccer. It’s in the evening and it’s for rising second graders all the way up to rising 12th graders. We do a lot of footwork and a lot of technical work with the soccer ball. And then we just allow the kids to play, have fun and play some pick up games. The summer training program is really more for the dedicated soccer player that wants to improve and get better.
I also run a soccer camp from Monday to Friday, which I’m doing right now, and it’s a lot of fun and games. We’ll mix in some indoor soccer and just have a lot of fun by playing different activities with the kids.
And then coming up, in the end of June, I do an all-sports camp. And it’s just a variety of different games and exercise activities. We could be playing dodgeball, or we could be playing soccer again, or we could be playing tennis. I try to judge by the kids we have to see what their interests might be, and I cater to the kids we have.
You could do a lot of things over the summer. Rather than going to the beach, why did you choose to spend a good chunk of your summer here?
I want to give something back to the school. And offering camps for the students at the school and also getting kids who don’t normally come to the Day School the opportunity to come and see what we have here. It helps me out in the long run if I’m getting these kids in the summer, and they’re dedicated to a sport, it’s gonna help me in my season. For instance, middle school soccer season is just around the corner and I’m offering this summer training program and I have nine or 10 middle school soccer players who are going to compete in the fall for me. They’re here, working hard in the summer. It’s only going to help the school and the soccer program in the long run.
Do you see the community aspect here that we see during the school year?
I still get the community feel. For instance, when we had a kid from Florida come last week, I introduced him straight away to some of the middle school boys and they took him under their wing and started asking him questions, “What’s it like in Florida? What are you doing here in Spartanburg. It’s so great to see you. This is what we do. This is how it is.” Every time you step onto the campus, it’s a great community.
What specifically do you enjoy about your summer work here at SDS?
I just enjoy being out here with the kids. It’s a great environment; we have great facilities here at the school. And just seeing the kids have fun, excel at the different sports and activities that we do. It’s just worth doing.
Do you know most of the kids you are working with this summer or are you getting to know some new faces?
It’s a mix. We do have a lot of kids who go to Spartanburg Day School at summer camps, but we also have kids that come from different schools and different environments. We’ve even got a kid this week from Asheville.
More generally, what is your favorite part of the Day School?
I just enjoy the whole atmosphere of the school. It’s very friendly, and a great place to work. I love mixing with the kids. In my role, working in the department I do, I get to see the kids at 3 years old and I get to work with the kids when they’re in the high school, as well. I love the different environments. I love having those 3 and 4 year olds and having fun with them and just seeing them play the different games in PE. But then, when I get to coach the older kids, I still enjoy doing that and being with those guys as well.