Katie Bardsley '13 enjoying transition from athlete to coach
Katie (Krick) Bardsley is a 2013 graduate and now is a student at Colorado Christian, where she is also a track and field coach.
What is your current title and workplace?
I am currently serving as the Track and Field coach at Colorado Christian University. This position was a dream job for me and I didn’t expect to be hired on at 23 years old. I’ve constantly learning whether it be the culture at Colorado Christian, the ways I can improve my training or simply how to be present when student athletes need me most.
My other title would student – I am also in a full-time Masters of Arts in Counseling program at Colorado Christian. The program has been unbelievably powerful and I’m now seeing clients through Saint Raphael Counseling (a Catholic therapy agency in Denver).
How did you get involved in coaching, and did you see this as a pathway when you were in high school?
My passion for track and field began at Pius X. The graduating class of 2013 was an incredibly talented group of track and field athletes and many of us went on to run collegiately. I’ve always had a personality for coaching – I love to encourage, motivate and build confidence in others. It has always been on my heart to give back to the sport that gave me so much!
How does your faith play into your role?
Track and field is where I feel most connected to the Lord. I believe He provided me with natural ability to put Him on display through the sport whether I am competing or coaching. He is with me in every step of my own workouts, and I most definitely feel Him present with my student athletes as we take on a workout. Many times I ask the team about setting an intention for the workout, such as posing, “when it gets hard what will motivate you?” God has been unbelievably faithful in my own journey with track and field. During my time at Pius X, I wrote down my goals for collegiate track. I wrote “earn a National Championship” on my dream list. After winning a third national title at Nebraska Wesleyan, I look back and I am reminded that I can’t put God in a box. We serve a BIG God who can do crazy things if we allow Him to work.
What did you learn as a student-athlete that helps you as a coach?
The balance that is necessary to “do it all” is no joke. You only have 24 hours in a day and I’ve become very intentional about where those hours go. Balance in academics, athletics, family, friends and faith is the goal – but I have to give myself grace when things fall through. I hold my schedule “loosely” in my hands now, and I allow God to take over when I feel out of control.
As part of my identity was “student-athlete” for so long, it has been very freeing to step into a new role as “coach.” I have an expertise in the sprints because of my time as student-athlete which has transferred beautifully in serving as coach. I think the student athletes appreciate my experience too!
And do you think you’ve learned something about coaching that would have helped you as a student-athlete?
I truly wouldn’t do anything differently. Only thing I would tweak is getting more sleep in college. I think we all know the reality of that challenge! I truly did see PR’s when I got more sleep, but life happens! I preach getting a full 8 hours to my student athletes.
What do you look for professionally that will help you accomplish your biggest goals?
I knew when I would start coaching that mentorship from the head coach would be so important. The Colorado Christian University (CCU) head coach, Jon Poag, is an incredible servant leader. He is consistently looking to serve the student athletes in above and beyond ways. He always has his door open for student athletes to stop by. College is a crazy four years and meaningful mentorship is critical. The support I receive from Coach Poag is transformative. I also have receive incredible direction from my college coaches at Nebraska Wesleyan – Coach Ted Bulling and Coach Derrick McKenzie. I’m still sending my training plans home and asking, “how does this look?” Also, I do keep in touch with teammates – they are truly life long friends.
When not working, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing?
My husband Tommie Bardsley (Beatrice alum, but he’s completely on board with the Pihi green and gold) and I love to take hikes and explore breweries in the area. We are currently living in Lakewood and take full advantage of the beautiful Colorado weather and ability to easily get into the mountains. You will find us working out at Red Rocks amphitheater or exploring mountain towns on any free weekends. Tommie is working as a CPA in the Denver Tech Center and also helping me coaching the jumpers at CCU as he was an All-American high jumper himself! We have really enjoyed adjusting to Denver, but we miss our families. We always enjoy our time back in LNK!
What memories do you have of Pius X High School?
Pius X was the BEST high school years that I could ask for. When I picked my bridesmaids six of the eight were from my Pius X years. I built life-long friendships and I am eternally grateful for the beautiful foundation that Pius X has been to my life. Pius X is wehre I made the most important decision of my life – to be a disciple of Jesus! Individuals like Jan Frayser, Father Meysenburg, Father Bernardo and so many teachers were very influential in my growth. I hope that each person could have the Pius X experience I was blessed with — Go Bolts!!