Logan McLaughlin practiced his coaching skills while also learning a new skill in sports photography at North County Sports Academy.
What was unique about your situation that influenced your internship selection?
Something unique about my situation is that I wanted to find a sports-related internship over the summer, which is difficult because many sports do not have an active summer season. Another unique factor in my situation is that I live in San Diego, where we only have one professional sports team. Considering I was hoping to find something involving basketball specifically, I found myself having to be much more open minded in my search.
As I was searching for an internship, I came across a listing on Glassdoor for a photography position with North County Sports Academy. Although I’m not much of a photographer, I was intrigued by working with summer camps and private lessons because I wanted a sports-related internship and I had prior experience working at surf camps and giving lessons. I began messaging with the CEO, Paul Giannelli, about my interest in his company. Eventually we had an interview over zoom where I was offered the position officially. My decision to accept the internship was also inspired by the CEO (who became a trusted mentor) because he had a similar college background and decided to start this local business several years ago to give back to the local community.
What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?
At the beginning of my internship, I began photographing multiple private lessons each week. I was able to work with a variety of coaches and clients, creating media for baseball, basketball and soccer lessons. Further into the next month, camps began and I was working 8am-4pm for 3 separate weeks of camps. I actually spent a majority of my time coaching for the basketball camps, which were sold out for the first time ever. On the other hand, with soccer camp I was more of a helping hand as I assisted with things like setup, check in, lunch supervision and pickup.
What skills did you learn and develop in your internship?
I developed numerous skills throughout my internship. First, I learned how to work as a sports photographer. This includes the actual photography itself, as well as importing, editing, and working with coaches, clients and my mentor to create and share the best media possible. In addition, I learned how to coach youth basketball and run camps for young athletes. Lastly, I learned how to better work with others, whether it was my mentor, other coaches or the kids in camps/lessons, I was able to develop my collaboration skills.
What was your favorite part of your internship?
My favorite part of my internship was the first basketball camp, which was sold out with 70 kids in attendance. While this was one of the most exhausting weeks of my life, it was more than worth it because of the fun I had and the memories I was able to help create for these young athletes and myself. At the end of the week, my mentor emphasized that this was by far the best camp NCSA has ever had, and I was proud to be a part of it. I was happily surprised to hear numerous kids say “Coach Logan” was their favorite, and I think I might’ve found a new passion in coaching and giving back to the youth community.
What did you find challenging about your internship?
My biggest challenge throughout this internship was facing exhaustion throughout long weeks of camps. The early mornings were extremely difficult for me personally and it took some time for my body to adjust with a new sleep schedule. Also, being sore and tired from playing basketball all day definitely was an obstacle I had to overcome for 2 of the 3 weeks. Lastly, working with kids isn’t always easy. I really had to learn how to balance being empathetic while still being structured in my teaching, and this taught me a lot about myself, coaching, and working with youth.
What was the most significant contribution you made?
Along with coaching camps, I would say my biggest contribution was the digital album of over 400 photos which I was able to share with my mentor for his website and social media. At the beginning of my internship, he said that his goal was to create enough photos to last for a year of social media posts. Now, at the end of this experience, I have well exceeded that goal and created an abundance of high quality, edited photos that will be extremely useful for NCSA in the future. The photos I provided show a variety of sports, lessons, camps, coaches, and creative photography skills.