“I have the most rewarding job that I think is out there. It is a lot, but these kids are worth it.” – Muscogee (Creek) citizen and head coach Desiree Booker
Booker teaches skills, lessons for sport, life
Blanchard, Oklahoma — Muscogee (Creek) citizen Desiree Booker thought she was done with softball. She gave up the sport while in college to focus on her studies and to only be a teacher.
“I was over it (softball), burned out, I was done,” Booker said. “I wanted to only be a teacher.”
She was teaching at a private school in Okmulgee when a nearby school wanted her to join their staff.
“Preston (High School) offered me a job. A teaching job, but it also had coaching duties,” Booker said. “I became an assistant coach there.”
Booker slowly began her new journey as a coach with the job at Preston. She said her time as an assistant helped her to fall in love with coaching again.
“I told myself that I can do this,” she said. “I am more than an assistant.”
She said being an assistant helped her in her preparation.
“People do not understand the job that a coach does, especially a head coach,” Booker said. “It is not only softball or the sport that you are coaching. You have to focus on the concessions, getting the umpires, getting everything for the team.”
Mounds Public Schools was the next stop. They gave her a head coaching position.
“They were able to help me to get prepared for where I am at now,” Booker said.
Blanchard is a AAAA school. She said when she began coaching, she wanted a coaching position around the Oklahoma City area and finding Blanchard was a great thing for her.
She said being a player, playing came easy to her. She was able to find out what was wrong in her game and fix it. Now as a coach, she is on the other side and sees what she can do to help her players to get better.
“I have to look at what they can do to improve,” Booker said. “Now it is my job to break it down to help my players to see how they can better themselves when playing.”
She teaches seventh grade science at BPS. Along with both fastpitch and slowpitch coaching duties, she also coaches seventh grade basketball.
“I have the most rewarding job that I think is out there,” Booker said. “It is a lot, but these kids are worth it.”
She said the competition against the other schools is phenomenal. Within a 15-mile radius, there are numerous schools that are state contenders in their classes.
“We can drive a few miles one way to a game and we are going to play a state caliber team,” Booker said. “Our season, the teams we play, we are going to get tested.”
Booker said she uses a lot of her coaching and teaching towards life lessons.
“I know there are some days when they do not want to go to practice,” she said. “I let them know that if they miss, they will let the team down. It is like a job, if you call into work, last minute, you are letting your co-workers down.”
She said she teaches them what will help them beyond softball, when they are adults.
Booker said there are outside elements that can affect a coach and player’s life. She feels that sometimes the outlet is softball.
“I will see the girls here on their spare time, come on up and clean the place,” she said. “This sport is an outlet for them. They like chilling out here.”
She said a coach is not only a coach. They wear so many different hats and do so much.
“I hope I am that positive role model for them,” Booker said.
Booker said it is a year-round job for her. Not only is it during school season, there are times when school is not in session that she is there working.
“I have camps and clinics to go to,” she said. “We have to keep the softball fields in great condition and a lot goes into that.”
Booker said she retired from playing softball and picked up on a new sport, golf.
“It is tough,” she said. “It is starting all over again, different mechanics. When I get a chance I will practice, and keep practicing.”
She said it is tough but she loves it. She had to learn to adapt from the different schools she has taught and coached at because of the demographics, but has enjoyed it.
“Seeing the girls develop their schools, that is what I love, before and afters,” Booker said. “The improvement from them, makes me happy.”
Booker is Muscogee (Creek) and Comanche. She is of the Katcv (Tiger) Clan and Koweta Tribal Town.