For the past three decades, Hans Peter Smit has been a fixture figure of DLSU and other La Salle schools through his prominent contributions particularly in the football program of the university. Aside from coaching, he has also served various positions in different La Salle schools in the country.
More than just football, the 60 year old mentor has also given his ample knowledge to improve the Lasallian sports community as a whole. As the athletic director of De La Salle Santiago Zobel then, Smit has a huge part in coming up with certain standards for the institution’s sports endeavors.
Early Years of Football
Football is not Hans Smit’s game. He admitted starting to play basketball in his early years but at some twist of fate, he was led to the world of football where he became one of the brightest spots of the sport in the country.
As a player, as a coach, and as any capacity he has served, Smit has fought through a lot of battles and experienced to be both a loser and a winner. But believe it or not, Smit does not value his trophies but instead he values the lessons learned in every defeat.
When you ask him how many championships he won, he honestly does not know. It’s not because that he could not count it because of numerous victories but instead he really does not want to count it for a simple reason.
“Trivial things is not important to me that’s why I don’t know how many championships I’ve won from La Salle, or like De La Salle Zobel or for the Philippines as well,” shared Smit.
“I’m too brutally frank and honest so what people want from me, they get it straight (and) not what they read in the papers,” described Hans Smit on what he is.
Truly, Smit is one of the few who choose to stand on a different platform. You may hear him curse his players a lot but as for him, he just want to get things straight to the point. Smit does not want those flowery words to state things. If you do not know him, you may be shocked on how he deal with things. Putting it into perspective, it could be seen how Smit has his own ideals and principles that could not be changed just because of different circumstances.
“I’m different, I’m alone,” quipped Smit on how he think he is.
A Coach of Life
Started teaching what he love at age 21, (the youngest football coach in the history of Philippine Football) Smit has trained numerous athletes under his wings. He is credited for starting the Varsity Football program for De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ) in Alabang. He believes on not focusing much on the technical of the sport but instead teaching his players what life really is.
“I treat my players and I keep them like my own kids not like robots, I hate robots. This is sort of growing up,” shared Smit as he adds that he is ‘A coach of life’.
Just recently, Smit propelled the DLSU Men’s Football team to the Finals once more after a 10-year absence. More than just being a coach of life, Smit truly has what it takes to build a winner out of a team. He based his coaching principles from his own life principles that could prepare his players for the real world.
“Every single mistake that they do, one simple word mistake that they say, I correct it. That’s me. That’s why I want them to be some sort of perfect, which is impossible. But something to be perfect you know, that’s how to teach them how to learn, cause when I was growing up I did not just accept what the teachers or the coaches trying to do, I try to analyze,” shared Smit while also citing that he tries to get a background of each of his players to know how to deal with them.
Winning is a given thing for coaching as for Smit but what he value more are not the championships he could win with his players but instead how they would face the real world after football – this is how Hans Smit coaches.
The La Salle Hall of Fame
On April 24, 2015, Hans Smit was finally inducted in the La Salle Hall of Famr in the field of sports. While many feel that this is “long overdue” but still, Smit considers the award to be too early for him despite his 35-year of service for the Lasallian sports community.
“It’s a good thing that I’m being acknowledge on something that I’ve done but it never interests me, it never crossed my mind that this will happen, to be awarded agad. To be recognized as such, it’s a very big honor considering the company I have.” quipped Smit stating how he humbly accepts it and how honored he is to be lined up with names who are known in the Southeast Asia.
Being inducted in the hall of fame, retirement may cross the minds of people following Smit’s career but not in Smit’s mind as he ends, “ I don’t see myself retiring in years to come I don’t know. As long as I can still stand up, I can still walk, I can still pick a ball, I can still teach, I will still coach.”