Max Payleitner fell in love with coaching and this sparked his interest in education.
A former college baseball player at Valparaiso, Payleitner originally planned to become a physical therapist.
That changed when Payleitner got the opportunity to coach a high school summer league baseball team. His feelings went from playing to training.
“I was enjoying the training aspect more than playing,” Payleitner said.
Payleitner ended his college playing career during his senior season, transitioned into the coaching world, and began teaching students at St. Charles East High School in the fall of 2008.
Now in her 11th year of full-time teaching, Payleitner divides her time between the wellness department, managing adapted physical education classes, and special education class time. His wife, Megan, works for the Mid-Valley special education cooperative.
“I fell in love with coaching and working with children, trying to give them the most positive experience possible. …I really fell in love with coaching,” Payleitner said.
“Even more so in the field of special education, every student needs this individualized communication processing strategy. …Even students who do not have an identified disability, everyone benefits from this personalized communication structure. It has helped me grow as a communicator, teacher, person, just when you work with students with disabilities it highlights the need for individualized attention.
Payleitner is an assistant coach for the wrestling, football, and varsity softball team. The communication aspect that Payleitner cares about is directly linked to what he does on the playing surfaces.
“This is my 37th sports season in high school that I have done [coaching five sports in that time]said Payleitner. “They are all athletes of different types and needs. The student-athlete has changed over the past 10 years.
“What they need, how the communication works, I grew up. I shout a lot less. I work a lot less. I’ve learned that as a parent myself, an athlete, a student…stalking and yelling is not effective.
Some might think that the current generation of athletes is potentially “soft”. Payleitner thinks they need “different types of communication.”
“It’s just the evolution of how people operate these days,” Payleitner said. “Every sport I coach, whether you work with female athletes in softball or [male] wrestlers, everyone is different.
The instances where former athletes or students reach out — whether in the moment or after their Saints’ playing days are over — stay with Payleitner and keep his passion alive.
“It motivates me because there are things I’m passionate about,” Payleitner said. “I am passionate about the sports I train, I work with children [and] every day making the classroom a fun and positive experience. When you can see that kind of spark being created in students – having them create their own passions – it’s something that drives you forward. It’s worth it. »