As mentioned before, I am not coaching on a team this year. That fact hasn't stopped me from working with a number of area athletes, and even volunteering my time (occasionally) to assist the Waterloo track and field program. Here's a rundown of what has happened in the last couple of weeks (good and bad):
1.) An athlete that I worked with prior to the season (and hope to get more sessions with soon) from Lodi is not sitting 3rd in Division 2 in the long jump and 6th in Division 2 for the triple jump. Her (Caitlin's) hard work and dedication are truly awe-inspiring and what she has accomplished thus far is truly noteworthy. Prior to the season, she had only long jumped a handful of times and was in the very basic stages of the triple jump. Her knowledge and experience were incredibly small and with her being a senior this season was something we had to develop as quickly as possible. During our sessions, we made the most of every minute and collaborated at a really high level. In addition to our sessions together, Caitlin started training with Elite Sports Performance (you can find more information about them on my training suggestions page). She went through their initial assessment, and they built her an individualized plan that has completely transformed her! What they have done is truly inspiring! I honestly cannot wait to see what this young lad accomplishes as the season continues. The sky is the absolute limit for her!
2.) A triple jumper I've worked with since last season (Dakota) had an amazing meet last night in Fall River, WI. Here is a picture from Athletic.net showing how he has progressed from last year to his FIRST meet as a sophomore:
I'm unsure these numbers are exact because I recall Dakota jumping a (triple jump) personal best at Regionals last year of 36+ feet, but nonetheless, his growth from last year to this year is truly exciting!
As far as what we "did" to get him to this point it's quite easy...
During his freshman year, I introduced him to the basics. Didn't push hard and focused on using a box to teach the first phase of the triple jump. Other than that, we focused on the approach, and flight/landing control. That's it. I saw that he was a naturally strong athlete that could pull off the 2nd and 3rd phases of the jump quite easily so I spent most of my time on the 1st phase due to its technicalities and difficulty.
During his sophomore year thus far we've focused on that first phase to refresh his memory, the approach, and the landing. That's it. We will transition to bounding in hopes of helping him better connect the phases, and will practice some drills that will assist with his arm movements to ensure he maximizes each jump by utilizing the best possible form/movements.
I'm simply going to finish with... Watch out Division 3!
3.) Last Friday I attended a meet and something happened there that I would like to address...
During the girl's long jump competition a competitor performed an approach that was somewhat loud. Her foot contacts were louder than they would ideally be and thus it slowed her down quite a bit in the lane.
After performing her approach, a competing coach made stomping motions and sounds off to the side. This infuriated me, to say the least. A coach in charge of developing and lifting up our student-athletes mimicked something an athlete from another team did in a negative manner. I was speechless...
I regret not approaching this coach, but with being a spectator during that meet I honestly didn't feel it was my place (at the time).
So, why am I telling you this? Simply put, so you don't make the same mistakes this coach did. Always be cognizant of your actions, reactions, etc. when coaching. Be composed. Be professional. Love and support all athletes like they are your own. Be there for the athletes and not yourselves. Give more than you get in return.
Be a leader for others to follow, and never allow yourself to follow in this coach's footsteps...