Tonight was a speed day. Just like Monday, I was given a group during the sprint block to work on approaches. This time around it was the girls first, and they did GREAT! Their consistency and awareness of the board is coming along nicely and will undoubtedly serve them well in competitions.
There are a few athletes on the girls side that are starting to stick out as well! I have really taken notice of a few that are working hard and truly "in the zone" during practice. We graduated two extremely talented female athletes last year, and there are spots to be had. I am seeing some athletes realize this, and work harder because of it - which I LOVE!
After the girls' block, the boys got to work on approaches as well. They weren't as consistent, but I honestly think that is due to the increased speed they deal with while in the runway. It may take them a little longer than some to get the approaches down, but once they do they will FLY!
Yesterday something happened at practice that I'd like to put out there for some of you coaches and athletes to read. An athlete approached me questioning why he wasn't on the roster for this coming weekend's meet. I told him it was because I didn't feel he was ready. At that point he refused to listen to me and told my why the person I am taking in his place "shouldn't" go. At that point I felt as though he was questioning my ability to create a lineup. So, I told him the reasons I made the decision I did. He didn't like those answers. Once again, had the body language of "whatever". I was fairly upset at this point and simply told him to walk away.
Coaches, know that communication is key. I didn't feel as though I needed to communicate my decision (prior to yesterday) to him and maybe that's my mistake. Coaches have so much to think about that sometimes we forget to relay those messages to the ones they affect. I have such a large jumps team that making the decisions I do can be extremely difficult due to shear numbers. In the future, I am going to focus my attention on front-loading (through discussion) my decision making (if I feel it is necessary) to avoid confrontations like yesterday.
Athletes, don't be entitled. Period! You need to trust and respect your coach's decision(s). I have dealt with athletes that get easily frustrated and believe they should jump as well as they hope every time down the lane. This can be both a positive and negative way of looking at things. Motivation and drive are one thing, but greed and naivete is a completely separate entity from motivation/determination. Believe in yourself at all points in time, work hard, give your all, and trust the process. Don't blindly believe you deserve something more than others, and become upset when it doesn't happen the way you envisioned it. This will only hurt you in the short and long run.
Do I feel bad for us having a somewhat "heated" conversation when I felt the athlete was questioning my decision making abilities - yes. Do I feel bad that I was fully upfront with him, and told him all the reasons he wasn't going when he acted entitled - no. I think this kid has some great potential, but I care more about creating a better person than a better jumper; and that will NEVER change.
Another X-factor day. Tuesday's work with boxes and sprinting upon landing will be directly utilized in today's X-factor COMPETITION of depth jump with a standing jump to follow. I am very excited for our first "competition day" at practice!