‘Tis the season – Track Season!

It’s that time of year again, track season.  Every year, I look forward to and am encouraged by the possibilities that lie ahead.  When we have our informational team meeting, I look about the room and get excited.  Seeing my classroom packed with kids, all of whom are eager for the upcoming season.   As a coach, it’s great to see a group of kids as passionate, interested, and wanting to get better at the sport I love.  It’s great to see lots of familiar faces talking with friends from years past, and also lots of new faces filled with wonder and excitement.  From working with 4 year seniors to seeing the incoming crop of freshmen, and everyone in between, a new season offers a lot of potential.

As a coach, it’s rewarding to see seniors come back for the 4th year of the sport and lead the next generation of athletes.  Track and field is a major commitment, and it’s great to have senior leaders who have been through it all before.  They know what to expect, they know what it takes, and they set the tone for others to follow.  They act as big brothers and sisters to the incoming athletes and help them adjust to the new program and feel welcomed.  It’s great to see what traditions were important to them and still are for them to continue.  It’s also fun to see what new aspects they  bring to the table and add to the program.  I try to give them ownership of certain aspects of the program and make it something they take pride in.  Every senior class leaves a legacy behind, and I can’t wait to see what positive impact this year’s group has on the program.  Good senior leadership leads to happy and productive teams that work hard, have fun together, and make the most of every opportunity.

I’m also encouraged at the site of the many new faces.  Whether freshmen or another grade giving track and field a try for the first time, there is always potential.  Their emotions are usually a mix of curiosity, trepidation, eagerness, and excitement.  Everything is new and fresh for them.  This raw enthusiasm is often needed and helps to invigorate others who have already been there and done that.  There is a lot on the plate for the incoming athletes to take in, and it’s important that they do their best to make the adjustment to what our program is asking.  They often make up a substantial portion of the team, and are asked to fill multiple roles.  They have a lot to learn with new coaches, new training techniques, and even new events.  With an eager and positive attitude and good direction from team leaders, new track athletes can often have a major impact on the team.  The picture above is last year’s crop of freshmen at the conference meet.  They certainly learned a lot during last year’s season, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they have grown as athletes this year.

This is my 17th as a HS coach, and 14th as the head girls’ track and field coach at Geneva High School, and yet it is something I haven’t grown tired of.  I look forward to attending the annual coaches clinic put on by the ITCCCA.  Listening to other coaches around the state and country talk track gives me new ideas, reaffirms some things I currently do, and pumps me up for the season.  But the main reason why things have stayed so fresh and positive over the years, is the kids.  They keep things new and interesting.  Every year is different.  Every group of seniors through freshmen is different.  Every year will have it’s challenges and successes, and I look forward to overcoming and celebrating both.  As the start of another season is nearing, I eagerly await for it with anticipation.  See you all on Tuesday, Jan 22nd!

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