Featured Coach: Nicole Ambayec, NDB Class of 2008

Featured+Coach%3A+Nicole+Ambayec%2C+NDB+Class+of+2008

Paige Clarke, Sports Editor

On NDB’s campus, numerous alumnae work in various classes and departments, bringing back the spirit of NDB from when they attended the school. One 2008 alumna who has worked as a part of NDB’s Spirit Squad for six years is Nicole Ambayec or Coach Nikki, as her JV competition cheerleaders call her.

Ambayec began her cheer journey when she was in seventh grade. In total, she has cheered for eleven years at various levels. While cheering at NDB, she learned the skills to drive her to success: being sharp, learning to base, and being a team player. Having previously cheered at NDB, Ambayec shares many similar memories and experiences with her athletes, specifically Nationals, a highlight of many competitive cheerleaders seasons.

“I think my favorite memory is Nationals, my senior year. It was just a really fun experience. We had a lot of great team bonding experiences and we were just really close…” Ambayec says in response to what her favorite memory from her four years of high school cheer was. 

After cheering at the high school level, Ambayec continued on to cheer at the collegiate level at the University of California, San Diego from 2011 to 2013. She was able to use the skills taught to her by Coach Morgan Craig to drive her to collegiate athletic strength. She enjoyed the fun of collegiate cheer, but also recognized the difficulty in balancing 6 A.M. practices with schoolwork and classes. Ambayec recognizes that each athlete and school has different expectations and challenges, but would recommend pursuing collegiate cheer.

Ultimately, Ambayec was drawn back to coaching in July 2014 by the person who influenced her the most as an athlete: Coach Morgan Craig.

“I knew when I got asked if I wanted to come back and help Morgan Craig, the previous coach, he was my cheer coach, I couldn’t turn down that offer,” Ambayec says on why she came back to NDB’s cheer program.

Craig influenced Ambayec in more ways than just giving her the opportunity, but shaped her into who she is today by teaching her what it means to be a good coach.

“Coach Morgan really just showed me what it meant to have a team of dedicated girls, to be not only a coach, but also a friend to the girls, and know that I’m always there for them, just as Coach Morgan was always there for me,” Ambayec shares about how she was influenced by Craig.

Currently, Ambayec is coaching her JV competition cheer team, who have placed first in three competitions and second in one this season, as they prepare for the first day of Nationals on Friday, February 14.

“I think they have really made this experience worth it,” Ambayec says about how her current JV team has been the highlight of the past six years as a coach.

Aside from coaching cheer, Ambayec is in her final year at USF’s School of Law and will take the bar exam in May. She has also worked at Stanford University as an Executive Assistant for the school’s IT program, but is now fully focused on school and coaching.

Overall, Ambayec has one piece of advice for any high school athlete: “I think that the biggest piece of advice I can give is that it may seem hard right now, but it all gets better and you just need to push through, and it’ll all be worth it.”

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