Coach’s Box: Bourg diving into golf, calculus


Sidekick file photo

Coppell golf coach Jan Bourg talks about her interests and hobbies during a video interview with the 2017-18 Sidekick staff. Bourg is also an AP Calculus teacher and licensed scuba diver.

Sreeja Mudumby, Staff Writer

Jan Bourg is the head coach for the Coppell girls golf team and an AP Calculus teacher at Coppell High School. Aside from school, she is a licensed scuba diver and likes to travel to oceanic places and spend time with her family. 


Why do you like to play golf?

Well, I like all sports, and I like to be outside. I started playing a lot of golf as my kids got older and I had time on my hands. As you may know, golf requires four [to] five hours of your day so when my kids were little, I didn’t really have time to give to golf, but as I got older and moved on, [my kids] moved out of the house, my husband and I started playing more and more kind of as a hobby. 

How would you describe the feeling you get when you play golf?

The feeling is really good when you hit a good shot. I just love being outside, I love exercising, feeling like you’ve accomplished something when you have been working on maybe a particular shot or you make a good putt. I like the challenge of golf. Golf is very very challenging so I’m constantly working on just the little things to get better. 

 What other activities are you involved in?

I have three kids [Matt Bourg, Jamie Bourg, Andrew Bourg] and I have three grandkids [James Bourg (age 8), Isabella Bourg (age 3) and Hayes Bourg (9 months) ], so family is really important to me. If I’m not doing something school-related, I’m probably traveling to see my kids and grandkids. Also, my parents are still around and they’re retired and live in Arkansas, so I make sure I see them as often as I can. I would say most of my time is either with school stuff or visiting family. 

Do you think golf is underappreciated?

I think that people who don’t respect golf have never tried to play golf because it’s very very difficult; it’s very challenging. You’re trying to get a little ball in a little cup 450 yards away. I’m a fairly athletic person and it’s a challenging game. So those who don’t respect golf have probably not spent enough time trying to play golf. Our [Coppell golfers] too, when they get to higher levels, they’re not only playing golf for one day, they have to play in two-day tournaments. It’s like running a marathon and then turning around and running a marathon the next day. It’s not easy; these girls put a lot of time into the game and that’s the only way you can get to that higher level. Just devote a lot of time and a lot of practice outside of the normal practice. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I will be retired from education; I will have put in 30 years. My oldest son is a pilot, so I see myself traveling as much as I want to. I see myself spending more time with grandkids as they are getting older. I look forward to the challenge of ‘“what does that next phase look like for me?”, “how do I want to spend my day to day time since I won’t be teaching and I won’t be grading papers?” In some ways, it’s exciting and in some ways, it’s scary because this is what I’ve done since I was  21 years old. But I’m looking forward to it, it’ll be a couple more years before I retire. 

How do you define being a role model?

I hope I am a role model for my students and my golfers. In the classroom, I try to be understanding, and I try to be patient, and I try not to let the little things bother me because at the end of the day, they are just little things. I hope my students can see that in me. Just having compassion and being kind is the most important thing I can do. For my golfers, it is keeping a positive mindset because it is so easy to get down on yourself when you hit a bad shot or hit a bad hole or you have a bad tournament. It’s keeping positive, it’s having integrity because, in golf, you call your own penalties on yourself. It’s respecting other golfers and the golf course and people who put a lot of time into the game. I try to remind the golfers how much their parents have put into their golf game by taking them to tournaments and lessons and practice. So I hope just my attitude about things I approach in the classroom and the practice, hopefully, my kids can see that and I just want them to have a good positive experience whether they’re my students or on the golf team. I want them to look back and have fun memories of their time that they were around me. 

How are golf and math similar? 

You have to keep a positive mindset. You have to put the practice and time into it if you want to get better. Some things come really easy for some people in golf and other things you have to work at, and it’s the same in the classroom. You just have to figure that out about yourself and know what areas it is you need to work on and have the motivation to do that because, at the end of the day, no one is going to make you do that. If you want to be better at it, you have to go out and put the time and effort to be better at it. 

Where do you like to travel?

I love the water, so anywhere there is pretty water to snorkel or scuba dive, so the Caribbean, Mexico, I have been to Hawaii several times. My younger son lives in Denver so I like to go there for the mountains for cooler weather in the hot summers. Once I retire, I want to see all of the United States. I have probably seen half of them right now. 


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