In the realm of athletics, determination, hard work and self improvement are the focal points of a good coach. Shataya McComb, a resident of Kingston, looks to give back to her community through the sports she grew up playing. McComb formed the Point God Academy, a year round training program dedicated to providing instruction to young athletes in the sports of basketball, soccer and baseball.
Graduating from Kingston High School in 2007, McComb was a three sport athlete in softball, soccer and basketball. From there, she took her talents to SUNY Delhi, where she played women’s basketball at the collegiate level before transferring to Alberto College.
McComb’s love of sports — both playing and coaching — all began with her family.
“I have seven brothers, and I would sit on the bench of the Kingston Boys and Girls club as a kid and watch them play. I wanted to be just as good as them, and wanted to play on a higher level.”
For McComb, the idea to create and coach for Point God Academy came from her partner, Jessie Cannie.
“I would always try to give information out to my family members about sports, and then I realized I can do this for everyone,” McComb said. “Jessie reached out to me about forming a year round clinic for the sports we grew up playing, and in September we officially created Point God for our community members.”
McComb explained that she was really interested in officially going down the coaching route after playing her whole life because she wants the opportunities that were available to her to be possible for the kids she coaches. She also wants to help them get better as athletes and learn some moral lessons along the way.
A regular day at Point God Academy will have the kids participating in a full mental and physical experience. In a two hour session, the young athletes start with cardio by running stairs, running on the track and focusing on their footwork on the training ladders to build better balance and speed. From there, they learn specific drills geared towards their sport.
“Character and confidence is what I want them to get out of each session,” McComb said. “To me, it’s not just about your sport’s improvement on a skill level, it’s about your life lessons learned. If you are confident in what you do, the sky’s the limit, especially with the right character, anything is achievable.”
At the end of a week — or even after a session — McComb loves to see the kids tired from the hard work. If a student can incorporate what they learn at Point God Academy into another sport, or even when they have a game for the sport they are training for, that is the best feeling.
On top of building up a child’s self-esteem and character, McComb knows that the kids that come to the training sessions have all come for different reasons, and from different backgrounds. To McComb, sports is more about learning life lessons that the kids she coaches will take into future endeavours, rather than physical training.
As McComb continues to grow Point God Academy, she and Cannie have already expanded and reached out to kids in Poughkeepsie and Ellenville. Her goal by the end of the year is to also add kids from the Newburgh and New Paltz areas. Currently her class size is between 30 to 35 kids, and she doesn’t see herself looking to close off at a certain number of kids.
“For me personally, I want to make it work with any kid willing to learn and put in the work,” McComb said. “I am very flexible when it comes to financial payment plans, and with whatever proceeds I get I put it right back into the camp to get better equipment for them.”
To learn more about Point God Academy, visit their website here.