Oops, how did I become a track coach?

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My plan was never to spend my spring afternoons bundled up at the track. Somehow I ended up there coaching the high school track team. While I love track from a spectator perspective coaching is foreign to me.

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I’ve been a runner for a number of years, but that is just one aspect of the sport. Track includes running over hurdles. And track goes with field. Field has jumping and throwing. To say I was wholly unprepared to coach was a bit of an understatement. I feel a bit like someone who tripped and fell and when they stood up found they were a track coach.

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The technical aspects of the sport are not be my strength. However after running into one my runners parents I discovered that maybe I am on the right track with this coaching thing (pun intended)! She told me that her daughter talks about me and says how nice I am. Nice may not be the word I want attributed to me as a coach, I would prefer tough, but nice means I am building relationships. If there is one thing I’ve learned about coaching is the importance of relationships. When you have rapport and trust you can push people farther and harder then they ever imagined.

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To community college and beyond

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Kia is nearing the end of her high school sports career. We are in the middle of the basketball season which means track season is right around the corner.

Graduating high school signifies not only the end of Kia playing sports but the end of being a spectator at her games.

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Like many seniors Kia has no idea what she wants to do next year. We are encouraging her to go to school, somewhere. The thought of college sports was far from our minds until about two weeks ago.

Leah (the head coach for the MHS volleyball team) arranged a meeting between some of the seniors and the head coach from the Community College of Rhode Island volleyball team. The meeting resulted in Kia and one of the other girls going up for a try out. Coach liked what she saw and she is ready to recruit some Islanders.

This means not only will Kia get a chance to continue playing sports in college, but Jim and I will get a chance to keep on cheering for our girl!

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To push or not to push.

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My daughter decided to try out for track and field. I have to tell you it makes me so proud. I’m so pleased that she is trying something new. I am pleased that she picked a tough sport. I did track for one season in high school and I really wish I had done more so I guess I am living vicariously through her too.

 

As my daughter embarks on her sports career (she is a three sport athlete right now) I am equally proud of her and equally terrified I am going to push her away from her interests. I don’t think I am a parent who feels the need to push my daughter to make her perform better and better. But sometimes I see how much potential she really has. On those occasions I try to bite my tongue and tell her if she put more effort into what she was doing she would be so much better.

 

For her sports is a social activity. I’ve watched her in practice, laughing, giggling, and playing around with her teammates. All the while not listening to a word that the coach is saying. It infuriates me to no end. But then I have to force myself to take a step back. She is having fun. She is out there enjoying what she is doing.

 

I see how talented my daughter could be if she really applied herself. If it becomes something she is truly passionate about I’m sure the talent will come out on it’s own. I just have to wait patiently for her to decide if it is something she wants. In the mean time, I just need to appreciate that she is out there playing sports.